The Village pubs have been a meeting place in the village for over 200 years, From the early ale houses to the pubs that replaced them they have always played an important part of village life. Some of the older pubs still remain in their original state others have been rebuilt over time. With the industry in decline many of the pubs have now closed, some have been converted into houses others demolished. This page looks at village pubs past and present and the history surrounding them.
Ferry Lane Pubs
The Ship Inn
Meeting place of most of the miners who lived on Ferry Lane for many years. There has been an ale house on the site for over 200 years, the present building replaced a much earlier ale house that stood on the site. Many great stories have been told about people who used to drink in the pub in years gone by. One great story is as follows; In the 1920s a lad from Eastmoor called Ernest started courting a lass from the chuggler, eventually he moved to Ferry lane with the Ship becoming his local. he did not quite fit in with the rough and ready locals as he went to the pub in his top hat and white gloves. The then Ferry Lane hard man (nicknamed goldie so i am told) instantly took a dislike to the new posh boy and follwed him out of the pub one night wanting to give him a good hiding. Goldie ran up an kicked Ernest on the knee sending him to the ground. Getting straight back to his feet Ernest set about teaching the so called Ferry Lane hardman a lesson he would not forget in a hurry, gaining the respect of all the other locals and the friendship of the man he had just beaten up at the same time. These sort of events were common in the pub in those days, the local miners would fall out and end up fighting outside the pub to resolve their differances before being best of mates again the following day.
Old folks treat at the Ship Inn
On Boxing Day 1929, the regulars of the Ship Inn on Ferry Lane were treated to somewhat of a treat. Tea was provided by Mrs Warrington (hostess), assisted by Mrs Lockwood, Mrs Beer and Mrs Munn. Later entertainment was also provided, a Mr Frith presided and Mr Wood officiated at the piano, followed by comedian, Mr “Billy” Holland. Billy made the old folk roar with laughter at his humorous songs, and much ale was drunk. Songs were also given by Mr J Hartley, Mr J Anderson, Mr T Warrington, Mrs Ramsden and by the oldest man and woman, who were Mr Nightingale and Mrs Ansell. After a very enjoyable evening a hearty vote of thanks was given to all involved, before the elderly made their ways home up Ferry Lane.
Haywood Arms (on left) & Ferry Bridge Inn (on right)
These two pubs were opposite each other, the Heywood arms was probably named after the Heywood family of Stanley Hall, It was also the largest pub in the Wakefield area. The Ferry Boat pub was on the bridge, not as most people seem to think on the other side, the buildings were there until after the war. The Warrinder family lived in the semi derelict building up to it being demolished.
Aberford Road Pubs
The British Oak
The pub today was built in the 1930s replacing the 18th century building. It was probably a cottage before becoming an ale house sometime after. The old pub had a central bar with small rooms to each side of it, all with flag stone floors. In recent years the pub has had several owners and is now empty amid plans to demolish the building and replace it with housing.
The present building was built in 1907, replacing a much older building. A local tade directory shows that there was a pub of the same name open on the present site as far back as 1822. The building today consisted of several smaller rooms up to it being renovated a few years ago. The landlord in the 1970s had a collection of unusual hats that he had on display in the pub for many years.
The Mad Hatter Landlord
Landlord of the Graziers Inn in the 1970s, Jim Wormald will probably best be remembered for his bizarre collection of unusual hats. The strange but amusing collection all started when Mr Wormald decided to do something about a large empty space over the bar. He reckoned unusual hats would make an interesting pub collection, so over time he built up the collection by visiting old junk shops and with hat donations from his customers. The collection included an old Army dress cap; police mans helmet, school cap, miner’s helmet and a Tommy Cooper fez from Morocco.
The Grove Park, Formerly Stanley Victoria Club
Built as offices for the Deep Drop Colliery it was later convereted into the Victoria WMC. The club had a bowling green up to the 1930s which would often flood, remaining under water for weeks on end. Around the same period part of the building was used to stable horses. In the mid 1980s the club closed and the building became the Grove Park.
