An Illustrated History of Old Sutton in St. Helens, Lancashire

Part 27 (of 92 parts) - Pubs & Beerhouses in Sutton & Bold Part 1

An Illustrated History of Old Sutton in St.Helens
Part 27 (of 92 parts) - Pubs and Beerhouses Part 1
An Illustrated History of
Old Sutton in St.Helens
Sutton Pubs Part 1
Researched and Written by Stephen Wainwright ©MMXVIII
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.

James Wood Chief Constable of St.Helens Borough
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.

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 Inn
Young drinker outside
the Clock Face Inn
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, Black Horse Inn 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 Pub Articles: Sutton Tragedy Part 2 - When The Dead Went To The Pub! – Coroners Inquests in Old Sutton; Memories of Sutton 5 - Rolling Mill Tavern & the Junction Inn

A to Z of Sutton & Bold Pubs and Beerhouses

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 -

Beehive Inn - Watery Lane, Moss Nook - licence transferred in March 1891 from William Jones to David Chenney, a well-known hackney carriage proprietor. On October 29th 1891 he visited an old water-filled claypit nearby with his son John and a man named Robert Davies, in order to drive home some of his geese which had got loose. Chenney slipped and fell into the pit, which was about 20 feet deep. Despite an attempted rescue by a man named James Rigby, Chenney was drowned. - In October 1892 the licence was transferred from Jane Bryan to Michael Bryan. - 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. - Then In May 1895 the licence was transferred from Michael Bryan back to Jane Bryan. - Richard Clare ran it in 1911.

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

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

The Beehive Inn in Moss Nook

Boars Head, 675 Elton Head Road, St.Helens
Black Horse Inn - 3 Greenough Street, Peasley Cross 200 yards from St. Joseph's Church - It was part of the estate of Joseph Greenough and 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 assisted 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. - In September 1904 the license was transferred from Henry Morecroft to John Coan, who had previously worked as a chargeman for colliery owners Richard Evans & Co.

At this time the property was owned by Mr. J. E. Lewis Jnr., a great-nephew of Joseph Greenough, who received £55 per year by renting it to Forshaw’s Burtonwood Brewery. - In 1908 the Black Horse was closed as a result of a campaign to reduce the number of drinking houses in St.Helens. Licence renewal hearings on February 17th and April 9th were told that it was not needed, due to there being four public houses, three beerhouses and two grocery off-licenses within a quarter of a mile of the pub. Out of 42 police visits to the house, a total of 156 customers had been counted, making an average of 5¾ persons per visit. The licensing hearings were told that the block of property that the Black Horse served amounted to 207 houses, of which 57 were unoccupied as a consequence of recent mine closures. However over the last three years the pub had still averaged total sales equivalent to 348 barrels per year. The magistrates chaired by the Mayor Alderman Henry Martin refused to extend the licence and referred the Black Horse Inn to the compensation scheme.

Bold Arms - Liverpool Road, 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. - Robert Rogers was licensee in 1871 and in May 1873 it was transferred to Peter Goulding, who was still in charge in 1881. - 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. - The licensee in 1891 was Irishman William Byron, whose occupation in the census was stated as publican and market gardener. In the 1901 census his wife Ellen was running the pub but still a nursery gardener. - 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 / Prescot Road) - 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 - Wheelwright Peter Webster was licensee in 1850 - Listed in Worrall's Directory of 1871 and the census of that year listed Ellen Penketh as publican, blacksmith and wheelwright employing four men. - 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 was publican in the 1901 census and John Robinson was licensee in the 1911 census. Mary Byron was licensee in 1939.

John and Greta Chisnall ran the Greenall Whitley pub from 1986 after a 12-week refurbishment. In an article in the St.Helens Star, the Boars Head was reported to have been transformed into a house with old world charm, a ‘black and white, stone walled, oak–beamed country type pub with ample car parking.’ The lounge had been decorated with a red and black carpet, red fixed seating and stools and mahogany tables, with brass lamps, brassware and Lancashire prints. Even the juke box played hits from the 1950s and ‘60s and the bar area was re-decorated in green and white with new seating and curtains. John and Greta organised an open week, which began on September 15th 1986, so that customers could get to know their new landlord and landlady and the new-look pub. The left side of the lounge served as the restaurant area and amongst the home-made food was chutney, made using apples from the Boar’s Head’s own apple trees. Closed in 2015 with plans submitted to St Helens Council by Punch Taverns in April to demolish the Boars Head and replace it with a convenience store, small shop and parking area. The St.Helens Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) objected to the proposals saying that the demolition will "leave a large chunk of the town with no pub to forge a community around". Planning permission was granted in December 2015. However the convenience store operator dropped out and at the beginning of January 2016 it was announced that the building had been purchased by Bravo Inns for continued pub use. Renovation took place and the Boars Head was reopened on April 14th 2016.

