P is for Pub

There are pubs to be found all over Tameside and Stockport, as there are in other towns and villages in England. They used to be a focal point for local people and are as much a part of the history of the industrial revolution as the mills and factories.

As the industrial towns grew in the 19th century, so did the number of pubs and with little else by way of entertainment, the workers found that cheap ale was one of the few pleasures they could afford. Lax licensing laws meant that landlords opened pretty much when they wanted which offended the church and the middle classes.

In 1872, a law was introduced to restrict pub opening hours to 9pm on Sunday and 11pm during the week and as a result, 15,000 people rioted on the streets of Ashton. Other restrictions were brought in during WWI to prevent munitions workers being drunk on the job, but these ‘opening hours’ became a permanent fixture for many years after.

My favourite quote on the subject comes from Tony Hancock’s impassioned, but inept plea as foreman of the jury in Twelve Angry Men:

Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain? That brave Hungarian peasant girl who forced King John to sign the pledge at Runnymede and close the boozers at half past ten!

Those days have past and we now have  24/7 opening hours, although this doesn’t seem to have done either society or the pub trade much good.

History lesson over and time for a few local pubs. The first up is in Stalybridge and boasts the longest pub name in the country — The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn — as certified by the Guinness Book of Records in 1995.

The name had previously been shortened to the Rifleman Inn, but the original was resurrected by Wilsons Brewery in the 1980s.

The pub is one of those that has suffered because of the previously mentioned problems and I believe it has been bought by the regulars to be run as a community pub.

Next is the Chapel House in Dukinfield. I grew up in a house on the other side of the street, but it never occurred to me to wonder why it was called the Chapel House when there isn’t a church or anything like it nearby.

The answer is that there was a chapel there once. St Mary’s Church was opened in 1825 on the corner of Astley Street and Palmer Street to accommodate the growing Catholic population of Ashton who were forbidden to practice their religion there.

Sadly the church had to close just 22 years later because of subsidence caused by the nearby Dog Lane Colliery. {Remember my M for Mining post?} The church moved to its present home on Zetland Street, although the area where the grave yard was remains an open area to this day. You can read more in this PDF.

The third and final pub on my list is also here for personal reasons and it doesn’t look much like a pub. That’s because it isn’t any more.

The white building in the foreground was once the Hare and Hounds in Mottram where my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Miles Goddard, was landlord from around 1830. When he died in 1850, my four times grandmother, Peggy, took it over, followed by her son John after she died and then by his widow, Ellen.

Beer was brewed on the premises, rather than at a brewery, and in his will, Miles left John all his brewing utensils.

The building ceased being a pub around the end of the 1800s century and is a private residence today.

ABC Wednesday Round 7

Phooka at Witch Blog

Polly Ticks by Ramblin’ Roger

Pinnacles at View Thru My Global Lens

Pythagoras at Daily Athens

Parchment by I Rhyme Without reason

Paramount Theater at Oakland Daily Photo

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8 comments… add one

  • Yorkshire Pudding 3rd November 2010, 2:04 am

    AAAARGH! Don’t mention Mottram to me matey! For South Yorkshire folk headed for Manchester Airport, Mottram is a nightmarish bottleneck. L.S. Lowry must have been a masochist to spend his last years there. Also…. P is for chamber pot.

    Reply
  • Francisca 3rd November 2010, 9:29 am

    Nothing beats a pub crawl in England, and your history of these three special pubs makes a perfect P post. [Sorry the link below is my yesterday's post. Today's is about karst pinnacles.]

    Reply
  • Mr Parrot 3rd November 2010, 9:59 am

    YP: Mottram is a place to avoid if you’re driving. I would have thought where you live, the A624/A625 route to Stockport would be a better bet.

    Francisca: Thanks for visiting. Going round all the ABC Wednesday posts is a bit of a crawl!

    Reply
  • rog 3rd November 2010, 10:26 am

    I love the IDEA of the pub more than actually going to one. Or maybe Americans just don’t do it correctly.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

    Reply
  • Mr Parrot 3rd November 2010, 2:10 pm

    Rog: Pubs used to be as much about recreation and socialising as they were about drinking beer, but that is not so much the case these days. More and more a struggling because of the availability of cheap booze from the supermarkets and since the ban on smoking in public places. It is sad to see how many have ‘business opportunity‘ signs outside these days.

    I’m sure someone could write a learned article on the development, growth and decline of the Britsh pub.

    Reply
  • Yorkshire Pudding 3rd November 2010, 7:42 pm

    What the hell is a Britsh pub? Do you mean a Brutish pub or a Britshit pub? Most confusing.

    Reply
  • Joy 3rd November 2010, 8:45 pm

    The perfect place for a palatable pint. The Chapel House reminded me of instructions for finding a pub in a village, look for the church spire, there is always a pub nearby. Although in these present times maybe it is not as true.

    Reply
  • LisaF 3rd November 2010, 10:22 pm

    What interesting pieces of history. Living in a Previous Pub would be pretty cool! Think of all the stories it could tell if the walls could talk!

    Reply

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