For this week’s (somewhat delayed, my apologies) old pictures post I decided to dive into the warmth of the local boozer. Brownhills and Walsall Wood have had many hostelries over the years, some long gone, some more recent casualties of a declining, fading industry. I’ve delved into the subject of the lost pub before on the blog, and I’m going to make this a two-part post as there is so much great material to be shared.
There’s an excellent community project underway on the net, cataloguing Britain’s lost drinking history, called ‘The Lost Pubs Project – it’s well worth a visit.
I’m making an appeal here to anyone reading this who has photos of recent lost inns; whilst there are many old, forgotten ones in the historical record, I have no decent images of The Wheatsheaf, The Sportsman (formerly Hunstsman), The Station Hotel, The George and Dragon (in Clayhanger), The Railway Tavern or Chester’s Wine Bar (latterly Simply Blues). I am, of course, well aware of the great collection by David Hodgkinson, but please do root through your albums and see if there are any photos of these once notable establishments. Look in the background at any otherwise unrelated pictures, maybe of weddings or whatever. This highlights a fear of mine that we’re obsessed with the pre-sixties period and completely ignoring the historical record of the last fifty years.
Please help if you can. That’s BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.
As ever, I recommend the work of the authors of the pictures included here. Please seek out their books and buy them when you are able.
I think this was possibly the second Warrener’s Arms in the series of three. I understand the first was no more than a brewhouse at a farm near the site of the later building. This one would have been intermediate, clearly different to the derelict husk of the typical thirties building decaying unloved today. The name comes from the hunting warren on Ogley Hay, where rabbits were kept for sport, hence Warren Place and Warrenhouse Farm, upon whose traditional land the Staffordshire Hoard was found. Taken from ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’ by Clarice Mayo & Geoff Harrington.
Find out more about the lost pub ‘The Warreners Arms’ and its convoluted planning history
There are several old, lost pubs along the Lichfield Road between Brownhills and Lichfield. There’s The Red White and Blue, at Springhill, now a private house. I’ve had several involved debates about the location of The Fighting Cocks, believed to be a farm brewhouse, in Cartersfield Lane. I previously documented the demolished Royal Oak at Pipehill, and this one, The Old Leopard, stands at the foot of Sandhills. This photo, from Geograph, is taken by John M who has this to say: This former hostelry is now a private house. It was once owned by the Lichfield Brewery who acquired it in 1864. My relative Edward Ball and his wife Hannah James were living here in 1901. He was listed as being an Underground Coal Miner (Hewer) and Licensed Victualler. A small sign on the building suggests that it ceased to be a pub in 1911.
Check out the story of The Lost Pub of Pipehill
This is the first time I’ve really thought about The Woodman, and I know very little about it. Something about the caption doesn’t quite ring right, but I can’t put my finger on it. Do you have anything to add? Taken from ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’ by Clarice Mayo & Geoff Harrington.
Yet another house I wasn’t aware of before I started this blog. The history of it is unknown to me beyond the caption – but surely there’s much to be remembered here relating to the site; The Watersplash and later Barons Court were both on this spot. Taken from ‘Memories of Old Walsall Wood’ by Bill Mayo and John Sale.
I’m very interested in The Jolly Collier. I’ve never really met anyone who drank there regularly. I remember the post box in the front wall, and it being derelict for absolutely ages before being demolished to make way for T&S Stores extension. Taken from ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’ by Clarice Mayo & Geoff Harrington.
There’s much local fondness for the old Horse and Jockey, demolished in the nineties to make way for the current aberration. It was a legendarily hard house, known for its no-nonsense regulars and basic conditions. Taken from ‘Memories of Old Walsall Wood’ by Bill Mayo and John Sale.