Sunday, 28 January 2018

Closing pubs in Carlisle

In the old days, pubs rarely closed because they had no custom. They were forced to close, by local authorities determined to reduce the number of licensed premises.

Closing pubs was seen by some as a way of reducing remptation, by the more fanatical as a way of eventually closing them all. So it's no surprise that reducing the number of licences was one of the tactics they used in Carlisle.

"Purchase area — excluding the Maryport extension1 — four breweries, 207 "on" licences,2 and 20 "off" licences. Up to the end of 1918, of the total of 227 "on" or "off" licences, 104 had been suppressed as redundant or undesirable. In Carlisle, also, the "off" sale of spirits was withdrawn from a number of houses which were not dislicensed. That apart, the sale of liquor ceased entirely in 45 per cent, of the total number of licensed premises in the area.

Take Carlisle alone. In the ten years, from 1905 to 1915, eighteen licences were suppressed. The Board, under State Purchase conditions, speedily made a net clearance of fifty in the city.3 The houses closed were mainly those in back streets or in the narrow courts characteristic of the ancient part of the city, structurally unsuitable and difficult for the police to supervise properly. the simple act of closing houses of this type was a definite contribution to public order.

All "grocers' licences" were abolished. Mixed trading in groceries and intoxicants was stopped throughout the area. There were eight "grocers' licences" in Gretna-without-the-Township and ten in Carlisle District. Of those in Gretna-without-the-Township, seven were discontinued, and in the eighth instance the sale of groceries was abandoned. Of those in Carlisle, seven were discontinued; in the other three instances the sale of groceries was given up.

The concentration of business also made it possible to close two of the four Carlisle breweries.4

2. Further Restrictions on the Sale of Spirits.-—(1) At the request of the Gretna authorities the Board stopped the sale of spirits at Longtown and a few village public-houses near the Factory. The Longtown prohibition took effect in mid-December, 1916, and remained in force until the autumn of 1917.

1 The Maryport extension is excluded from these statistics because the process of transfer from private to public ownership was incomplete at the time of publication.

2 At the close of 1918 there were four licensed proportion in Carlisle which had not boon acquired by the Board, viz. the County Hotel, the Crown and Mitre Hotel, the Red Lion, and the Silver Grill.

3 the actual number of licences suppressed by the Board in Carlisle itself, from July, 1916 to October, 1918, was 53. New licences were given to the Gretna Tavern and the London Tavern; and the Station Refreshment Rooms, which were formerly worked under the County Hotel licence, received a separate licence.

4 These four were the Carlisle Old Brewery, the Carlisle New Brewery, Iredale's, and the Queen's. The two latter were closed.
"The Control of the Drink Trade" by Longmans, Green & Co., London, 1919, page 209 - 210.
Only one of the breweries really remained open, the Old Brewery. The New Brewery was just a bottling plant.

Fascinating which licensed premises weren't purchased. Two presumably nice hotels, what sounds like a posh restaurant and just one that sounds like a pub. Just done a quick search and it seems there was a Red Lion Hotel in Carlisle. Which is a currently a listed building, so I'm guessing it was pretty posh. Looks to me like they only went for the working-class places.

1 comment:

Sheffield Hatter said...

Thanks for this interesting series on the Carlisle state scheme. It's been absorbing.