The Boilermakers in the 1960s - note Bold power station tower on the right - contributed by Dave Latham

Boilermakers in the 1960s - note Bold power station tower on the right

The Boilermakers in the 1960s

Boilermaker's Arms - 30 Hoghton Road / Norman's Road (in 1901 & 1911 & 1939 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!  

The Boilermaker Arms known as Arkies in Hoghton Road photographed in June 2006

The Boilermaker Arms known as Arkies pictured in June 2006

Boilermaker Arms in June 2006

Sutton Oak pub
Boundary Vaults - 73 Bold Road - So named as it used to mark the St.Helens boundary, prior to local government reorganisation - 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) - In January 1875 the licence was transferred from William Ratcliffe to Mary Greenough with 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 and 1911 - 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 and was still there in 1939. - 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 and has been converted into offices.

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

The Bowling Green Inn at 220 Watery Lane in Moss Nook

The Bowling Green Inn in Moss Nook

Bowling Green Inn - 220 Watery Lane, Moss Nook - During its early years the Bowling Green was owned by C. Wilcock and Son, who also owned Phoenix Brewery and the Railway Inn in Worsley Brow. - In 1873 the licence was transferred from Thomas Peers to James Bullen. - In 1881 the licensee was Mary Ashton. In May 1889 the licence was transferred from her father-in-law Isaac Ashton to Thomas Whalley and in October 1892 his licence was transferred to John Arrowsmith. - In December 1892 the licence was transferred from 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 - George Naylor was licensee in 1901 - William Keenan described himself as 'hotel manager' in the 1911 census and in 1939 it was Arthur Norman. During the 1960s and ’70s the licensee was Bill Simmons. On October 4th 1968 John ‘Bill’ Simmons was fined £25 by St Helens’ magistrates for helping out his customers. As the nearest betting shop was a good distance from his Watery Lane pub, Simmons had been placing bets on their behalf. Plain-clothes police saw the 49-year-old landlord taking betting slips from customers and after searching his premises found 13 slips and £5 13 shillings in cash. There was no suggestion that Simmons had been profiting personally from the betting. “I only wanted to keep my customers”, Bill told the magistrates. - Closed 9th July 2006 -

The original Bowling Green Inn in Robins Lane - contributed by Brenda Macdonald

The original Bowling Green Inn in Robins Lane, Sutton, St.Helens

Bowling Green Inn in Robins Lane

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." - Widow Ellen Bickerstaffe was the publican in 1939. - Closed in 2015 with application by GW Construction submitted to St.Helens Council in April 2017 to convert the pub into a 14-bedroom HMO multiple occupancy housing but this was rejected in June.

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 Abraham Anders 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. - Elizabeth Ashton took over the licence on September 10th 1917 after her husband had joined the army. - In January 1926 John 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 Inn - Brynn-y-Fillin Road, Moss Nook - Michael Burke held the licence in 1871 - James Yates Jnr. is recorded as taking over the licence from Ann Ingleby in 1892 - In October 1892 the licence was transferred from Yates to Peter Lees.

