Although the premises shown here are result of being totally rebuilt in 1912, the sign itself represents one of the first known Huthwaite pubs found identified in the earliest 1828 gazetteer. Falling victim in a general slump that swept the area through years 1990, this Home Ales house had similarly made frequent manager changes in attempts at historic survival. Despite long service and makeovers including liberal use of purple paint, the Shoulder closed in 2002, ending an historic title potentially spanning beyond a known 174 years service.
First publican so far found is Thomas Marshall in 1828. He is further confirmed in August 1829, when his house at sign of the Shoulder of Mutton hosted an auction for several Hucknall Huthwaite cottager dwellings. By 1830 Timothy Woodhead had taken over. He's next identified in specific detailing also a butcher. The pubs name clearly suggests it started under this supportive main business some years ago, perhaps by T Marshall, a later found titled farmer.
An 1833 inquest into accidental death of a two year old Mary Trueman among Mellors pit, was conducted by Coroner Chris. Swann. Hosted by Timothy Woodhead at The Shoulder of Mutton, he continues to keep this well recognised public house for some years. Until 1862 directory asserts another butcher named Joseph Clay long keeps still one of only four established Hucknall Huthwaite Inns and Taverns. Fact that he offered lodging of higher status is featured in 1863, by giving overnight stay to later convicted sheep rustlers. A family website confirms Joseph Clay is Inn Keeper from 1861 census. His wife formerly Mary Swallows, is not recognised thereafter while identifying two sons and daughters. All named in order of given ages are William, John, Sarah and Annie. Grandchildren living next door are all lastly identified in the 1891 census.
Properties purchased from the Duke of Portland estate then finds buying interests of Home Brewery Company Limited representatives between years 1897 and 1898. A look down the temporarily named Church Street may reveal the fronting cow shed, or slaughter house, before they turned the adjacent cottage into a suitably sized, and fully rebuilt public house fashioned in mock tudor style during year 1912.
Home Ales brewery ended the Shoulders former dual trade in butchery before recognising by 1900 that Edward Parr holds publican title with drug stores. The London Gazette reports misfortune of many bankruptcy hearings, but in so doing discovers James Barker in 1911 lastly at the Newcastle Arms, Basford, had previously resided and traded as licenced victualler at The Shoulder of Mutton Inn, Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire.
Omitted for reasons uncertain from 1912, next 1932 directory identifies Ernest A H Thurman running this Blackwell Road public house. Its the last 1941 entry which shares my families interest, when being run by William Rutter. Their granddaughter, Mrs Mary Magee recalls William and Florence ran the pub, where their daughter Kathleen met and wed Ronald Elliott. Ron was my grandfathers brother, three of whom were raised below in the facing terraced properties neighbouring a Miss Bett Renshaw, which coincidentally links another marriage through later publicans. Her husband Mr Roger Abbott recalls parents took over the Shoulder from Peaches, precisely dating Everett George and Eunice Abbott between years 1955-1963.
Obituary for Mr J Sikes discovers 65 year old John was born at the Shoulder of Mutton circa 1947. I'm sure other family names could claim past association such as a vaguely recalled Griffiths before Crump.
Awaiting a 1950's coach outing, the photo presented by Addy Everley fronts a corner entrance door, once giving separate access to an offlicence counter. It was bricked up long before my first 1975 entrance when run by Eric Crump. A small hatch to fill jugs and bottles then directly faced the main front entrance, served from tap room end of a horseshoe shaped bar layout. A brief period working behind the bar realised bottles of stout were a popular take out. Elderly tap room regulars generally favoured Homes Ales dark mild. Bitter or mix showed preference by men best side. Choice of lighter lagers appealed to younger drinkers, especially women when sweetened by either lime of blackcurrant cordial.
The Shoulder of Mutton probably represented the last Home Ales pub left in Huthwaite. They left the sign displayed, although the brewery actually sold out in 1986 when passing the Robin Hood logo onto brewery giants Scottish & Newcastle. They in turn dissolved the brand before closing down the large Nottingham factory, that currently still historically stands in Arnold.
Numerous managers thereafter made short term attempts to reopen the business in a widely dying trade. It actually did well to keep opening its doors, until inevitably finally closed to public in 2002. Opportunity to purchase was took by members of Ashfield Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. Since converted into their private club house, few could argue how the property itself has clearly benefitted externally through all their major renovations
Throughout its time, the pub did of course host various social and group meetings, plus entertaining several popular sports. On serious matters, the Shoulder of Mutton Death and Dividing Club held a vested interest with at least one known residents death in 1940. Nonetheless, most customers simply sought a happier time, or familiar retreat. Harking back to jolly concert sing songs, a piano still resided unplayed when introducing 45rpm Dukebox records. All pub singing became later centred around a karaoke machine. Competitions like best gentlemens buttonhole in 1935, between annual shows for vegetables and flowers would face fierce rivalry from reputed celery and onion growers. Huthwaite West End Football Club joined the league in 1933 with headquarters here. Darts, dominoes, skittles and pool teams lastly proving energetic enough.
Written 15 Dec 04 Revised 04 Sep 14 © by Gary Elliott