Its always been believed this grandly styled property began housing the pit manager from the Old Hucknall Colliery sited across bottom of Blackwell Road.
My earliest 2003 photo was shot from where an old row of small colliery worker cottages had stood facing. They were amongst others addressed by early census records in
Pit Row area, which always offered an alternative local reference towards the pub itself, despite it long being aptly titled
The Miners Arms. Unfortunately, this can only capture modernised front that firstly incorporated the once separate outside toilet block front right, missing a well remembered original, and more homely layout.
Humble beginnings currently trace back into 1891, when Thomas Elvidge is simply listed as beer retailer. He is next asserted as victualler of the Miners Arms beer house in 1894. Thereafter, this beer house gains no specific titled gazetteer mention.. Those commercial directories do simply note later beer retailers all loosely addressed on Blackwell Road, frustratingly leaving confusion between at least three other similar premises.
Discovered however, from 1933 Free Press archives is reported death of Mr Isaiah Pitchford. Identifying he retired a year before, asserts a former landlord over 20 years. Further to which, Mr Mellors adds this scene shared through marital ties with Pitchford great grandchildren. This must claim very earliest view of the Miners Arms when descendant Terry Stone suggests fronting group includes family Isaiah Pitchford with wife Mary nee Brailsford, alongside their son Harold and daughter Florence.
This borderline property came last in line when connecting mains water, gas and finally electricity supplies. The lack of gas street lighting caused 1932 concerns for the landlord in regard to pedestrian safety. Year is an established takeover date next identifying George Davis being licence holder, until 1941 less certainly but likely suggests James Wright had taken over.
Mrs Bower shares this 1950's flower prize presentation, hosted by landlord Baron Yates wearing a dicky bow tie stood behind his wife Edith. Following Baron's death, Mrs Yates did single handedly continue serving as landlady until the brewery sell out, which recognised her eventually becoming the oldest known publican. Her bar room had featured a caged miner bird sat on counter end. It very vocally entertained front door entry or exits, up until 1980's Health and Safety demanded removal.
Directly fronting the low roadside did make this property flood prone. An adjacent stream draining from off Strawberry Bank named Blackwell Brook, had anciently defined this Nottinghamshire county border edging into Derbyshire. Natural running water first enabled home brewing before a Home Ales brewery takeover. Off the garden stream, my fathers 1970s camera captured a long familiar rear view before major transformations.
It must be sometime near 1990 when the property became fully modernised and renamed reflecting new owner as
Godfreys. A private major make over added kitchens and a dining extension, with a fully open plan lounge offering comfort and room for entertainment surrounding an island bar. The mock Tudor theme also decorated the internal beamed walls and low ceiling.
As a Free House serving various real ales, dining success continued through several management changes under a newly signed
The Miners. Hosting weekend live entertainment invited younger custom into the new millenium, although a widespread slump in trade was then becoming very clearly evident.
Adopting original name through latter years of service, the Miners Arms suffered occasional closures. A few resulting from disasters beyond any landlords control. Sand bagging the front doorway largely resisted water entering from a severely flooded roadway. A charred frontage showed lucky escape from what could have been a more disastrous fire. And the left corner once had to be rebuilt following collision by a motor car. The repairs saw out a string of enthusiastic tenants, until the Enterprise Inn company had to add another inevitable Huthwaite pub closure, finally witnessed February 2008.
Set in large grounds, these premises were purchased for private use in 2009. Since then the addressing 222 Blackwell Road reclaims a fine residence.
Written 15 Dec 04 Revised 10 Oct 15 © by Gary Elliott