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The Farmers Boy Public House Kensworth

The Farmer's Boy about 1910 [Z883/22]
The Farmer's Boy about 1910 [Z883/22]

The Farmer’s Boy Public House: 216 Common Road, Kensworth

Until 1897 Kensworth lay in Hertfordshire, transferring to Bedfordshire in that year. A countywide licensing register of 1903 noted that the public house was then owned by Dunstable brewer Benjamin Bennett. It was in good repair, clean and the sanitation was satisfactory. It was 330 yards from the nearest licensed premises, the Red Lion Beerhouse, and had a front door and a door from the yard at the side.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Kensworth, like most of the county, was largely assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting the Farmer’s Boy [DV1/C110/17] found it still owned by the trustees of Dunstable brewer Benjamin Bennett, deceased. The tenant, William Cook, paid rent of £8 per annum (“very, very low”).

The public rooms comprised a tap room and a private bar and there was a “room for storing beer”. The landlord had a private living room and kitchen and had four bedrooms upstairs. Outbuildings comprised a brick and tile stable for three horses (“stalls not used”), a brick and slate barn, a public urinal, a brick and slate earth closet and a brick and slate well house “used by the people nearby”. The valuer commented “Clean and good” and compared it with the Bell, Studham noting that this pub “is in a better position”.

Trade was 73 three-quarter barrels of beer per annum along with 71 dozen small bottles of beer and 13 dozen quart bottles of beer; 17 gallons of spirits were also sold and “6 gallons of wine”!

When Bennett's widow sold his business in 1936 it was bought by Whitechapel [Middlesex] brewers Mann, Crossman and Paulin who merged with Watney, Combe, Reid & Company Limited in 1958 to form Watney Mann. When Kensworth transferred to Bedfordshire in 1897 it had ten beerhouses and public houses. Today [2013] it has just two, the Farmer’s Boy and the Pack Horse on the A5.

The Farmer's Boy April 2007
The Farmer's Boy April 2007

References:

  • Pamphlet 160 Beds Pubs & Inns in Old Picture Postcards by S Chrystal;
  • P34/8/1: James Matthews, Landlord, had left the parish some years since in debt to surveyors for 12s 3d: 1858;
  • PSL6/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Luton Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1901;
  • Z883/22 photo c.1910;
  • PSL6/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Luton Petty Sessional Division but without Luton Borough premises: 1929-1954;
  • PC Kensworth 9/3 notice of transfer of licence 1963, 1985.

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

1896-1900: Alfred Hill;
1900-1901: Albert Henry Hobbs;
1901-1902: John Edward Heaney;
1902-1906: Charles Keeble;
1906-1910: Charles Wingate [convicted 11th July 1910 of permitting drunkenness; fined 10/- with 15/- costs];
1910-1925: James Halford;
1925-1937: William Cook;
1937-1946: Joseph Smith;
1946-1952: Derek Harvey Gillies;
1952-1956: William John Benfield White;
1956-1960: John Ernest Bristow;
1960-1963: Albert Goddard;
1963: Alice Froud;
1985 Ian Leslie Hedgecock;
1985- Eric Leicester.