An Illustrated History of Old Sutton in St.Helens

Part 32 (of 77)  -  Pubs and Beerhouses in Sutton & Bold Part 1

Researched & Written by Stephen Wainwright  ©MMXIV    Contact Me
Header image:  Regulars pose for a photograph at the old Clock Face Inn
Go Direct to A-Z of Sutton & Bold Pubs  |  Off Licences  |  Breweries
Introduction - On November 21st, 1855, Rev. Carr, the vicar of St.Helens parish church, addressed a public meeting at the Town Hall and called for the creation of a temperance and teetotal league, so that St.Helens would become a town "remarkable for its hatred of all intoxicating liquors" (Liverpool Mercury 23/11/1855). The cleric failed miserably in his aim and in 1884 Superintendent Johnson reported to the borough licensing committee that there were a total of two hundred and ninety-two public houses and beerhouses within St.Helens.

In 1891 the temperance movement fought back and a petition was handed to the licensing committee signed by twenty-two St.Helens clergymen. They argued that there were far too many licensed houses for the population of the town and they demanded a reduction. They were especially concerned about beerhouses and the clerics hired a solicitor to argue that fourteen of them should not have their licences renewed. The Chief Constable of St.Helens,
James Wood, informed the committee that a total of 1354 people out of a population of 71,200 had been summoned for drunkenness during the last year. However, the vicars' petition was rejected by the magistrates, who were chaired by Col. David Gamble and included Sutton's Arthur Sinclair, as none of the beerhouse keepers had infringed their licences.

James Wood Chief Constable of St.Helens Borough
Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, was responsible for putting the Beerhouse Act of 1830 on the statute list, keen to curb the rise of gin consumption and bypass local magistrates. Prior to the Act, drinking houses were either taverns or inns. In taverns you only ate and drank but inns also offered lodgings to travellers and could stay open as long as there was an empty bed.

Beerhouses were mainly small, converted private dwellings and owners had simply to pay two guineas to the Excise in order to sell beer and cider to the general public from within their property. In 1834 the opening hours for beerhouses within the Prescot division, which included Sutton, were 6am to 9pm from March to September. During the winter months, the hours were 7am to 9pm with the Sunday and Christmas / Easter opening times being 4pm to 8pm.

Later legislation placed newly-opened beerhouses under the control of local authorities, who tightly regulated them along with the public houses. The latter were able to sell wine and spirits and were managed by publicans / licensed victuallers whilst beerhouses were run by keepers or beersellers.

Young drinker outside the Clock Face pub
The borough licensing committees of around eight to twelve magistrates considered existing licence renewals plus new applications. In 1884 ten St.Helens publicans and nine beersellers were on the committee's "blacklist" for infringing their licence. Also in that year it was revealed that there were more licensed premises in Sutton per head of population than in any of the other St.Helens districts, with Superintendent Johnson informing the committee that there was a licensed house for every 310 persons in Sutton.

As well as drinking places being classified by the licensing committee as public houses or beerhouses, there was a third category of off-licences. These were often known as 'grocers licences' and could be off-beer and/or spirit and/or wine licences. During the last 20 years of the 19th century, the numbers of beer and public houses in St.Helens were roughly equal (about 140 each) with only 7 or 8 grocers holding wine and spirit licences.

Chief Constable Wood proactively dealt with any infringements of the rules by all categories of licence-holders. Common offences committed were supplying drink to a drunken man, selling adulterated whisky and permitting drunkenness or gambling on the premises. Licence holders were even prosecuted for serving alcohol to police constables on duty!

Throughout the 1890s, there was a gradual reduction in the number of licensed places in St.Helens. In an editorial dated February 8th 1898, the St.Helens Newspaper claimed that magistrates on the licensing committee had for several years "never hesitated to take any legitimate opportunity which has offered itself to reduce the facilities for drinking in the borough." The annual licensing renewal days were seen as opportunities to quash the licenses of those who had broken the rules and new licenses weren't available "either for love or money".

On September 2nd 1890, builder
Peter Tickle, who also had 15 years experience as a publican, applied for a new licence. He was going to build a new pub at a cost of £2,500 at the corner of Watery Lane and Normans Road. St.Helens Corporation had approved his building plans and he had a number of supporters, but his application was rejected. There was a desire to reduce the number of pubs and beerhouses in the town, not build new ones. The Licensing Acts of 1904 and 1910 introduced compensation for pub owners and licensees. This was payable when the licensing magistrates decided that their houses were unnecessary and it also served as an inducement for the surrendering of licenses. This was paid for by a levy on all licenses, which in St.Helens came to £3000 per year. It was under this scheme that the Chester Lane Tavern and Crown Inn in Peasley Cross, amongst others, closed their doors.

This page will attempt to document all public / beer and off-licensed houses that have been situated in Sutton and its outlying areas. Please
contact me if you can supply further information and / or photographs. Thank you!   Stephen Wainwright
Also See The Following Articles:
Sutton Tragedy 2 - When The Dead Went To The Pub! – Coroners Inquests in Old Sutton;
Memories of Sutton 5 -
The Rolling Mill Tavern and the Junction Inn by Alan McDermott

A- L of Sutton and Bold Public Houses & Beer Houses   |    M-Z
Alexander Vaults - 58 Crossley Road, West Sutton - Licensee in 1882 was Richard Seddon. Wine and spirits delivery man Peter Street was charged with stealing money from the Vaults in February of that year after sending a barmaid down to the cellar to look for empties. Street was cleared of the charge after his defence solicitor argued that the case for the prosecution simply rested on the evidence of two girls. - The landlord in 1891 was James Ashton -

Alexandra Hotel - 14 Fisher Street, (off Peckers Hill Road) - Thomas L. Williams surrendered the licence to Thomas Lunt in December 1871 and it was transferred from Lunt to Edward Westhead in July 1877, who was publican for over 30 years. - In April 1899 landlord Westhead was prosecuted for allowing gambling on his premises and was fined 20 shillings. - Closed 7th March 1932

