Huthwaite's Past Public Houses

The Portland Arms

Asserting one very early public house, an 1811 Derby Mercury announced a property auction to be hosted; At the house of Mr. Samuel Butterworth, known by the Sign of the Gate, in Hucknall-under-Huthwaite.

The Gate
1811 Samuel Butterworth
1828 John Butterworth
1830 Samuel Bower
The Portland Arms
1832 Samuel Bower
1844 John Bower
1853 John Bower
1864 Thomas Kestevan
1881 Samuel Bower
1891 Samuel Bower
1900 Mrs. Elizabeth Bower
1909 Emlyn Bower
Shipstone Ales Tenants
1912 George Robert Bailey
1932 Ernest George Castle
1941 George Archie Reeve
1967 Reg & Doreen Fittall
198? Keith and Sue

The Gate 1811-1830

These premises marked residential east extreme when first facing a windmill. Originally addressing The Gate would thus describe a main road division separating entry into town. Gazetteers confirm John Butterworth extends family name into 1828. But the renaming comes soon after handing property keys over for longer term keep by the next family, while its first headed by a senior Samuel Bower.

An 1830 directory identifies time Samuel Bower had become The Gate Publican. A second 1832 trade entry lists his victualler trade, at an updated addressing he effectively gave a Portland Arms Inn.

Portland SignChosen Inn name was doubtless aimed to reflect allegiance to an influential line of Dukes. The title carried on the ruling power given Lord covering Mansfield Manor court affairs. We really ought be historically thankful more for a sixth Duke of Portland inheriting his place as Lord of the Manor in 1858. He then demonstrated highest professionalism in fulfilling that duty very responsibly, which encouraged healthier progress until 1943.


Allegiance Honouring Titled Dukes of Portland

Sharing same 1864 year, with victualler title and Kesteven surname serving another Inn, leads to assuming Thomas held Portland Arms listing employed as manager, because Bower family members keep ownership beyond the rest of that century into a 20th seeing accelerated Huthwaite expansion. A Mrs Bower saw in that new era as this prospering mining village quickly extended housing along a modern named Sutton Road.

Revealed above is that original privately owned frontage. Based on other evidence besides recently laid tramlines, that presents familiar scene throughout year 1908. Conveyance papers have furthermore added Emlyn Bower to then be last owner of the Portland Arms in a list of licensed victuallers. Vested interest was shared by a Huthwaite builder worthy of just noting a named Edwin Howard Lowe. But Emlyn next called herself a farmer after buying land forming into Lime Avenue on which to build a quiet home. So she seemed to profit well from selling off those old premises in September 1909 to the enterprising Shipstone Ales buyer.

A comparative postcard still shows tram lines used until 1932. And few differences would be found along the earlier seen residentially lined Main Road. Portland Arms One exception being an elaborate Public House extension in a fashionable mock tudor styling.

James Shipstone & Sons Ltd of the Star Brewery, Basford, is new owner responsible for the make over. Giving recognised frontage through future years, made The Portland Arms a landmark building on highest point along Sutton Road.

Sale had included rear sloping grounds just short an acre in size when land measured out at 3rood and 12perch. Upon it stood outbuildings, two small cottages and even an orchard.

Some of those past farm related buildings are seen in rare views along Newkin Lane. As yet unidentified, a property being demolished off top corner allowed future road widening. Below is a later view looking down that signed Skegby Road, still years away from a tarmac surface leading to 1960 housing developments.

Newkin LaneColemans Shop

Adjacent corner shop owners entertain another family interest. But the Coleman Album does nicely reveal an old stone wall before removal exposes open air seating around an off license side entrance door. Plus a prominent pub sign initialing a known 1941 landlord George Archie Reeve between several alterations. A grandson relates Else relatives when looking down a still unmade cornering roadway past its car garaging.

Ian ElseIan ElseIan Else

Shipo's ales were regarded more of an acquired taste here, being that breweries only Huthwaite public house. Mark Fittall suggests 1967-1970 when his parents Reg and Doreen ran the place, long before he and a brother Robert individually moved abroad. Several other surnames will surely be associated once being tenants, through varying lengths of years and local appeal. During which times, Whit walkers pass colour schemes reflecting major brewery alterations, which for a time attracted customers from further afield.

Whit WalkWhit WalkWhit Walk

A well kept pool table enticed a few passing visits, but original old layout with tired decor didn't encourage regular customers away from wide choice of similar old fashioned pubs easily found nearer home.

CustomersColemans Shop

A full 1980s revamp to cover previous outside toilets, also added kitchens to finally win modern competitive comfort favouring open plan layout. Popularity obviously peaked under the highly successful managers Keith and Sue. It's decline inevitably followed coal mining closures despite optimistic effort and best intentions by new landlords.

Just a few photos of patrons sat in separate comfort eras.

A nationwide slump in trade started affecting profits of long established breweries. Shipstones Ales afforded a last hope facelift, but then seemed quickest at predicting their market had crashed for good. A relatively quick sale presumably came after a final boarded closure, because very soon after, and without any prior warning, residents felt quite shocked at witnessing 2000 demolition of this historic Huthwaite landmark.

Portland Arms Demolition

Stills from Brian Hayes recorder show clearer stages of the property and land being leveled after it set a Huthwaite pub record serving over a known 189 years. Portland Canada Land redevelopment held no real surprise when introducing a 2002 housing scheme.Portland Arms bus stop

Another overseas reader manages to kindly share our local interest from his coincidental find. Bernd Frost lives in Portland, Canada, so home address attracted purchase of what was our Portland Arms pub sign.

Written 15 Dec 04 Revised 12 May 17 © by Gary Elliott