Archive for the ‘Pubs and Clubs’ Category

The heart of what was Little London. (2017).

The heart of what was Little London. (2017).


I started to look into the history of the White Lion pub in Walsall, which is located on the corner of Sandwell Street and Little London, in what is generally called the Little London area of Walsall. It quickly became apparent that it was old – and by that I mean it predated the both the current 1890s rebuild and the 1830 Beerhouse Act – so I knew that its early origins would be difficult, if not impossible to track. So, this part will indirectly look at the pub by concentrating on the place name and early development of the area known as Little London in Walsall, with some reference to the Little London in Willenhall; while the second part will look at the pub itself…https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/walsall/little-london-and-the-white-lion-walsall/

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The Swan Inn, Walsall Road, Gt Wyrley. 2016.

The Swan Inn, Walsall Road, Gt Wyrley. 2016.


As I started to piece together a development theory for the Swan Inn in Wyrley it became obvious that somewhat larger elements of local and family history were involved: chief of these were the fact we were dealing an extended family – named Greensill – that operated two pubs, at least in 1834, which were both called The Swan. One Swan, that in Great Wyrley, survives; the other, a stone-throw into Leacroft, is now defunct. I knew that if I traced what I could of the Leacroft Swan this article would be significantly extended, I therefore decided to split the original article into two with this part dealing with the name and origins of the two pubs, as well as the lifespan of the Leacroft Swan… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/the-pubs-of-great-wyrley/the-pubs-of-great-wyrley-and-leacroft-one-swan-inn-and-one-swan-out/

Margaret Marshall outside the front of the Black Horse - with Alfred and Clara? Alfred became a brewer and I bet he supplied the beer advertised. (WLHC)

Margaret Marshall outside the front of the Black Horse – with Alfred and Clara? Alfred became a brewer and I bet he supplied the beer advertised. (WLHC)

This article has aimed, through two pubs, to introduce Walsallians and Bloxwegians alike to a little history of a once important cross-roads and centre of an agricultural and mining estate. Nobody bats an eyelid there anymore; and while these buildings have mostly gone, like the miners and the farm workers, the area in many ways is not so different. This article is dedicated to the one constant in our story – the people of Leamore… https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/walsall/tales-of-lost-leamore/lost-leamore-i-a-horse-of-a-different-colour/

The New Black Horse Hotel, rebuilt in 1899,  fallen on hard times and now demolished. (Stuart Williams)

The New Black Horse Hotel, rebuilt in 1899, fallen on hard times and now demolished.
(Stuart Williams)


The case that started it all dates to 1910 and is one of the first tackled by the newly appointed position of Walsall Coroner (it had formed a part of the south-east coroner’s district of Staffordshire until then), which was filled at that time by James Addison. The case dealt with a terrible and somewhat bizarre tragedy…
https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/walsall/tales-of-lost-leamore/lost-leamore-ii-death-at-the-black-horse/

I had the good fortune, as the Archivist at the Walsall Local History Centre, to bump into Stuart Attwood a few months back. Stuart once ran a publication on Bloxwich, back in the 90s. He also wrote a few pamphlet guides on pubs – one of which covered Great Wyrley.

Davy Lamp in the mid-1980s. (Stuart Attwood)

Davy Lamp in the mid-1980s.
(Stuart Attwood)

Stuart deposited his photographs with the Centre, those that he had accumulated regarding the publications. I was zipping through them yesterday in order to see what was in it and what to do regarding duplicates and protecting the photos etc, when I found the photos he had taken from c mid-1980s of the local pubs for Wyrley area.

The Robin Hood, likely in the early 1980s. (Stuart Attwood)

The Robin Hood, likely in the early 1980s.
(Stuart Attwood)

Staurt allowed us to use the photos, so I have included them in my blog stories – and I have updated the Lost Pubs (for the Davy Lamp), Robin Hood and Royal Oak stories to include them. However, as they are so nice, I thought I would give them their own blog post as well.

The Royal Oak in the early 1980s, with additions, but before rendering. (Stuart Attwood)

The Royal Oak in the early 1980s, with additions, but before rendering.
(Stuart Attwood)

So a big thank you to Stuart Attwood. The Davy Lamp photo shows the old outdoor and the Royal Oak shows the brickwork before the pub was rendered – clearly indicating the old frontage and where it was extended to encompass the old outdoor area. Terrific stuff. Remember to click on the photos to enlarge.

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The Royal Oak developed from a cottage near what was the one-time hub of the village around 1842. A gritty beer-house, it clearly served miners and other local working men, as the court cases testify. The owner and publican had a second job, so the family must have helped run the Oak. Eventually, the pub was sold to a small brewery chain, the City Brewery (Lichfield) around 1900. They instigated a failed attempt to move premises (Norton Lane being now just off the beaten track), followed by an extension and remodelling to the buildings. The pub was taken over by Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries after the City Brewery burnt down in 1916…read the full story https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/the-pubs-of-great-wyrley/the-pubs-of-great-wyrley-the-royal-oak/

The White Lion in Ind Coope & Allsopp's Livery, so prior to 1959(ish) (Bridgtown Local History Society)

The White Lion in Ind Coope & Allsopp’s Livery, so prior to 1959(ish)
(Bridgtown Local History Society)

This history of the White Lion is the last of a trilogy covering the C19th pubs of Churchbridge. The White Lion was the new kid on the block when compared with the Robin Hood and the Red Cow, both of which likely appeared swiftly after Gilpin’s works was established by 1817. They can be traced at least to the 1830s, whereas the White Lion, equally a product of industrialisation, can only be traced to 1861. It is funny, the White Lion may be in Churchbridge, but its closest neighbour was the Anglesey Arms (now the Stumble Inn) in Bridgtown…https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/the-churchbridge-pubs/the-white-lion/

The Lost Pubs Of Great Wyrley

Posted: August 30, 2014 in Pubs and Clubs
OS map, 1884 for Wharwell Farm. (Staffordshire Record Office)

OS map, 1884 for Wharwell Farm.
(Staffordshire Record Office)

Nationally pub closures are currently a huge issue in the industry, but pubs have always come and gone. This article will look at the three pubs that we know of that were in the Great Wyrley area that and have now closed. Two of these pubs, the Old Engine and the Bird-in-Hand, go back into the mists of time and little survives about them, which makes it difficult; strangely the third, the Davy Lamp, is perhaps too recent and so, as yet, little is out there in the public domain. https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/the-pubs-of-great-wyrley/the-lost-pubs-of-great-wyrley/

The Imperial while under transformation to a Wetherspoon's outlet. September 1997. (Stuart Williams)

The Imperial while under transformation to a Wetherspoon’s outlet. September 1997.
(Stuart Williams)

The final episode of the three-part history of the Walsall Imperial: this one deals with censorship, Sunday trading, the rise of televison, closure, conversion to a bingo hall and finally, its rebirth as a Wetherspoon’s. https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/walsall/the-walsall-imperial-1868-2014/the-walsall-imperial-3/

The 1907 plan, showing the bar counter where the former Bar Parlour used to be and the divided kitchen and scullery. (Staffordshire Record Office)

The 1907 plan, showing the bar counter where the former Bar Parlour used to be and the divided kitchen and scullery.
(Staffordshire Record Office)

Read the story of the Robin Hood in Churchbridge: fluctuating floor levels, the chimney in the bogs, two gruesome inquests and just why should you feel sorry for the pigs in 1900! https://wyrleyblog.wordpress.com/wyrley-landywood/the-churchbridge-pubs/the-robin-hood/