Alma Vaults - 29 Peasley Cross Lane - Not to be confused with pubs in Duke Street, Liverpool Road and Eccleston - John Peel was the beerhouse keeper in 1881 - Closed 11th February 1922 -

The Beehive Inn at 268 Berry's Lane in Moss Nook, Sutton
The Beehive Inn which was situated at 268 Berry's Lane in Moss Nook, Sutton

Boars Head, 675 Elton Head Road, St.Helens
Beehive Inn - 268 Berry's Lane, Moss Nook - licence transferred in March 1891 from William Jones to David Chenney - On Boxing Day 1894, David Parry of Parr Stocks Road was fined ten shillings for stealing a duck from the Beehive Inn, the property of landlord Michael Bryan - In May 1895 the licence was transferred from Michael Bryan to Jane Bryan -

Black Horse - 5 Greenough Street, Peasley Cross 200 yards from St.Joseph's Church - James Rowe was listed as Beer House Keeper in the 1881 census - The licence was transferred from Rowe to Elisha Leigh Blake in July 1892 and then in December of that year to Harry Knight - In January 1898 Peter Rafter was denied an application for a temporary licence to replace Harry Knight as landlord. Chief Constable Wood objected, telling the magistrates that Rafter was a "betting man". It was alleged that three months earlier he had helped a gang of Manchester "betting men and racehorse thieves" who had worked a sting on St.Helens bookmakers. They'd had a man at the Post Office and through "some telephonic communication" had obtained race results and then quickly made bets with the bookies. - Closed 1908 -

Bold Arms - Bold Heath - Referred to in a Leeds Intelligencer article of January 9th 1787 which described how its honest keeper had discovered the sum of two guineas and a half in gold in one of his beds. This had been accidentally left by a traveller. Although the guest had departed, the landlord managed to return the money to him. - In May 1873 the licence was transferred from Robert Rogers to Peter Golden - The Bold Arms Hotel was also mentioned in a Liverpool Mercury article of July 17th 1883 about the Liverpool Amateur Bicycle Club's annual championship race which took place between the Red Lion Hotel, Rainhill and the Bold Arms - On February 4th 1908 permission was granted to erect a new Clock Face Hotel in place of the existing inn on condition that Messrs. Greenall gave up the Bold Arms and the Bottle and Glass in Eccleston which the company agreed to. -

Boars Head - 675 Elton Head Road, Sutton Heath (formerly Mill Lane) - Research by Paul Allen has revealed that the Boars Head originally had a holding cell for use by the local constables. Their prisoners were held in the cell pending transport to the Raven Inn in St.Helens, where there was a larger holding cell that prisoners occupied prior to being placed before the local magistrates. Paul believes that the Boars Head is one of the oldest buildings in St Helens and could be as old as 1640-60. It was certainly in existence during the 1700s, according to the Michael Hughes letters and colliery records. - Joseph Large was licensee in 1800 - During the 1840s & '50s, the Sutton Heath Dancing Club held their annual ball at the Boars Head - Peter Webster licensee in 1850 - Listed in Worrall's Directory of 1871 - The licence was transferred in April 1875 from John Woodward to William Henry Sharples who was fined £2 in August 1882 for selling adulterated spirits. - William Sharples was still licensee in 1891 - John Knight publican in 1901 census -

The Boilermakers, Sutton, St.Helens pictured in the 1960s when 'Big Jack' Arkwright was in charge
The Boilermaker's in the 1960s - note Bold power station tower on the right – contributed by Dave Latham

Boilermaker's Arms - 30 Hoghton Road / Norman's Road (in 1901 & 1911 census as 96 Hoghton Road) - In August 1882 licensee Catherine Makin was charged with selling drink during prohibited hours, but the summons against her was dismissed. - In September 1890 and again in September 1892, an application by Alfred Hardy to convert his beerhouse licence to a full licence was refused. It was stated in '92 that a new pub was about to be built on the same site. - On January 19th 1891, landlord Alfred Hardy, who was also a coal miner, was fined £2 by Coroner Samuel Brighouse for refusing to participate on an inquest jury. - In August 1893, an application to make alterations to the premises was again refused by the licensing committee. - In November 1897 William Donnellan was fined 5 shillings for being disorderly and refusing to leave the Boilermaker's when asked by landlord Alfred Hardy. He was still the licensee in 1902 when he then had eight children. Hardy gave evidence at the murder trial of James Shaw after Michael Noonan was shot on August 5th of that year after a row in the Boilermakers. - Hardy's son Billy, who was born in the pub c. 1897, claimed to have drunk beer there from the age of five. He became a preacher at the Methodist Chapel in Herbert Street and then the Emmanuel Mission where he preached against the evils of drink. - Bessie and Edward Armitstead ran the pub early in the 20th century and are listed in the 1911 census - Nicknamed 'Arky's' or 'Arkie's'. The monicker was as a result of a customer named Arkwright who kept a regular slate at the pub and one day, unable to pay his debt, had a big argument with the Armitsteads over it. In more recent times, rugby league legend Jack Arkwright kept the Boilermakers and it has also been suggested that the pub was nicknamed after him. 'Big Jack' played rugby league for Warrington and for St.Helens and was the grandfather of Chris Arkwright who played for Saints from 1978–1990. Dave Latham writes to this website:

  Jack Arkwright was the landlord when I was working at the Rolling Mill during the 1960s. He was a giant of a man with a pock marked nose and cauliflower ears. As well as the beer and meat pies (Pimblett's I seem to remember), he was very progressive and had a juke box. We lads used to go there when a new number 1 Mersey Beat was released, especially the Beatles. I remember him telling me off after I played "Love Me Do" five times, one after the other. The Christmas shut down was especially great. We finished work at 12 and went up the pub and some of the office and lab girls would join us. I got so drunk once my Dad had to come and collect me and I was ill all over Christmas!   

