Tag Archives: pubs

The Funeral of Henry HEMSLEY: “from his friends in the trade”

30 Apr

One of the floral tributes at the funeral of Henry HEMSLEY was described in the newspaper report as “A token of respect to the oldest license holder, from his friends in the Trade at Uckfield, George Bean, J. H. Elliott, A. E. Hill, M. Tourle, J. Webber, A. Waight, and F. White.”

Having an interest in pub history I thought it might be fun to find out who these people were. Using Kelly’s Directory of Sussex for 1915 on the Historical Directories website I was able to identify all seven of the gentlemen (yes, they were all men) mentioned, all of whom had businesses in the town of Uckfield, Sussex.

George BEAN King’s Head Hotel 186 High Street
Joseph Henry ELLIOTT Bridge Hotel New Town
Arthur Ernest HILL beer retailer 70 High Street
Mark TOURLE Ringles Cross Hotel Ringles Cross
John WEBBER Maiden’s Head Hotel 91 High Street
Albert WAIGHT Bell Hotel 96 High Street
Frank WHITE Alma Arms Public House Framfield Road

Uckfield High Street was obviously the place to go for a drink. As well as the four businesses listed above there was also a wine and spirit merchant at No. 122 High Street.

The Maiden’s Head Hotel is where Henry’s property, the Gun Inn, was sold at auction six months after his death.

The Pub History Society Conference

20 Feb

I spent the day at The National Archives today, but didn’t do a single piece of research! Instead I attended the Pub History Society Conference held at the archives.

This was the first time the Pub History Society have held a conference, and hopefully it will become an annual event. For me it seemed that The National Archives was an ideal place to hold it, not only were the conference facilities excellent, but we also had the benefit of the other facilities at the archives, such as the café, cyber-café, lockers and bookshop.

There were five excellent talks, on varied aspects of pub history, some of which (if not all) will hopefully appear as podcasts:

  • The Lost Pubs of London (Jack Adams)
  • The Pub and the People (Simon Fowler)
  • Women, Darts and the Pub in the Interwar Period (Patrick Chaplin)
  • Pub Signs and Names (David Roe)
  • A Short History of Coaching Inns (David Thomas)

I wouldn’t like to try and pick a favourite, they were all thought provoking and made me think about aspects of pub history aside from my usual family history angle.

However, I couldn’t get away from family history entirely, especially during the talk on coaching inns. I couldn’t help wondering what Thomas KINGHORN (my 4x great-grandfather) thought about the coaching inns that he stopped at whilst guarding the mail coaches.

All in all it was a truly memorable day, and what really made it extra special was a guided tour of The National Archives given by Simon Fowler (editor of Ancestors magazine), giving us a peek behind the scenes.

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