Bull & Dog Inn - 2 Clock Face Road - John Greenhaugh was the licensee in 1800. - Originally a beerhouse with Edward Seddon listed in the 1851 census as beerseller and cabinet maker William Woods as licensee in 1871. - Listed as the Bull & Bitch Inn in the 1881 census with James Lyon as landlord. Thomas Brown was licensee by February 1889, when he was advertising for a “strong lad, about 14 years old”. Brown also owned a barn / shippon (cattle shed) in Mill Lane and on October 15th 1890 it caught fire. The steam fire engine of the St.Helens Fire Brigade extinguished the blaze after an hour, sourcing water from Sutton Mill Dam. - The Bull and Dog was one of the first pubs in Sutton to have a bowling green. In November 1866 the green, then tenanted by William Woods and measuring 1 rood 10 perches, was put up for sale with the suggestion that there were ‘valuable beds of fire and pot clay’ underneath. - The licence was transferred in April 1893 to Mary Brown who was still there in 1901 - Tom Jones held it in 1914 - Mary Bradshaw described herself as ‘Hotel Proprietress’ in the 1939 Register. Her husband James was a train driver.
The above photograph has been contributed by Jim Lamb and shows bowlers at the Bull & Dog c.1914. Left to right standing is John 'Scotty' Lamb, who was wounded and held as a POW in WW1. Next is Bill Bannister who was wounded on the Somme in 1916. L to R seated is champion runner Joe Smart and Joe Bannister (who was killed at the Somme on April 26th 1917), Tom Jones (Bull & Dog landlord), Bill Round, Harry Ashton and H. Brown. - In July 2016 plans were submitted to St Helens Council to create an exterior children's play area and timber pergola.

The Bull & Dog in 1963 by the old Marshalls Cross bridge with reverse view below - contributed by Jim Lamb

Bull & Dog in 1963 by the old bridge with reverse view below

The Bull & Dog in 1963

Jim Lamb took this photo of the Bull & Dog from the top of Chester Lane on March 31st 1970

Jim Lamb took this photo of the Bull & Dog on March 31st 1970

Bull & Dog on March 31st 1970

By the time this picture was taken in the 1980s, the Bull & Dog had had a makeover - contributed by Jim Lamb

By the time this was taken in the 1980s, the Bull & Dog had had a makeover

This picture was taken in the 1980s


Tom Austin (293 Mill Lane) & James 'Bud' Lamb (7 Chester Lane) enjoy a pint in the Bull & Dog in 1952 after a day’s work at Roughdales


Tom Austin and James 'Bud' Lamb enjoy a pint in the Bull & Dog in 1952


Tom Austin and James 'Bud' Lamb enjoy a pint in the Bull & Dog in 1952

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 - In May 1901 licensee James Fillingham was fined £5 for selling whisky to a drunken woman.

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 but upon his death his widow Catherine took over the licence - 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 much further, probably as a coaching inn on the main thoroughfare from Warrington. Grace was the landlord for almost 30 years. - On an 1842 Tithe map the Clock Face 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 William’s widow Mary Bromilow, who was still listed as publican in the 1891 census aged 70. - In February 1894 the licence was transferred from Elizabeth Colquitt to Richard Colquitt - Harry Hibbert was licensee when the photograph below was taken - The licensee in 1901 was Elizabeth Vardy. - 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 18th 1903 at the Lion Hotel in Warrington the Clock Face was sold by auction to existing lessee Greenall Whitley for £4,000. - This report appeared in the Warrington Guardian of October 17th 1903:
 John Rigby, labourer, Bold, was charged at the St. Helens County Sessions on Tuesday with obtaining beer, he being an habitual drunkard. James Naylor, landlord of the Clock Face Inn, Bold, said that about twenty minutes past six o’clock on the morning of the 12th ult. the man came into the bar and he was served with drink. He (the landlord) had heard there was a “black-lister” about, but had not had a photograph or description of the man. However, when Rigby had been served, such a laugh went round that he tackled Rigby with it, and as he could not deny it he turned him out. Rigby did not appear, but was fined 20s. and 6s. costs, or a month. 
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, which was in a poor state of repair. 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 original Clock Face Inn in Clock Face Road which was then run by Harry Hibbert

The original Clock Face Inn which was then run by Harry Hibbert

The original Clock Face Inn

Another view of the original Clock Face Inn - a smithy is probably on the left - contributed by Susan Davies