Boilermakers Arms, Sutton, St.Helens
The Boilermaker Arms known as 'Arkies' in Hoghton Road photographed in June 2006

death excessivive drinking newspaper cutting

Boundary Vaults - 73 Bold Road - Listed in Worrall's Directory of 1871 - On September 23rd, 1874 labourer John Dixon of "Pecker's-hill" died of "excessive drinking of whisky" after entering the pub already drunk then gulping down half a pint of whisky followed by a gill. "Immediately afterwards he fell down insensible" reported the Liverpool Mercury (25/9/1874) - Joseph Greenough licensee in 1891, declared bankrupt in October 1895. Carl Boddy has written to this website to say: "My great-grandfather was Joseph Greenough on my mums side. My mum used to say that her granddad was a drunken old sot who used to drink the pub dry, regularly. That probably explains why he went bankrupt in 1895."

Henry Leather took over in 1896 and was still the publican in 1901 - On June 4th 1898, Mary Welsh of Neil's Row, Bold appeared in court charged with stealing a tumbler from the Boundary Vaults. She was caught with it in her possession but claimed that the bag she was carrying did not belong to her and she was given the benefit of the doubt by magistrates. - On December 21st 1914 licensee Eliza Leather was fined £2 for serving after hours. She claimed in court that she'd been "stormed" by Bold Colliery miners coming off the late shift who'd just been paid and wanted drink - Gladys Sutton was licensee in the 1920s - Renamed 'The Sutton Oak' around 1990 despite not being within the Sutton Oak district - In August 2006 it won the CAMRA Pub of the Year award for best pub within the Liverpool district - The Sutton Oak closed c. 2009 -

The Bowling Green Inn at 220 Watery Lane in Moss Nook
The Bowling Green Inn at 220 Watery Lane in Moss Nook - not to be confused with the Robins Lane inn

Bowling Green Inn - 220 Watery Lane, Moss Nook - In 1873 the licence was transferred from Thomas Peers to James Bullen - Thomas Whalley publican in 1891 - In December 1892 the licence was transferred from John Arrowsmith to Charles Green who moved from the Manor Arms - On February 7th 1893 the Liverpool Mercury reported that the Bowling Green had been refused a new music licence but no reason was given - John Thomas Addison granted licence in 1894 - The inn was put up for sale by auction in April 1896 and then covered 2506 square yards including the bowling green, outbuildings and a cottage at the rear. Charles Green was again the licensee and in July 1897 he successfully applied to sell beer at four places at the highly popular Newton Races - Licensee in 1911 was Mr. Keenan - Closed 9th July 2006 -

Bowling Green Inn, Sutton St.Helens
The original Bowling Green Inn in Robins Lane - contributed by Brenda Macdonald

Bowling Green Inn - 125 Robins Lane (no. 93 in 1881 census) - During the 1870s five individuals with the Christian name of James were landlords. This series began in October 1873 when the licence was transferred from Thomas Peers to James Bullen. - In August 1876 the licence was transferred from Thomas James Kelson to James Lawler and then to James Parker in July 1877. In August 1878 the licence was transferred from Charles Turner to James Millward and then to James Birchall, who was recorded as the licensee in the 1881 census. - On May 14th 1883, Alfred Golden applied for the temporary transfer of the licence from Birchall. Superintendent Johnson told the Bench that there was an objection to the application as Golden had married his wife while her first husband was serving 5 years in prison for stealing a horse. She had re-married bigamously while apparently believing that her husband was dead. As Golden’s character was considered good, his application was allowed. - James Grice was publican in 1891 and his licence was transferred in 1894 to John Addison - On Saturday night February 4th 1899, elderly Irishman John Matthews entered the Bowling Green drunk and was ordered out by John Addison. In revenge he smashed a window, for which he was fined £1 and costs in St.Helens Police Court and ordered to pay for the damage. - Alfred Hunter was 'licensed victualler' in 1901 and 1911 census - Mr. Baines was licensee c.1930 - Brenda Macdonald writes to this website from Sydney, Australia: "Mum's school friend Margaret Baines was the daughter of the licensee and although Mum was never allowed in the front door of the pub (only children who lived there were allowed), the girls used to play on the footpath outside the pub door, which is now fenced off, and were given milk to drink on hot days."

Bridge Inn / Tavern - 37 Sutton Road, Peasley Cross near Gaskell Street and the railway bridge. It was said to have been single storey and painted blue and white and was known for having chained monkeys in its back yard. The Bridge was nicknamed 'The Station', apparently due to its close proximity to Peasley Cross Station. - William Newton was licensee in 1861 - Collier John Pickavance was licensee in 1881 - In August 1882 the licence was transferred from Thomas Rigby to George Milne - In July 1884 the Bedford Brewing and Malting Company of Leigh advertised the Bridge Inn beerhouse in the Liverpool Echo offering "low rent; immediate possession". - In October 1884 licence transferred from Joseph Parr to Thomas Halton - in May 1900 licence transferred from Henry Bickerstaffe to Alfred Smith who was still licensee in 1911 - John 'Jack' Ashton was both publican and undertaker - In March 1914 Frederick John Frost of 4 Orrell Street was fined 20 shillings for stealing from the Bridge Inn's till. He was the boyfriend of Ashton's step-daughter and was spotting stealing by Mrs. Ashton. She had concealed herself in the cellar in order to watch the till after money had gone missing. When John Ashton called for the police, Frost bolted over a back wall. - In January 1926 Ashton was made bankrupt. It was revealed at his examination that he was owed £624 for his services as an undertaker from poor people unable to pay for funerals. - Closed 10th August 1929 and became the site of Peasley Cross Labour Club -

