A History of Crompton and Shaw Pubs, by Rob Magee

A History of Crompton and Shaw Pubs, by Rob Magee
Booklet published by Neil Richardson in 1988, 46 pages. A4 size booklet (N7920)

From the Introduction: Being a rural area, Crompton has many of its old pubs left and this means that any attempt to record their history has to deal with early licensing records which are incomplete and sometimes confusing. In the first place, these list only licensees' names, not their inn signs, and addresses are either vague or non-existent. In an age when administrators had less efficient means of commun­ication and when travelling was more difficult, landlords some­times failed to turn up to sign their recognizances, or regist­ered their names in a neigh­bouring area. Thus, in 1630 two names are recorded - Mary Taylor and Robert Buckle of Crompton. In 1683 four are listed in Crompton - Robert and Hugh Taylor and Richard and James Hopwood. Four names appear in 1744, three in 1750 and only two again in 1758! Numerical differences of this kind can probably be explained by the inclusion or exclusion of pubs in outlying areas like the Kings Arms at Grains and the Old Bulls Head at "Sandhole" (Thread Mill) and as addresses begin to be included, the picture becomes clearer.

No inn sign is given until 1768, when John Wild is listed at the Blue Bell; evidence suggests he had been there for at least 30 years. The other very early pub in Shaw itself was the Queen Ann at "Shaw Chapel". These were joined in the 1760s by the Coach and Horses, "Four Lane Ends" and in the 1790s by the Hare and Hounds, Chapel Lane. By the time the Pineapple and the Duke of York were built in the early 19th century, records were more consistent and the historian's task becomes easier.

By 1814· there were ten inns and public houses in Shaw and in 1828, just before the Beer­house Act was passed, this number had risen to 18. After the Act, which was designed to encourage people to drink beer rather than spirits - and gin in particular - a large number of beerhouses opened. some of which had already been oper­ating as illegal "hush shops". By 1867 there was one licensed premises for every 174 people in Crompton and Shaw.

Licensing had been transferred to local justices in 1823: for Crornpton , Chadderton and Royton this meant that sessions were held at Middleton until after the Local Gover-nment Act of 1894, when each township had its own brewster sessions. The justices, helped by various new licensing acts in the 1860s and 18705, worked hard to close down the less respectable houses and by 1898 Inspector Jump of the licensing Division proudly announced to the magistrates that the number of licensed premises had fallen to one for every 341 persons.

Their are around 50 pubs listed in the booklet, and they are arranged in an A to Z format. They include the Angel Inn, Bay Horse, Beaver Inn, Big Lamp, Black Horse, Black Lad, Blue Bell, Bulls Head, Coach and Horses, Colliers Arms, Commercial, Hare and Hounds, Jubilee, Malt Shovel, Minders Arms, Morning Star, Moulders Arms, North Star, Old Bulls Head, Old Grey Mare, Park Inn, Pineapple, Plough Boy, Prince of Wales, Puckersley Inn, Queens Inn, Queen Ann, Railway Inn, Royal Oak, Slaters Arms, Swan Inn, Thorntree Inn, White Lion, and more!

Condition of the booklet is generally very good. The covershave one or two very minor scuffs but are clean and bright, the staple spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. Has an old price printed on the front cover, a small price sticker on the rear side.