Another view of the original Clock Face Inn - a smithy is probably on the left

Another view of the original Inn

Clock Face Hotel (2nd) - 408 Clock Face Road - The date stone over the door states 1909 but it actually opened in 1910. - It is believed that the Clock Face is unique in that the pub has the same name as the village and main road. - Henry (Harry) Hibbert was the licensee at the opening and he remained in charge until 1924. - William Gaskill won the Lancashire Championship bowls trophy on June 16th 1915 at the Clock Face Hotel. Gaskill had greengrocers shops in Clock Face and Sutton Manor and had a tap fitted to the 18-inch high cup, so at Christmas time he could give his customers a drink of whisky. - Henry Trowill was licensee from 1924 and upon his retirement on January 2nd 1941, the licence was transferred to his son Lewis Trowill. The latter was listed as mine host 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.' - The Clock Face Hotel had a popular bowls club, which first joined the 21 other clubs in the St.Helens & District Bowling Association (section 4) in 1941. - On June 12th 1941 Thomas Farrimond was sent to prison for two months for striking William Hughes from Burtonwood on the nose with a penknife inside the Clock Face Hotel. The 62-year-old collier from Gorsey Lane was said to have unfairly blamed Hughes for his dismissal from the colliery and inflicted a “nasty wound”. Superintendent McCrone told the court at Widnes that it had been a “dastardly thing to do”. - On October 28th 1943 James Hagan of Clock Face Road was cleared of the manslaughter of his father-in-law William Thompson after striking him outside the Clock Face Hotel. - 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. -

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

Clock Face Hotel advert in a 1931 programme plus modern-day pub sign

Clock Face Hotel advert in a 1931 programme plus modern-day pub sign

Coppersmiths / Coppersmiths Arms - 296 Watery Lane - The pub was named after the Rolling Mill factory in Watery Lane, which opened in 1860. There are property deeds that date back to 1856, although it was some years later before the Coppersmiths opened as a beerhouse. - Irishwoman Annie Ingleby was beerhouse keeper in the 1891 census. - Peter Lees who'd been licensee since October 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. - The Coppersmiths was one of the three last remaining beerhouses in St.Helens but would soon become a fully licensed house and by 1907 had changed its name to the Coppersmiths Arms. - It was for several decades associated with the Garner family with Robert Garner licensee in 1911. His widow Mary Garner held the licence in 1939 at the age of 73, having been in sole charge since at least 1924. - Ian Jones writes "The Coppersmiths Arms was known locally when I was there from the 1940s to the 1960s as 'Bobby Garner's'. 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." - It was one of a dozen Greenall’s houses sold to Boddington’s in 1973.
The Coppersmiths pub Sutton, St.Helens

Two photos of the Coppersmiths from the mid-1970s - contributed by Dave Latham

Two photographs of the Coppersmiths Arms from the mid-1970s

Two photographs of the Coppersmiths Arms from the mid-1970s

How the Coppersmiths in Watery Lane looked about 1984/5 - contributed by Dave Latham

How the Coppersmiths Arms in Watery Lane looked about 1984/5

The Coppersmiths Arms c.1984/5

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 - John Foster in 1911 - On December 11th 1916 the licence was briefly transferred to Ann Foster until the Crown's closure under the compensation scheme. - Closed 13th January 1917

George Parr bankruptcy 1865
St.Helens Newspaper 18/7/1865
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 - In an article in the St.Helens Reporter of November 3rd 1972 it was stated that boxers Mick Gordon and Ernie Proudlove had been regulars in the Crystal Palace. - 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 entry) -

Elephant Inn - Elephant Lane - Edward Bromilow, licensee in 1800 - 61-year-old Nathan Prescot licensed victualler in 1861 census -

Ell Bess Arms / Vaults / 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”. As a result the beerhouse had the nickname ‘Owd Bet Seddon’s’. - The Brownbill family ran it 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, who ran it until 1909 - Mary Cosgrove was licensee in 1911 and she was fined in 1916 for a licensing offence. - Closed March 8th 1938, although it wasn’t demolished until 1961. - In an article in the St.Helens Reporter of April 28th 1962 the daughter of licensee Henry Johnson related her memories of living at the beerhouse from 1894 to 1909. Lily Smith (b. 1889) said that in those days beer was 1½d. a gill, and 2½d. a pint with the Ell Bess, like other local pubs, open from 6am to 11pm at night. She also commented on the Kurtz chemical works explosion on May 12th 1899: “All the people fled from the works and a large number arrived at our pub. My father said that he sold every drop of everything he had in the pub, and my mother told me that all the food went as well”. Lily also described how many customers took part in pigeon sweeps, with some of the birds despatched as far away as France, which created much excitement. There was a large garden at each side of the Ell Bess and a skittle alley along its front, which attracted many customers. - 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 in the Sutton Streets & Placenames page -

