Thursday 13 April 2023

Looking back (part ten): pubs in the 1970s again

Another run through my memories of pubs in the 1970s.

Starting with pub locations. Today the majority of pubs in Newark are in the centre of town. There's always been a concentration of pubs there, but there used to be pubs scattered all around town, especially, but not exclusively, the parts built before WW II.

For example, when I was younger there were four pubs close to Northgate Railway Station: the Newark Arms, the Newcastle Arms, the Bowling Green and the Robin Hood and Little John. Only the Newcastle Arms remains. These pubs weren't weekend destinations, but locals. Pubs that lived off a slow and steady stream of regulars throughout the week.

On the other side of town, there were a couple of true backstreet locals, the Kings Arms of King Street and the King William IV on Parliament Street. Along with a couple pubs on Mill Gate: the Water Mill and the Old Castle. The only pub to have remained open in this part of town is Spring House. Which has a rather prominent position on the junction of Victoria Street and Mill Gate.

Those were all pubs built in the 19th century. There were also 20th-century pubs. Local brewer Warwick & Richardson built a few roadhouse-style pubs in the 1930s. There was the Broadway on the edge of the Hawtonville estate (and backing onto my secondary school playing fields), the Bridge Inn on Lincoln Road on the East edge of town and a pub halfway to Farndon on the West of town whose name I can't remember. All of these have closed.

There were two postwar estate pubs: the Cardinal's Hat to the West of town and the Maple Leaf to the East. Only the former is still open.

These changes, I'm sure, reflect a change in drinking habits. Pubs outside the town centre depended on those living in the immediate vicinity nipping in for the odd pint or two during the week. The sort of casual occasional drinking that now probably takes place at home with a couple of cans while watching the TV.

While town centre pubs, where drinkers go for a night out or pop into for a quick pint while shopping, have fared better. And while there have been closures in the town centre, there have also been new openings. But, overall, the distribution of pubs throughout the town has been changed forever.



Anonymous said...

Is there a 'Spoons?

Ron Pattinson said...


yes, but it's due to close soon.

Anonymous said...

Spoons is opening more locations in Ireland

Anonymous said...

Wow, sad times when even the 'Spoons are closing. Ant and Dec have a lot to answer for.

Anonymous said...

That'll be the Brexit bounce