The Grove Park opened in October 1985 after the building had a £100,000 renovation and was the vision of David Sharpe, who also owned the family electrical business A. E Sharpe & Co. He employed Mrs Brenda Wilson as manageress leaving him to take a general interest in the pub, and free to continue running his other business. The aim was to create a pub with a club atmosphere attracting crowds from far and wide, which it did very successfully for many years. No expense was spared during the building work which included a split level lounge, comfortable sports bar and family room.
Dreamy dusky pink was the theme of the lounge while the raised dancing and lounge areas were divided by timber balustrades. The dance area was enclosed on two sides by mirror walls, and the lighting was made in David Sharpes own workshop, giving the 80’s feel we all remember. The pub also had its quiet corners, for those who just wanted to sit and chat, or there was the two pool and snooker tables in the sports bar. Overall the pub accommodated for all ages while offering high standards and was a break from the drab pubs of the day. The things that made it such a success in its heyday slowly disappeared leaving the pub looking dated and in desperate need of an overhaul. Sadly this never happened and in 2003 the pub closed.
The Grove Park 2003
Grove Park 1985. The upstairs room, next to the beer sign, in this photo was used for many years as the practise room, for the Newmarket Colliery Brass Band which in the 1950's and 1960's was conducted by Mr. Lionel Kirby who at one time lived in the Ferry Lane prefabs at number 1 Alexander Avenue.
The building in 2009
The Thatched House
The present building was built to replace the old Ale house that was much closer to the River Calder than the present building. An old stone building still stands to the rear of the pub and is now used as a farm building. It has been said this was the original Ale house. The present pub was kept by a church warden in the 1920s, after Sunday service many people would go to the Thatched House for a few drinks. The small room at the back of the bar was unofficially reserved for miners and local buisnessmen years ago, others were not made welcome if they happened to stray into that part of the pub.
The Spindle Tree, Formerly The Railway Hotel
Built around the same time as the nearby railway station (1860s), the pub was a coaching house during the early years. In 1979 the pub became know as the Spindle Tree, the name was chosen as it was the favourite tree of the new licensee, Joan Cook. Joan and her husband Christopher gutted the inside of the building replacing the small bars with one large lounge that was partly walled making two separate bar areas. The new bar was clad in copper with the lounge area being a mix of dark oak tables and stools with red carpeting. The couple also installed a kitchen at the pub, making home made meals that became noted for their quality.
The renamed pub in 1979
The Spindle Tree today
Bottom Boat Pubs
The Rising Sun
Probably the oldest ale house in the village, the building dates back 200 years. It is said that from the 3 cellar rooms a series of tunnels run towards the river in one direction and to Lake Lock in the other. It is possible these tunnels were used for illegal trade deals. Described as a rough and ready pub years ago, most of the people who drank there would have been local miners.
Bottom Boat WMC
Built in 1911 it was named the Clarence Club, the building is small and an unusual design for a club. There are records of an earlier club in the Lane, it is possible this was built to replace it. The club is now closed and is in the process of being converted into a house.
The Ship Inn
One of 3 Ship Inns in the Village, this pub closed mid 20th century.
The Masons arms was built in the early 19th Century and closed its doors in February 1964, for most of that time it was run by the Smith family. Nelson Smith and his wife Rosanna took over the running of the pub in 1917 from his father (it is also worth noting that his grand father ran the pub for over 50 years). In the early part of the 20th Century the pub was one of four in Bottomboat, the village was described as a little gold mine in those days with several businesses trading from the yard of the Masons Arms. These included a crockery firm from Leeds that would set up a stall in the yard every Friday, most of the village it seemed would come along to see what was on offer every time the stall came. Then a fish merchant from Castleford started setting his stall up in the yard on a Saturday morning, followed by a tripe merchant who came two or three times a week. In later years a butcher set up business in a small wooden hut in the yard. Pony rides were also available for the children on Saturday mornings, all helping to keep the pub and the yard busy throughout the week. The decline of the pub started after the Second World War, beer was difficult to get and the population started to move out of Bottomboat to the new estates that were being built around the area. The pub managed to keep its older regulars but over time the custom dwindled forcing closure.
The Ferry Boat pub
This stood on the banks of the River Calder in Bottomboat and was ownwed by the Mathews family. They had a small boat connected to a line across the River. When people wanted to get over the River from the Altofts side, they would shout for Mr Mathews who who come out and pulled the boat across the River by hand with aid of the attached line. Mr Mathews would be paid a few coppers for each trip.