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

Ell Bess Arms probably on the right with the old Dog and Gun on the left

Ell Bess Arms probably on the right with the old Dog and Gun on the left

Engine and Tender - Leach Lane / Reginald Road, Sutton Leach - The beerhouse was owned by the Hughes family of Sherdley Hall and 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. - The Engine and Tender served as both a farm house for Leach Hall Farm and a public house - In 1884 farmer and beerhouse keeper James Wood was placed on the licensing 'blacklist' for breaches of his licence. - In August 1889 plans were made for Leach Hall to become the Dinorben Hotel. The intention was for Wood to take charge of the new venture, while surrendering the license for the Engine and Tender. However for reasons which are presently unclear, the proposals were withdrawn. - 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 own premises after he'd been drinking in the Vulcan Inn - The Engine and Tender was renowned for gambling both on and off the premises - Closed 1st March 1938 - The last landlord was farmer Edwin Garton (and wife Blanche) who had been licensee from before 1918. Before that his father William Sydney Garton was the landlord. Edwin 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). - Cattle grazed on the field in front of the pub. During the war the field housed an air raid shelter and separate ARP communication centre and a bonfire was lit on VE night. -

The Engine and Tender which was also a farm house - contributed by Dawn Harvey (nee Garton)

The Engine and Tender off Reginald Road was also a farm house

The Engine and Tender in Sutton

Engine - John Bromilow held the licence in 1800 - The Sutton Catholic Philanthropic Friendly Society were registered at the Engine in the 1880s -

Farmers Arms
Farmers Arms in 1960s - Contributed by Andy Parr
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 who was still there in 1911 (thanks to Chris Carson for the details) - Owners Greenall Whitley were given permission to make alterations to the pub in November 1894 - The Rose Vale Sick & Burial Society was registered at the Farmers Arms until it was dissolved in 1915, as well as the Sutton Moss Friendly Burial Society until it was dissolved in May 1943. - Landlord John Tinsley was fined £2 on November 23rd 1917 for permitting drunkenness on his premises. - Josiah Greenall held the licence in 1939 - During the 1940s / early '50s 'Nellie' Brown was licensee 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, St.Helens
Glassmakers Arms - 22 Waterdale Crescent (originally 22 Ditch Hillock) - Opened around 1860 - Ann Lowe obtained the licence in August 1870. - In April 1874 the licence was transferred from Peter Sephton to Robert Bridge who was also a builder and Bridge was declared bankrupt in 1880 - The publican in 1881 was William Spencer - In October 1884 the licence was transferred from William Spencer to George Brown. - The employees of the Peasley Cross Steam Shed held their annual dinner at the Glassmakers. - By 1888 the publican was James Bath, whose daughter Elizabeth married Samuel Royle of the Sutton grocery family. - During the Sutton Glassworks strike in late 1888 / early 1889 William Burrows distributed free soup and other food twice a week to about 70 recipients. - 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. - Alfred Baines was the licensed victualler in 1939 with Ernie Middlehurst licensee from c.1944 to 1965. - The Sidac Angling Club had its HQ in the Glassmakers and an article in the St.Helens Reporter of October 6th 1972 claimed that Londoners who'd moved to Sutton to work for Sidac 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. 
The Glassmakers was put up for sale for £130,000 in early 2015 and closed in June 2015 and is now used for HMO multiple occupancy housing by RJM Property NW Ltd.

The Glassmakers Arms in Waterdale Crescent pictured around 1900

The Glassmakers Arms in Waterdale Crescent pictured around 1900

The Glassmakers Arms around 1900

Article published in the Evening Post and Chronicle in 1965 - Contributed by Ken Whittaker

Article published in the Evening Post and Chronicle in 1965

Evening Post and Chronicle 1965

Tap Room of the Glassmakers Arms, Sutton, St.Helens in 1965
The above photograph has been contributed by Ken Whittaker and shows the Tap Room of the Glassmakers Arms in 1965. From left to right is Tommy Spencer, a railway shunter who travelled by autocycle. The second person is unknown and next to him is landlord Ernie Middlehurst who Ken says was one of the last of the old school: “Jack Walker of Coronation Street could have been modelled on him”. Seated next to Ernie is Enoch Westhead and then Jimmy (?) Westhead.