Broad Oak - The sole reference to this pub is in a Liverpool Mercury report of April 15th, 1873: "The license of the Broad Oak, Sutton, was temporarily transferred from William Pilling to William Roberts." -

Brynn-y-Fillin - Watery Lane (formerly Brynn-y-Fillin road, Moss Nook) - James Yates Jnr. recorded as taking over the licence from Ann Ingleby in 1892 -

Bull & Dog Inn - 2 Clock Face Road - Listed as the Bull & Bitch Inn in the 1881 census - John Greenhaugh was the licensee in 1800, James Lyon in 1881, Thomas Brown in 1891 - The licence was transferred in April 1893 to Mary Brown who was still there in 1901 - Tom Jones held it in 1914 -

 A group of bowlers at the Bull & Dog Inn, Sutton, St.Helens c.1914
Bowlers at the Bull & Dog c.1914. L to R standing: John 'Scotty' Lamb (wounded / POW in WW1); Bill Bannister
(wounded on Somme 1916 ); L to R seated: Joe Smart (champion runner); Joe Bannister (killed at the
Somme 26/4/1917); Tom Jones (landlord); Bill Round; Harry Ashton; H. Brown - contributed by Jim Lamb
     The Bull & Dog pictured in 1963 by the old Marshalls Cross Road bridge in St.Helens
The Bull & Dog pictured in 1963 by the old Marshalls Cross Road bridge - contributed by Jim Lamb

     
The Bull & Dog pictured in 1988 in St.Helens
By the time this picture was taken 25 years later, the Bull & Dog had had a makeover - contributed by Jim Lamb

Tom Austin and James Bud Lamb enjoying a pint at the Bull & Dog, Sutton, St.Helens during the 1960s.
Tom Austin of 293 Mill Lane and James 'Bud' Lamb of 7 Chester Lane enjoying a pint in the
Bull & Dog in 1952 after finishing work at Roughdales brick works - contributed by Jim Lamb

Bulls Head Inn - 13 Worsley Brow - In December 1871 the licence was transferred from Ann Cully to Joseph Hope who was still licensed victualler in 1881 - Ann Hope licensee in 1891 - In February 1895 the licence was transferred from William Clare to John Kane - In November 1899 from F. Sutton to John Brown -

Chester Lane Tavern - 14 Chester Lane - Samuel Harrison was licensee from 1874 and he and his wife Jane kept it until 1900. In 1884 Samuel was placed on the licensing 'blacklist' for breaches of his licence - On January 17th, 1894, the Liverpool Mercury reported that Thomas Howard of 147 Appleton Street had appeared at St.Helens Police Court the previous day, charged with stealing five meat pies valued at 10d. The lad had entered the Chester Lane Tavern, found it to be seemingly empty and then "took off his clogs, crept behind the counter, and helped himself to a plate of meat pies". He was given six strokes with the birch - On February 6th 1900, 65-years-old licensee Jane Harrison died under unusual circumstances. On December 27th 1899, two boys were fighting in Chester Lane. The mother of one boy ran towards the pair and accidentally collided with Mrs. Harrison who was knocked down and fractured her thigh. Pneumonia then set in and she expired despite the efforts of Dr. Casey. In May the beerhouse's licence was transferred to daughter Mary Jane Harrison and then in November 1900 to J. T. Greenall - Mr. Rennie kept it in 1911 - In April 1915 the licence was transferred to George Ashcroft who was permitted to continue working at Roughdales Pottery until the end of the war - Closed 16th July 1919 under the compensation scheme -

Church Inn - The Liverpool Mercury of August 15th 1871 mentions in a report of St.Helens licence transfers that the Church Inn, Sutton had passed from Thomas Woodward to Ann Woodward -

Clock Face Inn (1st) - Clock Face Road near the railway station - Thomas Grace was the licensee on records dated 1800 but it is believed to date back further, probably as a coaching inn - On an 1842 Tithe map it is registered as a public house and smithy - William Bromilow was the landlord from the 1860s to the 1880s - Bold Estate owner William Whitacre Tipping, locally known as 'Squire' Tipping, owned the inn around this time. - On March 14th 1887, Warrington footballer John Beddard was fined £2 for stealing three candlesticks from the Clock Face Inn. The licensee then was Mary Bromilow. - In February 1894 the licence was transferred from Elizabeth Colquitt to Richard Colquitt - Henry Hibbert was licensee when the photograph below was taken - In February 1903 the inn with gardens, land and outbuildings were put up for sale. Advertisements described the "Total area, including the site of the buildings and one-half in width of the intended new street, 3,595 square yards or thereabouts". - On February 4th 1908, landlord James Naylor applied to the licensing hearings of St.Helens Corporation to build a new house in place of the existing inn. The expanding colliery at Clock Face and the pit presently being sunk at Sutton Manor were cited as the reasons for a new public house with hundreds of thirsty pitmen requiring liquid refreshment. The Bench granted permission providing Messrs. Greenall gave up the Bold Arms and the Bottle and Glass beerhouse in Burrows Lane, Eccleston, which the company agreed to. -

The Clock Face Inn, St.Helens
The original Clock Face Inn in Clock Face Road which was then run by Henry Hibbert

The Clock Face Inn, St.Helens
Another view of the original Clock Face Inn - a smithy is probably on the left - contributed by Susan Davies

Clock Face Hotel (2nd) - Clock Face Road - Opened 1909 - H. Trowill was licensee during the 1930s with L. Trowill listed in an advertisement for the pub in the 1950 programme for the Clock Face Colliery Athletics Sports. The advert had the strapline 'The House Where Sportsmen Gather.' - James Lawrence Snr., the owner of Clock Face Crisps, left £100 in his will to the staff of the pub when he died in March 1985 -

Clock Face Hotel advert in the 1931 programme for the foundation stone laying of St. Theresa's RC Church plus modern-day pub sign
Advert in the 1931 programme for the foundation stone laying of St. Theresa's RC Church plus modern-day pub sign


