In 1978 John Dudley (“The Cap’n”) was asked to help raise money for charity at The Barbican Regatta, he thought a few charcoal Dabs would do the trick. When he applied for planning permission to stay he forgot to add dimensions so the planners added ‘no bigger than 12’x6’. So, the Cap’n was on his way with a DIY Hut 6′ x 12′ made from plywood & old hardboard doors. This was financed by two good friends who put up £100.00 each (& got it back!). Groceries were supplied by Plymouth’s Credit & Carry Tycoon. Rent was a tenner & electricity was £1.00 a week. This hut stood for ten years and became so popular that he rebuilt it to 20′ x 12′, again with hardboard doors, plywood and the minimum of expense. Mark II was a pretty good success, but nearly came to grief 9 years later when it had to be moved to make way for the new Barbican Glassworks (even 12 Gun Crew & 29 Commando couldn’t shift it, a SWEB lorry had to give it a hearty tug).
During the first 19 years the entire business operation was based purely on the goodwill created between Duncan Godefroy Esq. of the Sutton Harbour Company & The Cap’n, as no lease existed and trust was the name of the game. It has always been a most enjoyable relationship, and is now finally secured by a long lease.
On 1 May 1997 new premises, you see now, opened complete with its own staff elections, won by Maggie of course (she’s been here over 20 years!). The chain-link tables were added a year later.
All the gadgets you see were designed & built by The Cap’n himself, mainly from old windscreen wiper motors. The Cap’n sadly passed away on 24 June 2001. The barbican lost a truly unique and very special man.
Cap’n Jaspers continues to be run by The Cap’ns daughter, Georgie, who has been involved with the business since it opened in 1978.