Skip Navigation
 
 

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community archives > Shefford > The Exhibition Beerhouse Shefford

The Exhibition Beerhouse Shefford

Exhibition Beerhouse: Clifton Fields 

The only references to this beerhouse in documents held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service are in licensing registers. The first owner is shown as Abel Bray of Clifton, who sold out to Pryor, Reid & Company of Hatfield in 1898. The beerhouse closed in 1908, possibly as a result of Pryor, Reid & Company being bought out by Benskin's Watford Brewery in 1907.

In 1908 the decision was taken to close the Exhibition [CLP4]. The reasons were given in a report: "the owners of the "Exhibition" have a fully licensed house about a quarter of a mile away ... the licence was transferred eight times from 1898 to 1905 ... there are more licensed houses in the Parish than are required for the needs of the neighbourhood ... From the evidence given and from our knowledge of the locality and the accommodation of the house in question and of the other licensed houses in the neighbourhood, we are unanimously of opinion that this licence is not required, and we report accordingly”.

This property was in Clifton Fields, although the exact location is not known, despite closing within two years of the Domesday Valuation of 1910 (the map and book for Clifton are confused, to say the least). This means that the site of the property was in Clifton until the boundary changed in 1933, and is now in Shefford.

Recent research by a user of the service suggests that the Exhibition may have stood on the corner of Clifton Road and Southfields, opposite the Railway Steamer and more or less where the bus shelter now stands.

References:

  • 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;
  • CLP4: report leading to closure: 1908.

List of Licensees:

Note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:
1871-1873: Charles Bray, fisghmoner;
1873-1898: Abel Bray (brother of Charles Bray), fishmonger;
1898-1899: William Trolley;
1899-1900: Francis Charles Willis;
1900-1901: John Woolston;
1901-1902: William Nicholls;
1902-1903: John James Bullock;
1903-1905: Samuel George Dyer;
1905-1908: Francis Robinson Wallis;
1908: Joseph Harris
Beerhouse closed 22nd December 1908