Coppersmiths Arms - 296 Watery Lane - Beerhouse keeper Peter Lees who'd been licensee since 1892, appeared in court in 1896 charged with being drunk on his own licensed premises. He was arrested by Sergeant Jackson on 4th July after celebrating the festival of the Rose Queen in Sutton but the case was dismissed - Licensee in 1911 was Mr. Garner - Ian Jones writes "The Coppersmiths Arms was known locally when I was there from the 1940s to the 1960s as 'Bobby Garner's' (or Gardners). It was the very first pub I had a pint in. I notice in the photo on your site that the door is to the left, originally it was in the middle of the front of the building where the arched window is shown." - The Coppersmiths was one of the three last remaining beerhouses in St.Helens. It was granted a full licence after modernisation. -


The Coppersmiths pub Sutton, St.Helens
The Coppersmiths pictured in the mid-1970s – contributed by Dave Latham

The Coppersmiths in Watery Lane, Sutton, St.Helens pictured in the mid-1970s
The Coppersmiths in Watery Lane pictured in the mid-1970s – contributed by Dave Latham

The Coppersmiths in Watery Lane, Sutton, St.Helens pictured in 1984
How the Coppersmiths pub looked about 1984/5 – contributed by Dave Latham

Crown Inn / Vaults - 28 Clock Face Road (Chester Lane in 1891 census) - Enoch Austin obtained the licence in October 1884 from Thomas Griffith after the beerhouse had been placed on the licensing 'blacklist' for breaking the law. On July 5th, Police Sergeant Sheriff had found Griffith drunk and staggering about his bar and had to help him to his bed. He was subsequently fined 10 shillings. - The licence was transferred from Enoch to Joseph Austin in March 1891 - Samuel Holden was licensee in the 1901 census - In December 1905 the licence was transferred from L. J. Holden to Garton W. Taylor. His representative told the licensing sessions that Taylor would not be devoting the whole of his time to the Crown, as it “would not keep him”. Col. W. W. Pilkington said that if a house would not keep the tenant, it was not worth keeping open. However as the beerhouse was “in the country”, the magistrates would approve the transfer. Taylor was listed in the 1911 census - closed 31st December 1930 -

Crown Inn - Beerhouse at 99 Peasley Cross Lane, in between Manor Street and Greenough Street - In November 1899 the licence was transferred from Thomas Atherton to Thomas Bridge - Mr. Foster in 1911 - On December 11th 1916 the licence was briefly transferred to Ann Foster until the Crown's closure "under compensation". - Closed 13th January 1917

George Parr bankruptcy 1865
Crystal Palace - 72 Waterdale Crescent (originally Ditch Hillock) - Located on the eastern side, just before the road joined Robins Lane. It was only the size of a terraced house and part of a block of buildings. - George Parr was beerseller in 1855 and made the Liverpool Mercury of September 28th when his black Spanish hen laid extra-large eggs of 63/8 inches in circumference. He made the paper again on May 31st 1860 when his "handsome white poodle dog" was decapitated by the wheels of a train while crossing the railway line. In 1865 Parr was declared bankrupt, a fate that occurred to a number of licensees. - The Bullocks ran the Crystal Palace in 1891 with James transferring the licence to Mary Bullock in March 1891. The Bullock's were still there in 1911 - When brewers Greenall Whitley asked for permission in the late 1930s to open the new Wheatsheaf pub in Mill Lane, it was made a condition that three existing pubs should close. These were the Crystal Palace, Engine and Tender and the first Wheatsheaf in Lionel Street.   (see Wheatsheaf entries for more details) - Closed 12th January, 1935

Dog and Gun - Ell Bess Lane - beerhouse listed in the 1871 census with James Marsh as beerhouse keeper. His son Peter was landlord in 1881 - the censuses suggest that it was located next to the Ell Bess Arms (see photo in Ell Bess Arms entry) -

Elephant Inn - Edward Bromilow, licensee in 1800 -

Ell Bess Arms / Hell Bess Inn - Originally in Hell Bess Lane. There were two street name changes; from the 1870s it became 206 Ell Bess Lane and then 206 Sherdley Road from 1902 - According to the St.Helens Newspaper of 1/4/1938, it used to be kept by a Betty or Bess Seddon "whose vigour in keeping unruly customers in order was such that she was given the name of Hell Bess" - The Brownbill family ran the beerhouse during the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1851 James Brownbill was the licensee, Elizabeth Brownbill in the 1861 census and their son James in 1871. Elizabeth Brownbill took over the licence again in December 1876 from her son and James's widow Rosanna Brownbill was licensee in the 1881 census. - In February 1894 the licence was transferred from Rosanna to Henry Johnson - Mary Cosgrove licensee in 1911 - Closed March 8th 1938 although still listed on the Ordnance Survey map of 1960 - The Ell Bess garage took over the site, which was purchased c.1962/3 by Arthur Roby and Cliff Withenshaw. The latter had previously owned the 'Sutton Bug' cinema. The foundations of the Ell Bess pub were still visible for some years. - Also see this article here -

The Ell Bess Arms c.1900, formerly Hell Bess Inn
Ell Bess Arms c.1900, probably on the right with the old Dog and Gun on the left - contributed by Allan Isaacs


Engine and Tender - Leach Lane / Reginald Road, Sutton Leach - It was set back on the north side from Reginald Road and on the west side of the railway line, close to the bridge. The old Abbotsfield Road that linked Leach Hall with Bold Hall came up the south side of the Hall and passed in front of the Engine and Tender. When the railway and Reginald Road was built, Abbotsfield Road was relegated south of Reginald Road to a footpath (source Chris Coffey). - The Engine and Tender served as both a farm house for Leach Hall Farm and a public house - In 1884 Jacob Wood was placed on the licensing 'blacklist' for breaches of his licence - In November 1897 the licence was transferred from James Wood to Ralph Fenney - In November 1901 landlord Edward Almond was fined 10s. for being drunk on his premises after drinking in the Vulcan Inn - The Engine and Tender was renowned for gambling both on and off the premises - Closed 1st March, 1938 - last landlord and farmer was Mr. Garton who was licensee from before 1918. He was offered the new pub that was being built in Mill Lane, which was to have also been called the Engine and Tender, but turned it down (see Wheatsheaf and Crystal Palace entries for more details) -

