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The Cock Public House Broom

Cock March 2008
The Cock March 2008

The Cock Public House: 23 High Street, Broom

Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service has a set of deeds for The Cock which begins in 1829 when the Third Baron Ongley of Old Warden sold a cottage to William Browning [GK289/1a]. In 1836 the beerhouse was licensed for the first time [Return of Licensed Premises 1876] and in his will of 1858 William Browning left it for sale by auction by his executors [GK289/1c]. In the sale catalogue of 1860 [SL1/118] the beerhouse was described as an: "Old Established Freehold well built Beer House, known a the Cock & Tuns, with superior Dwelling Apartments, Capital Large Corn Shop, with Bins, & sunk Cellar under the same, Tap Room &c., Large Tiled Bakehouse, with Eight Bushel Oven, Coal Barn, Wood ditto, and Potato Cellar, two Stables, Cow House, Large Corn Barn, Tiled Shed, with Loft over ditto, and 1a[cres] 1r[ood] 0p[erches] more or less of superior Garden Land, as the same is now in the occupation of MESSRS SIMPSON, or their undertenant Mr.SAMUEL DILLEY, at the rent of £25 per annum". The beerhouse was Lot 2 in the sale, Lot 1 being a dwelling house and draper's and grocer's shop. Included in Lot 2 with the beerhouse were three adjoining cottages. Messrs Simpson were Simpson's Baldock Brewery.

The beerhouse was purchased by Joseph Ballard on behalf of his son Isaac [GK289/2] and he sold it to Alfred Ballard in 1868 [GK289/4], Alfred being described as the landlord in a directory of 1869. A mortgage of 1903 reveals that the beerhouse was known by then simply as the Cock [GK289/6] and in 1908 it was mortgaged to Biggleswade brewers Wells and Winch as they, presumably, supplied the beer. In 1921 James Melrose Ballard sold the Cock to William Joseph Ballard [GK289/12]

In 1927 Broom was valued under the Rating Valuation Act 1925; every piece of land and building in the country was assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. the valuer visiting the Cock [DV1/C/153 1927] noted that it was a brick and slate beerhouse owned and occupied by W J Ballard comprising a private sitting room ("good"), a tap room ("small"), a cellar, larder ("fair"), pantry, three bedrooms and a boxroom. Outside was a store, a three bay cart shed with a loft over, a two bay cart shed, a loose box, a barn and a mixing house (all "Very Poor"). Trade was 1½ barrels and 3 dozen bottles per week.

In 1932 William Joseph and Frederick William Ballard sold the beerhouse to Wells and Winch [GK289/13]. This firm was taken over by Suffolk brewers Greene King in 1961 and the Cock, now a public house, remains a Greene King property at the time of writing [2008].

References

  • GK289/1a: cottage purchased by William Browning from Lord Ongley: 1829;
  • GK289/1c: will of William Browning leaving property for sale by auction by his executors: 1858, proved 1860;
  • SL1/118: Sale particulars: 1860;
  • GK289/2: beerhouse and three cottages erected by William Browning conveyed by Browning's trustees to Joseph Ballard on behalf of his son Isaac: 1860;
  • GK289/3: beerhouse mortgaged by Ballard to Browning's trustees: 1860;
  • GK289/4: beerhouse conveyed by Isaac Ballard to Alfred Ballard: 1868;
  • GK289/5: beerhouse mortgaged to Third Bedfordshire Benefit Building Society: 1868;
  • HF143/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1873;
  • HF143/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1874-1877;
  • HF143/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1878-1881;
  • HF143/4: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1882-1890;
  • HF143/5: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1891-1900;
  • HF143/6: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1900-1914;
  • PSBW8/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1915;
  • GK289/6: public house, now known as Cock Inn, mortgaged by Alfred Ballard to Sixth East Bedfordshire Benefit Building Society: 1903;
  • GK289/8: Cock mortgaged by Alfred Ballard to Henry Oliver Broomhead: 1904;
  • GK289/9: Cock mortgaged by Alfred Ballard to Wells & Winch: 1908;
  • GK289/10: Cock mortgaged by Alfred Ballard to William Burman Aubrey: 1910;
  • GK289/11: mortgage of Sixth East Bedfordshire Benefit Building Society transferred to Henry Oliver Broomhead: 1911;
  • GK289/12: Cock Inn and six cottages conveyed by James Melrose Ballard to William Joseph Ballard and Frederick William Ballard: 1921;
  • DV1/C/153: Rating valuation: 1927;
  • GK289/13: Cock Inn and six cottages conveyed by William Joseph and Frederick William Ballard to Wells & Winch: 1932;
  • PSBW8/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1956-1972;
  • PSBW8/3: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade and North Bedfordshire Petty Sessional Divisions: 1976-1980.

List of Licensees:

Note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known: 

1851-1860: Samuel Dilley;
1869-1920: Alfred Ballard;
1924-1931 William Joseph Ballard;
1940-1945: Thomas William Hill;
1957-1976: Thomas Faulkner;
1976-1987: Colin Frederick Johnson;
1987-1990: Martin James Murphy;
1990-1994: Peter James Little;
1994-1996: Kevin Mark Egan;
1996: Gerald Arthur Lant