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Nottingham Pubs of the Past

 

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Nottinghamshire has lost so many pubs over the years.
The days of going out for a regular pint have long gone (even before Covid times) with the smoking ban and cheap supermarket beer causing irreparable damage to the once thriving industry.

But what has happened to some of the county's pubs since they've closed down?
Some are still standing but have been converted into shops or offices. Others have been razed to the ground to make way for housing of one form or another.
Here we take a look back at some of these once popular drinking haunts.

   
The Wheatsheaf in Bobbers Mill

The former Shipstones pub, in Bobbers Mill, featured in Alan Sillitoe's novel Key to the Door about a young man in the 1950s growing up in the grim backstreets of Nottingham.
It also used to be the home of the Trent Valley Bottle Club, one of the largest collecting clubs of its kind in the country, but after its closure the boarded up building become an eyesore with graffiti on the walls.

The former Wheatsheaf pub was transformed into a McDonald's drive-through

In 2014, emergency services across the city rushed to the pub, in Nuthall Road, after a blaze broke out on the ground floor.
It remained empty until a multi-million pound revamp turned it into a 24-hour drive-through McDonald's in 2016.
Locals were worried that the landmark 1930s building would demolished but most of it was conserved during the redevelopment - and given a good clean up.

The Grey Mare Pub, Farnborough Road, Clifton, 1998 

With its football team and fundraising events, the pub was at the heart of the Clifton community for many years.
Opening in 1961, the Shipstones pub took its name from one of brewery's dray horses, a grey mare called Rosie.
Resident Wendy Sheldon said: "I remember my auntie going to the off-licence with her empty jug to get it refilled with her beer and me and my brother Kev took empty beer bottles back for a bit of pocket money."
In 1998 lucky regular Margaret Murden won a trip to New York thanks to a 'Wild Card' promotion at the pub.

 

(Image: Picture Nottingham/Bernard And Pauline Heathcote Photographic Collection.)

 

Clifton View care home

Today the pub, in Farnborough Road, is long gone just like The Winning Post and the Man of Trent.
Demolition men moved in in 2014 and the pub was replaced by a 76-bed care home, Clifton View.

 

 

The Hearty Goodfellow

A rather scary 7ft figure of the 'Hearty Goodfellow' was auctioned off in 2002 when the Home Brewery pub and live music venue closed down.
The name is believed to have been inspired by a ballad sung in the 1860s: "I am a hearty good fellow, I live at my ease/I work when I'm ready, I play when I please/With my bottle and glass many hours I do pass/Sometimes with a friend, sometimes with a lass."

4450 Miles from Delhi

The building, on the corner of Maid Marian Way and Mount Street, was transformed both inside and out into Indian restaurant 4550 Miles from Delhi, which has been there ever since.

The portly statue? We don't know where he ended up but a replacement feature was a tuk tuk on the wall.

 

 

Locals campaigned to save the pub

Locals weren't happy when the Cow, in Middle Street, shut its doors in 2007 to make way for a Tesco petrol station opposite the new supermarket in Beeston.
Despite a 500-strong petition, the campaigners lost their battle and a wealth of history was wiped out when the property was demolished.
in the 1970s the building was home to Notts' first punk club Katie's, hosting gigs by the Damned and X-Ray Spex - a far cry from its original use as a 19th century vicarage Beeston Hall. The home of the Rev John Wolley was the highest-rated house in the town at that time.

 

A Tesco petrol station replaced the Cow 

The Cow, previously called the Beech Tree after a magnificent copper beech tree in the car park, was renamed by new owners in 2000 after their favourite pub in London.
Incidentally the Notting Hill pub is still there - and renowned as a top spot for Guinness and oysters.

(Image: Joseph Raynor Nottingham Post)
Sir Charles Napier

The proper old-fashioned boozer, tucked away in North Sherwood Street, stood next to an entrance of the leafy Arboretum.
Named after the 19th Royal Navy Admiral, who served with distinction in the Napoleonic Wars, the ship has long sailed for the cosy haunt which used to be perfect for winter with a crackling fire in the front room, and lovely in summer in a beer garden at the back.
Beyond the bar with its real-ale pumps serving London Pride and Pedigree was a pool table, and for a time, in the Noughties, Spanish tapas were served.

How the pub looks now

 

Although we're not 100 percent sure when the Victorian red-brick pub opened, it dates back to at least 1864 according to old photos - the year a law was passed to ban boys under ten from working as chimney sweeps.
Anyone walking past the property today wouldn't give it a second glace as there are no hint of its previous life. After it closed in 2011 the building was converted into student accommodation.

(Image Marie Wilson/Nottingham Post)

 

The Nags Head, Mansfield Road, Nottingham 

Dating from 1752, the pub, in Mansfield Road, Nottingham, had the dubious honour of providing villains with their last drink on the way to the gallows at the top of the hill.
In 1823, one condemned man was in such a hurry to get his ordeal over with that he refused a pint of ale and went straight to meet the hangman.
Moments after his execution, a King’s messenger galloped to the scene... clutching a royal pardon.
The present-day building, constructed in 1912, is allegedly haunted but there haven't been any sightings for many years.

Apart from a change of signage the exterior of the Nags Head looks the same

 

More recently, around 2015, it became a sheesha bar but after closing in 2018 the building stood empty until developers turned it into MegaClose student accomodation with very few differences externally other than a change of signage.
Hilary Silvester, chair of the Nottingham Civic Society, was disappointed by the loss. She said: "I have nothing against students, it should, if at all possible, retain some of the historic use and character.
"It's not just a pub that was there in the early 19th century. It was a pub that has this relationship with something that is a bit spooky and horrible but historic.
"It would be far better if it could be retained and let or used as some sort of bar or something to do with its recent use."