Engine - John Bromilow held the licence in 1800 -

Farmers Arms
Engine Shed Inn - 104 Baxters Lane - Named after the Sutton Oak Engine Sheds nearby which maintained and stored locomotives. - The licence was transferred in August 1881 from Ralph Talbot to Paul Rigby. - John Thomas Addison was granted licence of the beerhouse in 1891 from John Pennington, George Shaw licensee in 1894 and John Morris - who was also a joiner - became licensee in 1895 and was still there in 1901 -

Farmers Arms - 1 Bold Road at its junction with Normans Lane - From the late 1870s it was managed by the Tinsley family. John Tinsley died in 1877 and his wife Ann became publican/beer seller until she died in 1895. By 1901 their son John had taken over as licensee (thanks to Chris Carson for the details) - Owners Greenall Whitley were given permission to make alterations to the pub in November 1894 - During the 1940s / early '50s 'Nellie' Brown held the licence and from 1970 to 1972 the Farmers Arms was run by Oz Atherton and his wife Christina.

George and Dragon - Peasley Cross Lane - William Duxburry licensee in 1891 -

Glasshouse Tavern - 70? Watery Lane - In July 1878 the Glasshouse was offered for sale by auction - In August 1878 the licence was transferred from Thomas Brown to Job Heath -

glassmakers arms, sutton, sthelens
Glassmakers Arms - 22 Waterdale Crescent (originally 22 Ditch Hillock) - Opened around 1860 - In April 1874 licence transferred from Peter Sephton to Robert Bridge who was also a builder and Bridge was declared bankrupt in 1880 - In October 1884 licence transferred from William Spencer to George Brown - In 1891 census the listed publican was James Bath - On February 7th, 1894 a "respectably-dressed middle-aged man" drank a pint of beer at the Glassmakers then went out back to an outhouse where he cut his throat; the Liverpool Mercury (8/2/1894) reported that it was "dreadfully cut from ear to ear" - In November 1900 Thomas Thomley was appointed licensee and he was succeeded in December 1905 by Charles Cawley, who was the listed publican in the 1911 census. - Ernie Middlehurst was licensee from c.1944 to 1965 - An article in the St.Helens Reporter of October 6th, 1972 claimed that Londoners who'd moved to Sutton to work for Sidac had taken a shine to the Glassmakers Arms and had given it their own pet name:
  A new influx of "Cockney" office workers at British Sidac has taken to the Glassmakers Arms, in Waterdale Crescent, as a lunchtime local. Spotting the new facelifting job - including stylish stucco-type rough plaster walls (in proud Tudor fashion) they promptly dubbed it: The BLIND PLASTERER.  

Glassmakers, Sutton, St.Helens 1900
The Glassmakers Arms in Waterdale Crescent pictured around 1900

Annie and Ernest Middlehurst at the Glassmakers Arms, Sutton, St.Helens

Tap Room of the Glassmakers Arms, Sutton, St.Helens in 1965
Tap Room of the Glassmakers Arms, 1965 from L to R: 1) Tommy Spencer, railway shunter who travelled by autocycle; 2) Unknown; 3) Ernie Middlehurst - landlord - one of the last of the old school - Jack Walker of Coronation Street could have been modelled on him; 4) Enoch Westhead and 5) Jimmy(?) Westhead (Contributed and comments by Ken Whittaker)

glassmakers arms sign, sutton, sthelens

Golden Cross / Golden Ball - 5 Church Street / Woodcock Street, 'Pudding Bag' - Tom Woodcock was said to have been the first landlord of the Golden Ball pub. It has been claimed that when the street changed its name to Woodcock Street in 1902, it was renamed after him. - The pub itself was renamed The Golden Cross because it was usually the first port of call for people leaving the 11am Sunday Mass at neighbouring St.Anne’s church - Joseph Topping was publican in 1881 and his licence was transferred in December 1882 to Thomas Archer. In 1884 Archer was placed on the licensing 'blacklist' for breaches of his licence - Samuel Cox was the licensee in 1889 - Peter Almond was licensee in 1911 - Ann Foster licensee in the early 1930s with Louise Holland mine host in 1935 - later Louise Hunter. Another landlord was William Coakley. - It's said that St Anne's football team, with a priest as their trainer, sometimes changed at the Golden Cross. - The last licensee was said to be Mick Caulfield although another source says Joe Holland. Mr. Caulfield had a couple of geese that roamed around the front of the pub and chased anyone who came close. - Closed mid-sixties and demolished early '70s -

Golden Cross pub, Pudding Bag, Sutton, St.Helens
The Golden Cross pub in Woodcock Street, formerly Church Street, 'Pudding Bag', Sutton

Green Dragon - Gartons Lane, Sutton Manor - Ken Highcock in Whalley’s World in the St.Helens Star described the early 1950s when his mother worked at the Green Dragon. He said the sawdust on the floor in the bar area was swept clean every day and spittoons were emptied and polished ready for the opening-time rush from the miners at Sutton Manor Colliery - Bill Fisher used to play the organ at the pub - The Green Dragon had an amateur Rugby League team, which in 1975 were admitted to the North West Counties Division 3. - In 1983 landlady Sandra Dickenson organised many events and collections which raised £1000 for a fund for 13-years-old bone cancer sufferer Joanne Birch. -

Green Dragon in Gartons Lane, Sutton Manor
An undated photograph of the Green Dragon in Gartons Lane, Sutton Manor