The Wheatsheaf was originally built as a pair of stone cottages sometime in the 18th Century and later started up as an Inn or Ale House by the residents who at that time would have brewed their own ale. The building was probably built around the same time as the old quarry masters house (number 53 Lake Lock Road, this was one of several houses owned by William Cookson the quarry owner, opposite the old Lane Ends WMC) and would no doubt have been owned or lived in by people involved with the running of the Lane Ends quarry (the site of the quarry is now occupied by the Community Centre). Situated close to Aberford Road which was run as a toll road between 1770 and 1870, it was also nearby to the Lake Lock Railroad and then later the Fenton’s Railroad, making it an ideal location for an Ale House.
Once established it quickly became a rest place for horse drawn traffic and passengers, accommodation was also made available as was a place to feed and tether horses. Very few buildings would have stood in this area of the village at that time so the Hotel would have been clearly visible from Aberford Road, making it an ideal place to stop for horse drawn traffic. The building would have looked very much like the quarry masters house up to this point albeit two cottages, the bay windows and render were added when major alterations were made to the structure of the building, converting it from two separate dwellings into one. Up to the early 20th Century there was a bowling green on the land behind the pub which had been use since at least the 1870s, and according to older village folk many important local games were decided on this green. In living memory the pub has changed very little, consisting of two or three small rooms that attracts a regular group of people. Today the Wheatsheaf is one of only a handful of pubs left out of at least 25 that have existed in the Village over the years.
In 1977 the Wheatsheaf was taken over by the former landlord of the Bottomboat WMC, Mr Colin Westerman, and his wife Valerie. Over the coming months the couple transformed the tired old pub into one of the most attractive in the area. Two rooms, once separated by a wall were knocked through to form a larger seating area. Other work to the pub included a new bar, new lighting, the installation of a gas heating system to replace the coal one, re carpeting and decorating. The beer available at the time included John smiths bitter, Harp larger, with a selection of shorts and bottled beers. A food menu was also added, providing basket meals. In the summer of 1978 the beer garden was added with the car park being added later. Despite the changes (and subsequent ones since) the historic background of the building still prevails, with wooden ceiling beams and fireplaces. The building has been a Brewery owned pub since 1893 when it was sold to John Smiths Brewery for £730 by a Glass Houghton farmer.
Wheatsheaf interior 1978
Old Lane Ends WMC
Built in the late 19th century the club was replaced by the newer building in the early 1970s. The club had a bowling green and was home to two good teams. The green fell into disrepair, and the land sold by the club in 1960. Theclub was also home to a good snooker and billiards team. For many years the club was the headquarters of the local pigeon club and was home to the Newmarket Colliery Band.
Samsons, Formerly Lane Ends WMC
Built to replace the old club this was a much larger building with a function room to the side. After the club closed it was bought by David Samson (former travellers owner) and turned into a pub, holding special events such as the NorthernStar Trail all year round. The pub closed in 2003 and has been replaced by housing.
Garden Gate Inn
Originally an Ale House this building dates from the 17th century, probably started up to accomadate miners from the nearby pit. The Inn closed many years ago, sincethe building has had several differant functions before being converted into a house in 1982.
Wagon & Horses
Originally a row of three houses, the building has changed very little on the outside in the last 150 years. In the 1920s the pub was owned by Samuel Smiths, and is noted as having a good pianist during this era, a Mr Castle who was a miner at Newmarket Colliery. The arrival of a new landlord & landlady in 1976 was the start of the biggest changes the pub had seen before or since. Within two years Mr & Mrs John Shipley had transformed the pub from having a snug room, a stone floored public bar and old games room to a through lounge and games room. Before the alterations you would have to either go round the back of the bar or go outside an come in the door to the public bar before you could get from the snug to the woman’s lavatory. The bar was moved back a yard and the serving hatch and wall between the old snug and the public bar along with the wall between the public bar and games room were also removed. The old stone flagged floors and iron tables gave way to carpets and new plush seating. Those of you who used to drink in the pub before the renovations will also remember the off licence section, this was replaced by the woman’s toilets. The new bar was of pine and mahogany with Canadian chipboard giving a cork effect behind it. the games room had a darts board, dominos and a juke box as well as a TV. The beers available in 1979 were stones best bitter, Bass extra light, Black Label larger and Guinness along with the usual bottled beers and spirits.