The Fountain Inn

The Fountain Inn, which opened in Bridlesmith Gate in the 1960s, was a popular meeting place for more than 30 years until 1999 when it served its last pint.
The first stop on a boozy pub crawl around Nottingham had the same faces every week and at the weekend would be so rammed you'd be lucky to get a standing spot, let alone a seat.
The atmosphere, the dancing, and a toilet attendant with hairspray, deodorant and a lollipop - these were the memories.
The prime site was sold and turned into retail units, occupied by White Stuff and Cath Kidston, but it was announced last April that the latter would permanently close after being put into administration.

More than 20 years on from it shutting down, readers still have a soft spot for the Fountain.
Helen Greenhalgh recalled:The Old Pubs like the Fountain, Lion and Pumps had an amazing atmosphere, everyone knew everyone (same faces every week), the music was great and there was never much trouble."

(Image: Picture Nottingham/Bernard Beilby))

The Old Corner Pin on the corner of Clumber Street and Upper Parliament Street in 1988 

Time was called for the last time at the Old Corner Pin on St Valentine’s Day, 1989. The Home Ales pub, on the corner of Clumber Street and Parliament Street, was more than 200 years old and had previously been called the Horse & Groom.
In 1921 former Spurs centre forward Jimmy Cantrell took over as landlord.
Years later one drinker recalled how the pub would only serve drinks in half pint glasses, not pints, so he and his wife always asked for four halves of bitter

Today the former pub is Nationwide Building Society 

After closing down, the property was converted into a shop and went on to become Nottingham's first Disney Store.
It later became a clothes shop with both Etam and Miss Selfridge having a stint there. Today the site is home to Nationwide Building Society.

(Image Joseph Raynor Nottingham Post)
The Jester pub

 

The Jester was once a popular pub in Sneinton from the 1960s - with the Good Cheer Cellar to the right.
But there wasn't much to laugh when it called time forever in 2009.
After being sold for £400,000 at auction (way over the £250,000 guide price) the building on the corner of Sneinton Dale and Trent Road was converted into a mosque by the Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust.

The mosque that replaced The Jester

 

At the time Zaheer Khan, of the trust, said: “The local mosque identified the need for larger premises a number of years ago to provide the local community with greater facilities.

"This building is ideal as it is just around the corner from the mosque so the trust purchased it for the benefit of the local community.”
The Jester wasn't the only former pub to become a mosque. So did Le Grand in Hyson Green and Fiveways at Sherwood.

The Double Top pub in Chilwell

The once thriving community pub, which opened in 1969, was named after the darts' score and was very much themed around the popular game.
When it opened the building in Bramcote Lane, Chilwell, sported a mural of a dartboard on the facade by the entrance.
Scenes for BBC comedy drama Truckers were filmed there in 2013 but a few years later the pub closed for good.

After planning permission was granted in 2017, the pub was demolished and a Co-op supermarket was built, opening in June 2018.

Dog & Topper in Lenton

 

The pub, at the Abbey Bridge roundabout in Lenton, was once a social club for the 17th/21st Lancers, a cavalry regiment of the British Army, which had the Death or Glory's regiment cap badge as its sign.
After a revamp by owners Hardys and Hansons modernised the building, it reopened in April 1999 as the Dog and Topper in the heart of studentville.
Taking its name from Monopoly pieces, the pub had a mammoth board laid out on the floor, and giant versions of Jenga and Connect Four.
Proposals for late night opening until 12.30am didn't go down well with local residents and councillors rejected the plans amidst fears of disturbance.

A change in student drinking habits of 'prinks' (pre-drinks) at home before hitting the town's clubs saw fewer going to pub so the Dog and Topper's existence was short lived.
In 2008 the first floor was converted into a Tesco Express, with smaller retail units on the ground floor, and the convenience store is proving more popular than the pub.

The Fox pub at Sneinton boarded up

 

Sneinton has lost many locals, amongst them the Oakdale, the Duke of Cambridge, Queen Adelaide, and the Inn on the Hill.
Then there was the Fox, in Dale Street, a pub dating back to the 1750s.
For many generations it was run by the Blyth family until it closed down in 2006 and was boarded up for a spell.

It has since turned into a solicitor's office for immigration specialists Burton and Burton.
The building was renamed Fox House in homage to its former life.

(Image: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)
The Lion Hotel as it stands in Clumber Street today 

The pub, located in not just Nottingham's busiest street, but one of the busiest in Europe, used to be packed out at lunchtimes.One former regular who popped into the Clumber Street hostelry recalled "Not only did it serve a very agreeable pint of Home Ales, it did a roaring trade in cobs.
"There would be two women at the end of the bar making cobs that were sold as quick as they could make them. Big slices of cheese with onion or proper tasty ham."

Once called the White Lion Inn, established around 1684, it became a site for cock-fighting and was to be location for a major match between the cocks of Nottingham and London in 1763.
But the night before, someone got into the cocks’ training area and poisoned so many of them that the match had to be cancelled.
The elaborate green and gold tiled frontage and signage in Clumber Street, remains today but now the building is an amusement arcade on the ground floor and a tanning salon upstairs.

The Five Ways

The Fiveways was situated on Edwards Lane. The pub was known for being a regular haunt of famous Nottingham author Alan Sillitoe, who campaigned to protect its interior from being altered in the 1990s. 
This grade 2 listed pub closed c.2014 and is now used as an islamic community centre.