Griffin Inn - 145 /147 Peasley Cross Lane, corner with Sutton Road - The annual Sutton Township ratepayers' meetings were held in the Griffin. - Licence in 1861 was held by Martha Helsby and in August 1876 it was transferred from Mrs. Helsby to James Kay (or Ray). In March 1880 the licence was transferred from Kay to Joseph Fairhurst, a former colliery manager. - On October 15th 1884 "cripple" Adam Miller appeared in court charged with indecently assaulting 9-years-old Margaret Bickerstaffe inside the Griffin after she'd been sent by her father to get some beer. After hearing the evidence the magistrates reduced the charge to one of common assault and sentenced Miller to two months hard labour. - Henry Houghton was licensee in 1891 and 1911 and unsuccessfully stood in local elections in October 1897 as the Conservative candidate for West Sutton. Houghton was successful in other elections and retired as councillor in early 1903 through ill-health, before making a come-back on July 16th 1903 beating Liberal J. J. Bate to reclaim his seat. - Harold Burrows was mine host in recent times - "The eyesore of an empty pub was demolished in 2005, after five years of gradual dereliction. The site is being cleared to make way for new flats" (source undated St.Helens news report) -


Griffin Inn, Peasley Cross Lane, St.Helens

Griffin Inn, Peasley Cross Lane, St.Helens
The Griffin Inn at 145 /147 Peasley Cross Lane on the corner with Sutton Road

Griffin Inn a.k.a. Tipping Arms - 184 Warrington Road, Bold Heath - The Griffin is named after the legendary creature that blacksmith Robert Byrch was supposed to have stabbed to death from inside a cage. As a reward Byrch (a.k.a. Robert of the Marsh) was granted land by the king and the surname of Bold. The alternative name 'Tipping Arms' was after Bold Estate owner William Whitacre Tipping, locally known as 'Squire' Tipping. - Josiah Foden had the licence in 1800, a Miss Foden in 1825 - In May 1839 John Higginson was charged with stealing a silver watch and a silver fourpenny-piece, the property of John Nichols. This was after the intoxicated Nichols had dropped it inside the Griffin. The licensee was then Mr. Priest. - Five Farnworth weavers were charged with assaulting parochial constable Thomas Smith in the Griffin on September 9th 1844 after a fight had begun. - Advertisements were placed in March 1850 offering the inn to let, along with 16½ statute acres of grassland. - License was transferred from Charles Knee to Thomas Hutchinson in April 1874. - On January 24th 1881 Joseph Bibby was fined a total of 15s. for drunkenness and assault after PC Wilson had evicted him from the Griffin. Bibby had kicked the officer's legs from under him and knocked him down three times. - In August 1882 the licence was transferred from James Melling to Thomas Langhorn - On October 3rd 1882, 40-years-old Thomas Williams, who was said to have been "tramping" from Warrington to Liverpool and who was wearing a "hard billycock hat", drank a pint of beer in the Tipping Arms, gave three heavy groans and then dropped dead. This was at 7:20am. - In February 1903 the inn was put up for sale -

Griffin Inn in Warrington Road, Bold Heath
The Griffin Inn in Warrington Road, Bold Heath photographed in 2009

Hawk and Buck - 91 Peasley Cross Lane, corner with Manor Street - James Lawton was licensee in 1859 - Listed in Worrall's Directory of 1871 - Carpenter Samuel Ranon dropped down dead in the pub on March 10th 1877 - In August 1879 the licence was transferred from James Bate to George Houghton. In 1893 he became a director of funeral furnisher's Dixon-Fletcher, a.k.a. W. G. Dixon. - Peasley Cross Football Club had its headquarters at the Hawk and Buck. On May 7th 1898 William Rowland of 51 Ellbess Lane was fined 20 shillings for stealing a silver watch from John Bretherton who'd left it in the dressing room at the pub while he was playing at Sherdley. - Extensive alterations took place in 1899 - In February 1900 the licence was transferred from George Houghton to his brother-in-law James Cunliffe. He was sacked after a police raid on September 8th 1906, after allowing gambling on his premises. An undercover policeman had posed as a labourer to gather evidence of betting on horse racing. - In 1913 the house was owned by Ellis, Ward & Co. of Warrington. They had bought it at auction for £8500 - Demolished in early 1970s -

Hell Bess Inn - See entry above for Ell Bess Inn

Imperial Hotel / Inn - 354 Sutton Road (no. 60 in 1881 census) - Opened in 1869 as an inn under licensee James Bullen and listed in Worrall's Directory of 1871 - Richard Jones licensee in 1881 - David Jones listed as licensee in the 1891 & 1901 censuses - It was described as a beerhouse in the 1911 census and run by a Mr. McConnell - In March 1980, 800 Sutton residents signed a petition to try to stop its closure after licensee Phil Soffe was refused a new licence because of how the premises were being run -

Junction Inn - 102 Junction Lane - On September 29th 1886, Joseph Neil was committed for trial charged with indecently assaulting Jane Davies, the 13-years-old daughter of the landlord of the Junction Inn - In 1911 the landlord was William Lawrence (see photo here) - The McDermott family ran the pub for many years from 1932 - See Memories of Sutton 5 article 'The Rolling Mill Tavern and the Junction Inn' by Alan McDermott - Celebrity regulars included boxer Ernie Proudlove and footballer Bert Trautmann. In later years Gary Barlow in pre-Take That days performed twice when Billy Robinson was licensee. Son Phil writes that he tried to book Barlow for a third time but "he declined saying that he was booked on a cruise ship to meet up with some other members of a boy band he was going to be in..." -

The Junction Inn in Junction Lane, Sutton, St.Helens c.1960
The Junction Inn in Junction Lane, Sutton c.1960 - contributed by Alan McDermott

