Monday, 30 August 2010

Roadhouses

On a Bank Holiday Monday, why not go for a spin in the car? By 1938 there were two million cars on the roads of Britain. And one thing those mostly middle-class car owners were keen to do was to escape the confines of the city, and go out for a drink in the countryside. The brewers obviously responded to this trend by redeveloping existing pubs and building new ones to cater for the burgeoning “car trade”. Robinson’s of Stockport had a specific policy of acquiring and developing country pubs when many of their competitors held off. There’s still plenty of 1930s pub architecture around to be appreciated, even if in virtually all cases the interiors have been gutted more than once. Also bear in mind that coach trips to country pubs were extremely popular in those days too. Here are four examples – for a change all still trading – in Cheshire:

The Nag’s Head, Bridge Trafford – originally a Greenalls pub

The Helsby Arms, Helsby – originally the “Brown Cow”, this was built to coincide with the opening of the A5117 Chester By-Pass road, which revolutionised road travel to the North Wales coast. Developed by one of Bass’ predecessor companies (possibly Bents of Liverpool)

The Red Lion, Eaton – another former Greenalls pub, replacing an older pub in the village centre

The Legs of Man, Arclid – typical of a number of Robinson’s 1930s developments

The common architectural theme, with prominent tiled gables, is very obvious.

4 comments:

  1. There are 4 Robby's houses in my town,how they survive God only knows.

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    ReplyDelete
  2. I happen to think that in terms of 'architecture' and art the 1930s were a golden age. I love the few examples of 1930s pubs that have remained unchanged that I've seen.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's a pity that so many of the original 1930s interiors have been stripped out – although the Legs of Man which I refer do does retain some 1930s features.

    I'm fortunate to live near to the Nursery Inn in Heaton Norris, Stockport, which was built in 1939 and retains its original interior largely intact, thus meaning it features on the National Inventory.

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  4. The Red Lion, Eaton, is now well and truly closed, and looks as though it probably was not long after my original post.

    ReplyDelete

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