RETRO: Day out in Derbyshire ended in horror
Welcome back to our Retro tour of pubs in Little Sheffield, begun last week.
We now skip and dance between the trams and horse traffic on London Road to make our way to the Royal Oak at 17 Cemetery Road, opened in 1863.
Its first man in charge was James Rudd, but our landlord today is Mark Chambers.
This is a great little pub but eventually, some irk decided to call it the Beer Engine and tried to attract the beautiful people – well my two mates and I were never attracted. It’s still open.
Leaving the Oak, we turn to our left and walk the few yards to the Lansdowne at 2 Lansdowne Road.
This was opened in 1854 by landlord William Walker but at our visit it was William John Allen who had his name above the door.
This pub was a very big place on three floors and it was built to take in visitors for the night or weekly boarders.
Its design was straight out of the late 18th century, sadly that didn’t save it. It was demolished in 1988 and what for? The Waitrose car park and garage!
Leaving the Lansdowne, we cross to 10 Lansdowne Road to the Boston, also known as the Derby. It’s been selling beer from 1855 under its name the Boston.
By 1893, Michael Elsden was the landlord. Sadly it was cleared for new housing projects.
Dodging the traffic once more, we cross London Road again and head for 74 New George Street, now known as Boston Street, to the Spring Tavern.
This pub is virtually brand new as it was opened just two years before our visit. Ben Cauldwell holds the licence and he’s described as a beer retailer, as most of our landlords are.
This pub seems to have suffered in the war as I can’t find any closing year for it.
Having sampled its liquid delights, we decide to visit the Talbot at 57/59 New George Street/Boston Street.
This is also a new pub opened in 1891, probably in competition with the Spring Tavern. Its landlord was William Dickens.
The Talbot seems to have survived into the Fifties, can’t say for sure – but someone will know.
Just on the opposite side of New George Street is the George Hotel. This was a Tennants house and was opened in 1833 by its landlord William Johnson.
Alfred Norton is our landlord today.
The pub closed around the 1930s but a sad event did occur to some of its clientele on August 25, 1907.
A charabanc trip was organised for a day out in Derbyshire and after a great day out, they headed back into town.
The driver overtook a pony and trap but he went too wide and one of his wheels caught a telegraph pole which swung the bus round into a stone wall.
Two men and a boy were badly injured, they were taken to the hospital but they died just a few minutes after arriving.
Many of the other passengers suffered broken arms and legs. A great day turned into a horrible one.
Leaving the George, we turn left and further down Boston Street and go in the Anglers Rest at No 50.
This large pub was opened in 1841 and closed in 1948. John Rogers was the first mine host but in our particular year John Wortley had taken the reins. At the time it closed it was a Wards house.
Just a few steps down from the Anglers stood the George Street Tavern at 23 Arley Street. I can’t find much info on this pub but when we visit, Henry Brownhill is the landlord – no year of opening or closing.
On leaving the George Street Tavern, keeping on the right, we find the Umpire just a few more yards down at 180 Boston Street – it was 9 New George Street before the street name change.
It was selling beer in 1856 and John Cottom held the licence on our visit. Seems it was a very popular pub, large too.
It let rooms out to salesmen and boarders while it was a beer house and even after it ceased selling beer it still let rooms off.
We bid good afternoon to the crowd inside and head for the Old Mill Tavern just on the other side of Boston Street, opened in 1833 and which gave up its licence on January 3, 1925.
There’s not much information on who held the licence, but in 1871 Charles Deakin had it.
We now make our way to the Cricketers Inn at 37 Sheldon Street, just up from Arley Street.
It was opened in 1839 and in 1893 James Binns was the landlord.
I’m afraid I don’t know just when it closed, it was still open in 1939 so it could be another victim of the Blitz.
After a good drink today, we visit our last pub, it’s on the top of Sheldon Street on the right at 84. It was selling beer in 1871 and the first licensee was William Furness.
Now this is where things get a mite puzzling.
In the Whites Directory of 1893 at 84 Sheldon Street, George Rhodes is listed as a tripe dresser and bone handle cutter. He’s also a beer retailer, same address as the Sportsman Inn.
He was at this address in 1879, listed as George Rhodes & Son, and by 1905 William Rhodes was the beer retailer at the same address.
By 1911, Laurence Hartley is installed at the beer house, so could it be that making cutlery scales was a more profitable business? Could be.
So here ends our sojourn into the rich past of Sheffield’s lost pubs.
This small area which we’ve trod today is now bereft of the real people that gave life to the area.
It’s been cleansed of real Sheffielders and the buildings have been replaced by ’orrible accommodation for students and other classes.
Only nearby John Street retains some of the buildings that were there during 1893.
If anyone wants to learn more on the George Hotel tragedy, I urge them to visit Chris Hobbs’ website as it’s full of stories about Sheffield.
I hope you’ve learned something new about Little Sheffield and its people and its pubs.
My two comrades, Mr D and Mr S, have learned to sing Don’t Dilly Dally On The Way, which is in itself a great achievement.