Cutting down the Oak?

Image supplied by reader Howmuch? of the Walsall ‘Register of Beerhouses’ entry for the Royal Oak, Walsall Wood

Readers anticipating the next instalment of the Royal Oak story – the lost pub in Bullings Heath – could be forgiven for thinking I’d forgotten the subject, but nothing could be further from the truth. At the moment, I’m just fitting in what I can, when I can, and the next part should appear in the next (mumble) few days.

In the meantime, [Howmuch?] has been doing what he does best – rooting through the historical archives and other resources – to see what he can find. Blowing the dust from the Walsall Register of Beerhouses, he notes the above page relating to The Royal Oak.

  • First entry 10th February 1919, on-premises licence granted for beer and wine.
  • Owner listed then as The Lichfield Brewery Co. Ltd., of Lichfield.
  • Licensee Alfred Read.
  • 13th February 1923, licensee becomes John Edward Vincent.
  • Last entry appears to be 18th March 1927.
  • The page is ‘struck through’ to indicate premises closure.

This doesn’t mean the pub didn’t exist before 1919, by the way, just that this book doesn’t record dates before then.

The opposite page of the same book. Click for a larger version. Wonder what happened? Picture kindly supplied by Howmuch?

On the opposite page is a footnote which (I think, please correct me if I’m wrong) states:

Referred to compensation authority, 1927

Then, in another hand:

At the principal meeting of the Compensation (?) Authority on the 19th July 1927 the renewal of the licence was refused.

And again, another clerk:

Notice received from the Clerk of the Compensation Authority on 30/11/27 that this licence (provisionally renewed) would expire on 31 Dec 1927 and that compensation money would be paid on the 24th December 1927.

No clue is given for the refusal of the licence.

This is really, really interesting and I thank [Howmuch?] for his continued and wonderful contributions to this ongoing story. As I say, look out for the next instalment in the next couple of days.

In the meantime, contribute if you fancy by commenting here or BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.


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  • pedro

    The Royal Oak seems to have existed in 1899 when an Inquest was held there on a case of drowning. (Lichfield Mercury)

  • Andy Dennis

    Presumably the compensation is because the lease was being terminated?

  • David Evans

    HI Pedro
    I wonder what circumstances led to the termination? Had Beer Houses been “phased out” some years before this date? An interesting point you have raised…many thanks,

  • Edwina.

    What beautiful handwriting, how lovely to look at books containing such interesting articles. Wonder what they’ll be doing in future years when looking up local history and such, don’t think it will have such the impact as all personality will be lost on “computers”. But you can just imagine the person writing this book in his Ebenezer Scrooge outfit can’t you. Wonderful interesting stuff yet again lads ….

  1. Yew could be right… « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  August 18, 2012

    […] thought I’d also point out that ‘The Compensation Authority’ discussed previously in the article relating to The Royal Oak at Bullings Heath existed to compensate those landlords […]

  2. The Royal Oak, Bullings Heath: Explorations in local history « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  August 26, 2012

    […] you haven’t already, it’s worth reading the first instalment of this story, the later discovery of the licensing record by [Howmuch?], as well as more general stuff about the Bullings Heath area of Walsall Wood. The former Royal Oak […]

  3. Conundra arising | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  November 18, 2012

    […] history wonk [Howmuch?] have been through the records we have access to, and can’t find a licensing record for a pub or beer house at this location. That’s not to say it didn’t exist; what was there may have been listed elsewhere, […]


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