Glassmaker's Arms bowling outing from the late 1950s - Contributed by David Normington Gerrard

A Glassmaker's Arms bowling outing from the late 1950s

Glassmaker's Arms bowling outing

Glassmakers Arms, Sutton, St.Helens
Glassmakers Arms sign Sutton, St.Helens

How the Glassmakers Arms looks now - photographed in April 2017 and used for HMO multiple occupancy housing


How the Glassmakers Arms looks now - photographed in April 2017


How the Glassmakers looks now

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 - Bricklayer James Fisher was publican in 1861 and James Boyle in 1871. - 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 - On November 4th 1889 licensee Samuel Cox appeared in St.Helens Police Court for keeping his premises open on a Sunday morning. Cox had been observed by Sgt. Brooks and PC Small serving beer to William Highfield and William Howard, after the pair had climbed over an 8 feet high wall to get into the pub via the back door. The defence case was that the men had claimed to have been travellers from Widnes, so were entitled to hospitality. The magistrates dismissed the charge against Cox on a technicality and fined Howard and Highfield – who actually lived in Bold Road – 5 shillings each. - In September 1904 the license was transferred from Jonathan Lester to Peter Almond, who had been a glass grinder until he’d had an accident and then ran a grocer’s at 63 Appleton Street. Almond was still licensee in the 1911 census.

- On June 20th 1918 Jane Roughley applied for a licence to run the Golden Cross in place of her brother who was joining the army. Her solicitor explained to the magistrates that the liquor licence would be in Mrs Roughley’s name because her husband worked for the railway and they wouldn’t allow their employees to hold a licence. This circumventing of the rules infuriated the St Helens Chief Constable. Arthur Ellerington told the licensing magistrates that he could not be party to such a practice and the application was refused. - 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 Mick Caulfield, although another source claims it was Joe Holland. Mr. Caulfield had a couple of geese that roamed around the front of the pub and chased anyone who came close. In an article in the St.Helens Star on July 7th 1983 Alan Whalley wrote: “Quite a number of people have contacted me in praise of Mick and his comfortable old sing-song family pub, which bit the dust as the Pudding Bag fell into dereliction. Mick was down to a ‘peak’ of 10 customers on his busiest night when the decision was taken to put up the shutters for the last time.” - The Golden Cross closed in the mid-sixties and was demolished in the early '70s. -

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

The Golden Cross pub in Woodcock Street in ’Pudding Bag', Sutton

Golden Cross in Woodcock Street

Green Dragon - Gartons Lane, Sutton Manor - Plans were first submitted to St.Helens Corporation on May 26th 1913 and June 23rd 1913 by local architects J. M. Wilson and Son with the council granting building permission on June 25th. The pub makes its first appearance in an electoral register in 1915 with George Williamson as licensee, who also kept the Royal in Westfield Street. - 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. Joseph Maddison was licensee at this time. - 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. - The pub closed in about 2014 and caught fire on three occasions in May 2016. It was advertised for sale at £180,000.

Plans for the Green Dragon in Gartons Lane, Sutton Manor drawn up in 1913 by St.Helens’ architect’s J. M. Wilson and Son

Plans for the Green Dragon in Gartons Lane which were drawn in 1913

Plans for the Green Dragon

The Green Dragon in Gartons Lane, Sutton Manor taken in the early 1950s

The Green Dragon in Gartons Lane, Sutton Manor in the early 1950s

The Green Dragon in Gartons Lane

Griffin Inn - 145 /147 Peasley Cross Lane, corner with Sutton Road - Licensee in 1851 was Mark Helsby, who was also a watch maker. - 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. His son Harold was licensee in 1939. - 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) -

Two views of the Griffin Inn at 145 /147 Peasley Cross Lane on the corner with Sutton Road

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

Griffin Inn in Peasley Cross Lane

Griffin Inn a.k.a. The 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 Samuel 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. - The licensee in the 1891 and 1901 censuses was James Davies. - On February 7th 1903 the forthcoming sale of the Griffin was advertised in the Warrington Guardian. The auction was set to take place on the 18th at the Lion Hotel in Warrington. The tenant was stated as Greenall, Whitley and the total acreage was described as 8 acres, 2 roods, 37 perches. Greenalls subsequently bought the Griffin and a cottage for £3,500. - In August 2016 owners Chef and Brewer reopened the pub after an extensive renovation.

