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The Crown Public House Shillington

The Crown in April 2015
The Crown in April 2015

The Crown Public House: 104 High Road, Shillington

The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that the Crown was first licensed in 1869. The Post Office Directory for 1869 does not list the pub but that may be because it was drawn up before the licence was granted. The first known licensee was William Waller in 1876. In the 1869 directory a William Waller is listed as licensee of The Swan at Apsley End and continues as such until the 1880s, the directory for 1877 lists William Waller at the Crown as William Waller junior, suggesting he might have been the other Waller's son.

At this date the building was owned by Hitchin [Hertfordshire] brewer Joseph Lucas. In 1923 Luton brewer J W Green Limited took over Lucas' business and so the Crown became tied to the Luton Brewery [WB/L4/1/VP3].

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. The valuer visiting the Crown in 1926 [DV1/C74/106] found that the tenant, Charles Taylor paid rent of £12 per annum to J W Green Limited, a rate fixed in 1924. He noted that the rent was: "reduced two years ago as tenant would not keep on otherwise".

The pub comprised a tap room ("poor"), a bar parlour ("as sitting room"), a club room ("good"), four bedrooms and two attics. Outside stood a wood and corrugated iron barn ("used as garage"), three piggeries, another barn, a wood and tiled piggery, and two more piggeries with a loft over. Trade comprised one 36 gallon barrel of beer peer week in winter and half that in summer, as well as five dozen bottles of beer, one bottle spirits and two pounds of tobacco per week. Taylor: "does not know receipts". The valuer commented: "House looks better outside than in … Poor place, house too big … Good draw up … no land".

J W Green merged with Midlands brewery Flowers in 1954, the new company taking the Flowers name. This company lasted eight year, being taken over by Whitbread in 1962. Whitbread divested itself of its licensed houses in 2001, selling them off to various buyers. At the time of writing [2015] the Crown remains a public house; it is a free house.

The Crown about 1960 [WB/Flow4/5/Shi/C2]
The Crown about 1960 [WB/Flow4/5/Shi/C2]

Sources:

  •  PSA5/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1872-1927;
  •  WB/Green5/5/1: register of tenants: 1887-1926;
  •  Z1229/100: photograph of men in the yard: c. 1920s;
  •  WB/L4/1/VP3: conveyed with other properties by Samuel and George Frederick Lucas to W & S Lucas Limited: 1923;
  •  PSA5/2: Register of Alehouse Licences - Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1934-1959;
  •  WB/Green6/4/1: J W Green trade analysis ledger: 1936-1947;
  •  WB/Green4/2/4: J W Green list of properties: 1936-1952;
  •  WB/Green4/2/7: schedule of J W Green deeds and documents: c. 1949;
  •  WB/Green4/2/8: schedule of J W Green deeds and documents: c. 1949;
  •  WB/Green4/2/12: schedule of J W Green deeds and documents: c. 1949;
  •  PSA5/4: list of licensed premises in Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: c.1950s;
  •  Z1229/7: landlord's wife in a group photograph: c. 1950s;
  •  Z1229/9: photograph taken inside the Public House: c. 1950s;
  •  Z1229/108: photograph taken in front of the Crown: c. 1950s;
  •  WB/Green4/2/5: list of licensed houses: c. 1952;
  •  WB/Green4/2/16: letter as to J W Green titles: 1952;
  •  WB/Green4/2/17: J W Green trust deed: 1952-1972;
  •  WB/Green4/2/19: schedule of J W Green deeds and documents: 1954;
  •  Z1229/105: photograph taken in front of the Crown: c. 1955;
  •  PCShillington30/2: transfer of licence: 1959;
  •  WB/Flow4/5/Shi/C1-2: photographs: 1960s;
  •  PCShillington30/6: transfer of licence: 1967;
  •  PSA5/5: list of licensed premises in Ampthill Petty Sessional Division: 1968-1995.
  •  PCShillington14/28: issue regarding car parking outside the Crown: 1970;
  •  PCShillington30/11: transfer of licence: 1971;
  •  Z1062/1/10/29: photograph: 1998 

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

1876-1893: William Waller;
1893-1909: Maria Waller;
1909-1923: Arthur George Waller;
1923-1939: Charles Taylor;
1939-1959: Reginald Thomas Collins;
1959-1967: Arthur Royal Jefford;
1967-1971: John William Williams;
1971-1974: Bernard Ernest Riddle;
1974-1978: James Arthur Curtis;
1978-1990: John Harold Stockwell;
1990: Maureen June Hamilton and Anthony Charles Scott Ridot;
1990-1991: Mark Cowles;
1991-1995: Margaret Elizabeth Patterson [Woodrow from 1992] and Neil Murray Woodrow