Huthwaite's Past Public Houses

The White Swan

White Swan

The White Swan stood amidst several earlier condemned cottages, forming and addressing Swan Yard until full c1960 clearances. An 1828 Hucknall Huthwaite directory revealed sign among three established public houses, until press reports strongly suggest it could be first pub name to emerge from previous 18th century.

Misleading to find Ye Swanne or Mute swan portrays one of the most commonly chosen pub symbols. No true reason why. Wild majestic birds are still protected from being reserved for royal banquets. Perhaps they suggestively advertised finest Inn food, although usual added prefix defining predominant colour can further represent loyalty influenced by family crests, especially after years being shared between Tudor queens.

Swan Yard 1917

Year 1917 clearly maps out a thriving Public House inviting Main Street access. Home Brewery dray carts had favoured rear deliveries off Back Lane using the yards narrow street connections. Cramped conditions didn't compare to modern standards, a century after an initial detached pub setting.

The Huthwaite White Swan emerges from notes extracted out the Nottingham Journal, more interestingly dating:
1804 Apr 21: Auction, Swan, May 3, 4pm: Windmill & house at Hucknall Huthwaite. Enquiries: Mr Walkden ...
1806 May 10: Charles Ellis, bankrupt grocer of Hucknall-Huthwaite, is to surrender himself at the Swan, ...

Surrender of a bankrupt grocer proves misleading. When it gets another 1807 mention John Stirup is named keeper for what was a manor court role assigned a 15th century stage coach hotel at Mansfield. But that questioned which Swan hosts earlier 1804 auction for Huthwaite windmill premises.

White SwanIt actually turns out that our parish ties had long provided rooms typically suiting public meeting of this kind. The White Swan at Sutton actually lays claim for being our towns first public house, and its 1934 rebuild displays sign above door off Devonshire Square.

Nevertheless, all is not lost, because full column from the Derby Mercury asserts an established Huthwaite White Swan is capable of hosting a valuable 1812 auction. And by introducing an earlier Chambers surname, it can positively tie up their 1804 claim.

Year : Named Publicans
1804 Not fully confirmed
1812 Nathapiel Chambers
1828 Hannah Chambers
1830 Hannah Chambers
1832 Jane Chambers
1844 Thomas Sims
1853 Herbert Simpson
1864 Herbert Simpson
1881 Robert Wilson
1891 George Allen
1896 Hezekiah Holland
1932 William Cook
1941 William Lawrence
1945 George Poyser
1956 Licensed Closure

Nathapiel Chambers is the named 1812 Hucknall Huthwaite publican. Before an 1828 directory, he'd handed family White Swan keys over to Hannah. The intriguing name coming next on that listing is for Thomas Chambers. Sufficient to acknowledge without doubt somehow related, because its beyond coincidence his given trade was Corn Miller !

Updating the list of identified publicans, one must note given years only reflect nearest dated confirmation. Its tempting to first date Nathapiel in 1804 without any further verification, because he must surely be host during that years sale of the Huthwaite windmill. In the following weeks journal dated April 28 they also noted it had already been sold prior due auction date. There could be few people better placed for clinching a favourable early deal other than those fore warned in the expectancy of entertaining the event. So that should date milling start for Thomas.

Accepting that theory offers chance the Chambers family line stretched back into an unlightened 18th century. Asserting origins of their signed licensed trade would then become even more remote. Clues gained from maps and past memories back up images of premises looking to be a converted farmers house, much like majority of Huthwaite pubs. Commanding steep grounds off Main Street least suited to ploughing, indicates modest wealth before building houses for rent paying tenants.

Stone construction just one room deep is a basic design potentially dating from several centuries before. By catering to workers needs the White Swan remained relatively humble in size, status and basic comforts, but not short of neighbouring customers. Turning poor farm land into a residential centre cheaply accommodating a rapid influx of industrial labourers must have reaped a decent income, judged by number of yards and pubs.

Robert Holland's family album dates Home Brewery tenancy held by Hezekiah Holland 1896 - 1927.

H.U.F.C. 1912-1913H.U.F.C. 1913-1914

Above follows two successive seasons for the Huthwaite United Football Club ending 1913 and 1914. Smartly suited outfits for the latter year may well be attributed to the landlords support. Identifying Hezekiah Holland in the doorway as Club President, listed among all the named team for that cup winning season.

H.V.F.C. 1932-1933Huthwaite Villa Football Club are shown with their full entourage in year 1933. Press coverage reveals their debut 1932 season in Division three resulted in uniquely winning three cups. Celebrations held at their White Swan headquarters were hosted by a William Cook, with good chance son Billy is among named team players.

The final 1941 gazetteer offered name for William Oliver Lawrence. VE Day Celebrations But when photograph is verified by Mrs Mavis Radford dating the 1945 VE day celebrations held fronting the White Swan, just visible above doorway is a named Licensee G Poyser.

Listed earlier as a Sutton Road fruiterer, George Hall Poyser had been recalled by a few past patrons when he continued selling fruits from his lorry. Some were able to describe the pubs dark interior, comprising two small gas lit rooms. Stone flooring was also left coldly outdated. Front of Swan Yard lastly presented ground for competitive games of horse shoe tossing, which drew crowds when players risked very large stakes.

Eventual 1956 closure allowed the license transferral necessary for opening of a new Worksop pub. Mr Eric Jones claimed to last occupy the vacated premises when starting out raising a family. Its 1960 demolition came at same time when clearing Huthwaite of all the older dilapidated yard dwellings. Swanson Avenue soon after carved a new residential path, steeply rising off Main Street to extend through those past areas.


Written 15 Dec 04 Revised 26 Oct 15 © by Gary Elliott