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

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

The Griffin Inn in Bold Heath

Hawk and Buck - 91 Peasley Cross Lane, on the corner with Manor Street with entrances in both - 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. - The pub was put up for auction in May 1896, along with the adjacent hairdresser's shop in Peasley Cross Lane run by John Price. An advertisement for the sale stated that a patent beer extractor was used in the cellar, which obviated the need for stillages or tilting of beer barrels. - 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

Heyes Beerhouse - Warrington Road, Bold - Named after the Heyes family who began running the house c.1857 with William Heyes landlord from 1865 until his death in 1896. For a while his sister’s son-in-law William Jervis was granted temporary authority until Heyes’s 21-year-old nephew James Winstanley applied for the licence in August 1897. The police objected to the application on the grounds that the ‘virtual landlady’ was Mrs. Winstanley, who since the death of her brother Wm. Heyes had run the house badly with cases of drunkenness and loose women. Consequently the magistrates refused the application. At this time Heyes’s was the only beerhouse in Bold, with three inns.

Imperial Hotel / Inn - Sutton Road - Opened in 1869 as an inn under licensee James Bullen and listed in Worrall's Directory of 1871 - On September 27th 1873 the Warrington Guardian published this classified sale advert: ‘The IMPERIAL HOTEL, a licensed public-house at Sutton, near St. Helens, situate on the highway leading from Sutton to St. Helens, with the licence and appurtenances thereto belonging, now occupied by Mr. Jones, as tenant. The tenure of the property is freehold, and comprises 242⅔ superficial square yards or thereabouts, subject to certain reservations, conditions, and covenants contained in an indenture dated 25th March, 1868. The house is newly built, and is a very convenient inn, having roomy vaults, tap-room, and smoke-room, with good kitchen and back kitchen on the ground floor; upstairs 4 capital bedrooms; and has convenient cellaring and suitable yard accommodation; it is situate is an improving part of the thriving township of Sutton, and in a commanding thoroughfare, and is now doing a prosperous trade.’

Richard Jones licensee in 1881 - David Jones listed as licensee in the 1891 & 1901 censuses. - An Oddfellows Friendly Society was organised at the Imperial until its closure in July 1908. - It was described as a beerhouse in the 1911 census and run by Bertram McConnell, who was an American. - William Leche was licensee in 1939. - Phil Soffe became licensee in 1979, with manager Jerome Bond. - In March 1980, 800 Sutton residents signed a petition to try to stop the Imperial’s closure after Phil was refused a new licence. The magistrates ruled that Mr. Soffe was not a fit and proper person to hold the licence because of the manner in which the premises were being run, although they emphasised that there was nothing detrimental about his character. Manageress Linda Bond told the St.Helens Newspaper that: “Our customers are some of the best people you could wish to meet”. One of them was 76-year-old David Duckworth from Morris Street who had patronised the pub for over 50 years and said: “It would be a hell of a loss if this pub closes down. I want to spend my last years in the Imperial.” At the time of closure it was the only free house in St.Helens.

Junction Inn - 102 Junction Lane - Owned by the London and North Western Railway Company - 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. - The licensee in 1901 was coal miner Edward Smith and in 1911 the landlord was William Lawrence. - 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 - In December 1942 coal mining labourer Joseph Grice, of 110 Peckers Hill Road, was fined 10 shillings for striking licensee Edward McDermott and 20s. for refusing to leave the premises when requested. - 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 c.1960, including a view from the station - both contributed by Alan McDermott

The Junction Inn in Junction Lane c.1960, including a view from the station

Junction Inn in Junction Lane c.1960

Undated photo - Thomas Fairhust is front row, first left with Alf Tickle on far right - contributed by Julie Bligh

Undated photo - Thomas Fairhust is on the front row, first left

Junction Inn, Sutton group photo

Greenall Whitley's tenancy agreement with landlord Michael McDermott dated June 1932 - contributed by Alan McDermott