Who Would Have Thought It Ale House
This Ale House stood where the Doctors surgery stands today. Demolished in the 1930s stone from the building was used to built the retaining wall behind the Doctors Surgery. The unusual name comes from a mining accident at East Ardsley where several miners were trapped. Originally East Ardsley was the further most point on the Lake Lock Rail Road that ran to the Calder at Bottomboat, so it is possible the ale house got a lot of passing trade from these areas.
The lady holding the baby is Thora Smales; the other two are her sister Mary and brother Maurice (known as Toby).
The present building was built in 1937 replacing the 19th century building, the last landlord of the old building, and first of the new building was Mr Asquith. When the new pub opened in 1937 it had the Stanley musicians play at the opening night, Jack Ramsden on piano, Jack Calvert on drums and Joe Bagnell on Guitar. The pub was always a favorite of the miners from Workhouse Fold that stood opposite.
Reminiscences of The Travellers Inn cottage
The original Travellers Inn dated back to the 1830s and had a separate dwelling attached to the rear. This attached cottage had been lived in by four generations of the same family spanning 101 years when, in 1937, the brewery who owned the Inn decided they wanted to replace the old building with a larger, modern pub. Mrs Emma Frear, who was tenant of the cottage gave the following reminiscences.
The first tenants of the cottage were Mr & Mrs Stables (Emma’s Grandparents), they lived at the cottage for about ten years. The were followed by Mr & Mrs Lindley (the parents of Emma). Emma was born in the cottage and remained there when she married Mr Edward Frear, the couple has four children, who were also born in the cottage, one of whom was a well known Bass singer.
During her life at Lane Ends, Emma saw many changes in the village. In the early days there was little surrounding property to the Inn, all water for household use had to be brought from a spring well in the “Bull Wagon Road” a quarter of a mile away and candles were the only means of light.
The most bizarre memory she had of living at the cottage related to an incident which involved her father in 1884. He was going down into the cellar of another building, only a short distance away with a lighted candle. When he reached the bottom of the stairs there was a terrific explosion, which blew him out into the street. The ceiling was completely blown out, and a large amount of damage was done, leaving Mr Lindley very badly burned and lucky to be alive. The explosion was thought to be due to gas from the workings of the former Deep Drop Colliery on Lime Pit Lane escaping into the cellar.
When asked what she would miss about the cottage when it was gone, she replied her large garden, she was not at all looking forward to leaving the house, even though she was moving into a more modern house close by. The photo below is of the rear of the Travellers Inn and attached cottage which is on the right of the building.
The Gardeners Arms
The building was built in the 1860s, starting up as an early ale house it then became known as the Gardeners Arms. The pub closed in the 1930s, when the building found a new use as a fire station and home of the local air raid siren. The house became known locally as the Old Beer House falling into a poor state before it was renovated into a three bed roomed house around 1980. The house then sold in 1982 for £60,000.
Gardeners Arms at the junction of Bread Baker Lane & Rooks Nest Road
This photo was taken before it was used for the Airaid Siren. The man on the left is Mr Harris the Music Teacher( He even tried to teach me). the third man standing is my Father. The man with the dog is Alf Burrows and the man with the scarf is Harvey Wainwright the Stanley Railway Signal box Controller. I don’t remember any other names but the faces are familiar. Photo courtesy of Peter Holroyd.
Lee Moor Pubs
Lee Moor WMC
Originally built as an house the WMC is still in use today under private owners.
Bar Stanley, Formerly The Ship Inn & Stanley Arms
The present building was built in 1908 replacing the older stone buliding that was near to the present site.
The Miners Arms stood across from the Ship Inn, (now Bar Stanley) where a pair of semi detached houses stand today. In the photo below you can just see the road that runs behind the pub, across which was the Ship Inn (now Bar Stanley). The Land Lord of the pub from 1963 - 1970 was a Mr Hargreaves, those of you who remember the pub during this time may remember the beaten copper Bar top. The pub sadly closed in 1972.
Photo courtesy of Steve Hargreaves
More to follow