Friday, 2 April 2021

The pubs of Formby

While doing a deep dive into Formby and its breweries, I cam across a handy list of of the town's pubs in 1911.

There were 12 full-licensed pubs and 4 beer houses. Of the fully-licensed pubs, seven were owned by breweries. Though that number doesn't include the Railway Hotel, which was really tied as its owner, Willian Dickinson, also owned the Old Brewery. Interestingly, none of the beerhouses appear to have been tied. Though two of them were owned by our old friend Charles Weld-Blundell. Oddly, neither of the two fully-licensed pubs called the Weld-Blundell Arms was owned by him.

Three pubs were tied to Liverpool brewer Thelfalls, with one each belonging to Ellis, Warde, Webster Co., Peter Walker, Thorougood and Whittle Springs Brewery. Meaning there must have been a decent variety of beer available.

All of the breweries are from fairly close by. Peter Walker, in Warrington  being the most distant.

You'll notice that there's a huge difference between the value of fully-licensed pubs and beerhouses. The rateable value of the former varied from £85 to £888. While the latter went from a mere £12 to £59 10s. Why the difference? Because the profit on selling spirits was much greater than on beer. If a beerhouse, which couldn't sell spirits, was granted a full licence its value shot up. Beerhouses were often quite small, too. Many had originally been converted from either housed or shops.

The pubs of Formby in 1911
  Rateable value of licensed premises Annual Value taken by Excise for the purpose of licensed Duties
Robert Formby, Rifle Range, Altcar; owner, Earl of Sefton.  £85 0 £100 0
Annie Sawyer, Park Hotel, Birkdale; owners, Execs R. and C. Watson £251 0 £314 0
John Coke, Blundell Arms Hotel, owner *Ellis, Warde, Webster Co., Ltd.  £297 10 £350 0
Harriet J. Balch?, Palace Hotel, Birkdale; owners, Execs. Wm Sharpe, Sale, & H. Ainscough, Buracough. £888 0 £1100 0
Herbert Hough, Portland Hotel, Birkdale; owner *Peter Walker and Sons £161 10 £190 0
Arthur Ernest Vaughan, Crown Hotel, Birkdale; owners, Crown Hotel, Co., Ltd £127 10 £150 0
Alfred J. Bolton, Blundell Arms Hotel, Formby; owner *Threlfall's Brewery Co., Ltd.  £255 0 £300 0
John Rimmer, Royal Hotel Formby; owners, *Thorougood, Limited, Brewers, Waterloo.  £131 10 £155 0
Wm. R. Dickinson, Railway Hotel, Formby; owner, Licensee.  £127 10 £150 0
Chas. R. Sullivan, Grapes Hotel, Formby; owner *Threlfall's Brewery Co., Ltd.  £276 0 £325 0
John Adams, Freshfield Hotel; owners *Threlfall's Brewery Co., Ltd. £102 0 120 0
John H. Crankshaw, Railway Hotel Ainsdale; owners Whittle Springs Brewery Co., Ltd.  £158 0 £306 0
Sarah Ann Whitehead, 20, Upper Aughton-rd., Birkdale; owners Execs of Sarah Ann Coke  £59 10 £70 0
Joseph Allcock, Bay Horse; owner C. J. Weld-Blundell £42 10 £50 0
William Bolton, New Bridge Inn, Formby; owner C. J. Weld-Blundell  £12 0 £15 0
Jane Linaker; Farmers' Arms, Banks; owner T. T. L. Scarisbrick £38 0 £50 0
Formby Times - Saturday 04 February 1911, page 7.

Note that four of the licences were held by women.

60 years or so later, Threlfalls still dominated the pub scene:

"Hotels.-Of the public houses an Formby, two are associated with Bents Breweries - the Royal Hotel in Liverpool Road and the Bay Horse in Church Road. The Railway Hotel near Formby Station, is a Walker Tetley House and the only one in Formby. The Blundell Arms Hotel, Cross Green, the Grapes Hotel on the corner of Ryeground Lane and Church Road, and the Freshfreld Hotel, Massams Lane, are all Threlfalls houses. Of these only one takes residential guests — the Grapes Hotel. The Formby House Hotel, pleasantly situated in wooded surroundings on the old Southport Road, is also residential."
Formby Times - Wednesday 07 January 1970, page 28.

By that time, however, Threlfalls had been taken over by Whitbread and Bents by Bass Charrington. Neither would be brewing much longer. Although, on paper, the breweries were all quite local, all of them were part of Big Six national combines.

Ellis, Warde, Webster Co., Ltd.

Snig's Foot Brewery, 26 Church Street, Ormskirk.
Founded 1871, bought by Walker Cain in 1929 with 102 pubs, closed 1955.
"A Century of British Brewers plus plus" by Norman Barber, 2012, page 80.

Peter Walker and Sons
Dallam Lane, Warrington.
Founded 1846, merged with Robert Cain to form Walker Cain in 1921. Merged with Tetley in 1960, closed 1996.
"A Century of British Brewers plus plus" by Norman Barber, 2012, page 15.

Threlfall's Brewery Co., Ltd.
Trueman Street, Liverpool. Bought by Whitbread in 1967 with 800 pubs, closed in 1982.
"A Century of British Brewers plus plus" by Norman Barber, 2012, page 110.

Thorougood, Limited
Lion Brewery, 12 Queen Street, Waterloo. Founded in 1877, bought by Threlfalls in 1921.
"A Century of British Brewers plus plus" by Norman Barber, 2012, page 111.

Whittle Springs Brewery Co., Ltd.
Crown Brewery, Springs Mews, Whittle Springs. Founded in 1891, bought buy Nuttall & Co. in 1928 with 54 pubs.
"A Century of British Brewers plus plus" by Norman Barber, 2012, page 82.

Bent's Brewery
New Brewery Johnson Street, Liverpool. Founded 1910 bought by Bass Charrington in 1967 with 514 pubs, closed in 1975.
"A Century of British Brewers plus plus" by Norman Barber, 2012, page 109.

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