The British Workman Beerhouse Aley Green
Map showing location (please click to see a larger image)
The British Workman Beerhouse: Mancroft Road, Aley Green
There are few references to this beerhouse in Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service. The countywide licensing register of 1903 shows that the property was owned by Mrs Samm of Fullerwick, Aley Green and leased out to Luton brewer J. W. Green. It was in "Good repair, clean and satisfactory". The beerhouse stood 114 yards from the Henry I off-license, it had a front door and an entrance from the yard at the side. Sadly, the beerhouse does not appear in any records in the J. W. Green archive.
In 1917 the beerhouse was visited by a valuer, Arthur Walker Merry of Stafford, Rogers & A. W. Merry of Leighton Buzzard and Bedford, in regards to the renewal of its licence. He reported that the premises comprised a bar, tap room and parlour for public use as well as a cellar, kitchen, pantry and four bedrooms. Outside were a detached wash house, W. C., coal house, several outhouses, a three stall stable with loft over, cart shed and a large garden - "It is clear that the License is not required from its being vacant".
The newspaper report (Luton News 15th March 1917) on the licensing sessions reported the following in relation to the British Workman: "Mr. H. J. Matthews on behalf of Hannah S. Samm, made formal application for the renewal of the license of the British Workman, Aley Green. It appeared that the license had been transferred five times in the last seven years [see below]. The last licensee failed to apply for a permanent transfer, and he therefore remained the original owner. Mr. Merry said that when he visited the house it was closed, and apparently not wanted. A hundred yards away was a seven day off licensed house [Henry I]. There were only 39 houses in the village to these two places. Mr. Matthews said his sister had several applications for the house, but they were not suitable. Unfortunately the house was let to an undesirable tenant before his sister told him, and this had interfered with the proper letting of the place. The tenant went in on borrowed money. Mr. Matthews said he was sorry to see his old home closed. He was born there. It had to be closed, as the tenant left without a word. Mr. Matthews admitted he would be willing to agree to a closure with reasonable compensation. The Chairman: It will be referred to Quarter Sessions. it is another matter if the house is closed entirely. The Clerk explained that the license would be granted temporarily".
The British Workman is now [March 2007] a private house.
PSL6a/1: Register of Alehouse Licences: c.1890-1922
BML10/45/10: correspondence regarding inspection: 1917;
PSL6a/2: Register of Alehouse Licences: 1922-1964
List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list:
1897-1899: Henry James Matthews;
1899-1902: Benedict Mayo;
1902-1904: Neil Campbell;
1904-1907: Frederick Barber;
1907-1909: Arthur Skey;
1909: Victor Beck;
1909-1910: John George Wilkinson;
1910-1911: William Hubbocks;
1911-1913: Walter Woodford;
1913-1914: Eli Norman;
1914-1916: Eliza Harvey;
1916-1917: Willoughby Augustus Delonney Christmas
Public House closed 25th December 1917