The Junction Inn in Junction Lane, Sutton, St.Helens
A view from the station of The Junction Inn in Junction Lane, Sutton - contributed by Alan McDermott

Greenall Whitley's tenancy agreement with Michael McDermott to run the Junction Inn dated June 1932
Greenall's tenancy agreement with Michael McDermott for the Junction Inn - contributed by Alan McDermott

Junction Inn St.Helens group photo
Undated photo - Thomas Fairhust is front row, first left - Can you name any others? - contributed by Julie Bligh


An undated photograph of the Junction Inn at 102 Junction Lane, Sutton

The Victoria pub sign, Sutton, St.Helens
Little Pig / Victoria Vaults - 32 Ellamsbridge Road - Officially the Victoria Vaults, it was nicknamed 'The Little Pig' as it was located close to Fletcher's slaughterhouse and it has been claimed that a landlord would accept piglets instead of cash. It was so listed on the 1881 and 1891 censuses and until 2013 the pub was unusual in bearing both names. It's now known just as The Little Pig. - The licensee was James Rainford on the 1871 census - In December 1871 the licence was transferred to Ellen Kenyon from James Kenyon. - In January 1876, William Ray and Thomas Davies were sent to prison for 12 months and 3 months respectively for stealing 30s. from the pub's till. - Licensee in 1881 and 1891 was William Almond - In July 1886 the pub was put up for auction. Adverts described the Victoria Vaults as "commodious", adding that "The premises are in a populous and improving neighbourhood, and are let to Messrs. Greenall, Whitley, & Co. Limited, until the 1st November 1888, at the low yearly rental of £42". - The pub was the home of the local Oddfellows Lodge and the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants also held their business meetings there. - In December 1905 the licence was transferred from Hannah Jane Wood to Harry Wood - Licensee in 1911 was Mr. Leadbetter - Tom and Emily Fairclough were landlord and landlady from 1955 - 1962 - In early 2013 as part of a makeover, the pub dropped the Victoria name and became exclusively The Little Pig -

victoria pub in sutton sthelens also called the little pig
The pub is pictured in 2009 when it bore its twin names 'The Victoria' and 'The Little Pig'

Tom and Emily Fairclough, landlord and landlady of The Victoria Vaults in Sutton, St.Helens 1956
Tom and Emily Fairclough, landlord and landlady of 'The Little Pig' in 1956 - Contributed by Edna Smith


Little Pig, Ellamsbridge Road, Sutton, St.Helens
Pictured in April 2013 the pub that used to be near Fletcher's slaughterhouse is now exclusively 'The Little Pig'


Little Pig pub sign, Ellamsbridge Road, Sutton, St.Helens

Liverpool Mercury 1896 -
Locomotive Inn - 78 Ellamsbridge Road on the corner of Peckers Hill Road (78 Peckers Hill in the 1871 census where it is listed as Round House) - Listed in Worrall's Directory of 1871 - The Locomotive was nicknamed 'The Round House' by Suttoners because of its curved structure - Jeremiah Haslam was licensee in 1871. - Thomas Fenney became licensee during the 1880s after his marriage to Louise Moyers, a relative of the Haslams. Tommy Fenney is said to have let the pub run down and so his wife's niece, Ellen Haslam, assisted by her sister Margaret, were allowed to take it over and are so recorded in the 1891 census - On December 1st 1896, two sinkers at Bold Colliery, Michael Flannery and Lawrence Garrity, got into an argument at the Locomotive whilst having a drink; the row spilled outside and the dispute led to Garrity of Normans Lane, Sutton receiving a serious stab wound to his neck; "blood", according to the Liverpool Mercury, "flowed profusely" (December 2nd 1896).

In 1900 Ellen Haslam's licence was reviewed after one of her staff sold threepennyworth of whisky to a seven-years-old boy. Chief Constable Wood opposed her licence renewal. He said there was no necessity as there were three fully licensed houses, a beerhouse and an off-licence within 200 yards. As it was proved that the boy had bought the whiskey for a sick adult, Ellen Haslam's licence was renewed. The Mayor Cllr. J. Beecham, as chair of the bench, pointed out that she had a long and creditable record but must be more careful in future. She had been caught in a drive against under-age drinking. In October 1897, the St.Helens Watch Committee had instructed the police to warn all St.Helens licensed houses against serving children under 13 years of age with liquor and in offering them sweets and toys as inducements to enter their premises. - A niece of the Haslams, Anne Mary, was brought up in the Round House and she married brass moulder Charles Heyes. He took over the licence around 1905 and their family of nine was brought up in the pub, although Heyes continued to work at a local foundry. In 1913 Charles Hayes and Jack Yates patented a safety device that was intended to prevent mine cages from plummeting if ropes or chains broke and an improved version was patented in 1921. Heyes became a director of the British Quick Fire Light Company based in Hoghton Road but was made bankrupt in 1924. Charles Heyes left the Locomotive and moved to Croydon to find work - George Almond was a licensee early in the 20th century - About 1949 John Leslie Houghton took over the pub, initially in the name of his wife Ann. He bred and showed Irish Setters and kept dog kennels in the large stables at the rear of the Locomotive. Between 1961 and 1987, John was Chairman and President of St Helens Canine Society and left the pub c.1954. - The Locomotive Inn closed during the mid-1970s -

The Locomotive Inn in Peckers Hill Road, Sutton, StHelens

The Locomotive Inn in Peckers Hill Road, Sutton, St.Helens
Two pictures of the Locomotive Inn at 78 Ellamsbridge Road, Sutton known as the 'Round House'

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Stephen Wainwright
This website has been written and researched and many of the images photographed by myself, Stephen Wainwright, the Sutton Beauty & Heritage site owner. Many individuals from all over the world have also contributed their own photographs. If you wish to reuse any image, please contact me first as permission may be needed from the copyright owner. High resolution versions of many photographs displayed in this website can be supplied at no charge.

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