Greenall Whitley's tenancy agreement with Michael McDermott from 1932

Greenall Whitley's tenancy agreement with Michael McDermott from 1932

The Junction Inn pictured during the 2006 football World Cup and below in 2015

The Junction Inn pictured during the 2006 football World Cup

The Junction Inn pictured during the 2006 World Cup and below in 2015

The old Victoria pub sign
Old Victoria pub sign
Little Pig / Victoria Vaults - 32 Ellamsbridge Road - Officially the Victoria Vaults, it was dubbed 'The Little Pig' and was so listed on the 1881 and 1891 censuses. Until 2013 the pub was unusual in bearing both names but is now known just as The Little Pig. The origin of its nickname was through its proximity to Fletcher's slaughterhouse and the habit of one landlord in accepting piglets from one customer to pay off his slate. - The licensee was James Rainford on the 1871 census - In December 1871 the licence was transferred to Ellen Kenyon from James Kenyon who had obtained the licence in August 1870. - On September 6th 1875 Victoria Vaults licensee Thomas Brown was summoned by John Critchley, landlord of the Mechanics Arms, and his wife Jane for assault. They alleged that Brown with others had entered their pub and attacked them, violently striking Mrs. Critchley over a table and causing much damage to glasses and jugs. Brown was fined a total of £4 5s. for the assaults and damage. - 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. The two workmen had fled from the pub after being challenged by the landlady Mrs. Brown, leaving a spade and a rake behind. - 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 licensee in 1891 was William Almond. - 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 - The licensee in 1911 was Richard Leadbetter, originally from Neston. He was succeeded by his son Humphrey and wife Kate (née Mellor), who was the daughter/granddaughter of a Neston fisherman. They were running the pub in 1939. - Tom and Emily Fairclough were landlord and landlady from 1955 to 1962. - The Manchester United Supporters Club for St.Helens was formed by John Halsall in June 1968 and had its headquarters at the Victoria. - In early 2013 as part of a makeover, the pub dropped the Victoria name and became exclusively The Little Pig.

Tom and Emily Fairclough, landlord and landlady of 'The Little Pig' in 1956 - Contributed by Edna Smith

Tom and Emily Fairclough, landlord and landlady of The Little Pig in 1956

Tom and Emily Fairclough, Little Pig landlord and landlady in 1956

The pub is pictured in 2009 when it bore its twin names 'The Victoria' and 'The Little Pig'

The pub in 2009 when it bore its twin names 'The Victoria' and ‘Little Pig'

The pub is pictured in 2009 bearing its twin names The Victoria and Little Pig

Pictured in April 2013 the pub that used to be near Fletcher's slaughterhouse is now exclusively 'The Little Pig'

Pictured in April 2013 the pub is now exclusively 'The Little Pig'

Pictured in April 2013 the pub is now exclusively called ’The Little Pig'

Serious Stabbing Affray at St. Helens
Locomotive Inn - 78 Ellamsbridge Road on the corner of Peckers Hill Road opposite the present-day Co-op (78 Peckers Hill in the 1871 census where it is listed as the Round House) - Listed in Worrall's Directory of 1871 and owned by Greenall Whitley. - The Locomotive was nicknamed 'The Round House' by Suttoners because of its curved structure and was so referred in newspaper advertisements in May 1870 when the pub was offered for sale or to be let. It was described as 'well situated, doing a good business.' - 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 of December 2nd 1896, 'flowed profusely'. 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.

The Catholic Philanthropic Friendly Society was organised by the inn until the scheme's closure in February 1901. - 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 September 1904 permission was granted by St.Helens magistrates to turn the snug into part of the vaults - 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 licensee in 1939. - 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 pub had its own Old Folk’s Club and on August 5th 1952 it held a novelty dog show in the Locomotive’s club room for the funniest and cleverest dogs. It attracted 37 entries, with the proceeds from the show going to the Old Folk’s Outing fund. - The Locomotive Inn closed during the mid-1970s -

Two pictures of the Locomotive Inn at 78 Ellamsbridge Road, Sutton known to locals as the 'Round House'

Two pictures of the Locomotive Inn, known to locals as the 'Round House'

Two pictures of the Locomotive Inn

Next:  Part 28)  Sutton Pubs Part 2 (M-Z)
Stephen Wainwright
This website has been written and researched and many images photographed by myself, Stephen Wainwright, the Sutton Beauty & Heritage site owner. Individuals from all over the world have also kindly 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 pictures can also be supplied at no charge. Please also contact me if you can provide any further information or photographs concerning Sutton, St.Helens. You might also consider contributing your recollections of Sutton for the series of Memories pages. Sutton Beauty & Heritage strives for factual accuracy at all times. Do also get in touch if you believe that there are any errors. I respond quickly to emails and if you haven't had a response within twelve hours, check your junk mail folder or resend your message. Thank you! SRW
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