With pubs being actively closed by the authorities, brewers had to keep acquiring new ones jsut to stand still. Which made the prospect of a brand new pub in a new area of housing particularly attractive.
This case is typical. 140 houses had been built at Noak Hill - implying a population of at least 500-600 - but there was no pub. Truman wanted to build one, but met with opposition. One is pretty predictable but the other might come as a surprise.
"ROMFORD LICENSING NEW APPLICATIONS
. . . .
AT NOAK HILL.
Application was made for the provisional granting of a full licence for a proposed new house on the Estate, Noak Hill, for Frederick C. Ottley, of the Sun. London Road, Romford, and Mrs. Emma Cecil, widow, Camberwell Grove.
Harold Murphy supported the application; and for the opposition Mr. J. Thompson appeared for Mr. Mardell, licensee of the Bull, Brook Street; Mr. Read objected on behalf of 72 householders living withm 300 yards of the proposed site, and Mr. Beazley supported him.
Mr. Murphy handed in petitions in favour containing 134 names, and said the site was purchased by Messrs. Truman, Hanbury, Buxton, Co., who considered it suitable because there was no public-house nearer than a mile. It was a new neighbourhood, where a new demand had been created. About 140 houses had been erected up to now, and when the estate was developed there would be a mile and a quarter road frontage.
Mr Mardell said he could fulfil all orders from Sunny Town and and Mr. Read urged that the residents were quite satisfied. — The Bench refused the application."
Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 11 February 1927, page 8.
It's no surprise thta there were some local residents who opposed it. There's always at least one who will object to anything. But a publican? Surely he'd be in favour of the trade? Well, not really. If you had a monopoly - which Mr. Mardell seemed to - you wouldn't want competition. In reality it was very common for other local publicans and shopkeepers to object to new licence application.
This will give you some idea of the challenges facing brewers:
|Pub licences 1900 - 1930 in England & Wales|
|Year||Full||Beer / wine||Total Pubs||Population|
|1920 - 1930||decline||6.98%|
|1910 - 1930||decline||16.09%|
|1900 - 1930||decline||24.06%|
|Brewers' Almanack 1971, page 83.|
|1924 – 1972: The Brewers' Society Statistical handbook 1973”, page 50.|
If the increase in population is taken into account, the decline in pub numbers is even more dramatic.
The Sun, a rather attractive 1920's Truman house, still exists. I wonder if that was rebuilt in response to the licence application refusal?
A Truman eagle is clearly visible above the right-hand balcony.