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The Locomotive Public House Potton

The Locomotive Public House: 5 Deepdale, Potton

The Locomotive about 1920 [X758/1/17/35]
The Locomotive about 1920 [X758/1/17/35]

The deeds to the Locomotive (1826-1894) are still held by Charles Wells Limited. The records at Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service are confined to licensing registers and some images. The Locomotive stood almost opposite the King’s Hussars which, given how few houses are in the vicinity, seems to be one licensed premises too many.

The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that the Locomotive beerhouse was first licensed in 1836 and by 1876 was owned by Potton brewer Francis Bingham. In 1881 licensee James Brown Pigott was fined £5 and 8/6 costs for refusing police admittance on 5th January. He remained licensee for another seven years. The countywide licensing register of 1891 gives the owner as Joseph Robarts of Potton and tells us that the Locomotive was then a free house. The register of 1903 states that the owner was Bedford brewer Charles Wells and that the property needed repairing. It stood forty yards from the nearest licensed premises (the King’s Hussars) and had one back and two front doors.

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 Locomotive [DV1/C182/22] found it owned by Charles Wells and tenanted by Edward Hutchinson, whose rent was £15 per annum. The property had a tap room, a living room, a parlour and a scullery on the ground floor, with a cellar. Three bedrooms occupied the first floor. Outside stood a two bay wood and corrugated iron hovel, a wood and tiled three bay hovel and a wood and tiled stable. Trade was eighteen gallons of mild per week along with four dozen bottles. Takings averaged £2 per week. The valuer has helpfully stated that a barrel of mild cost £4/14/6 and sold for five pence a pint.

The Locomotive probably became a fully licensed public house in the 1950s, along with other beerhouses. It closed early in the 21st century and is now a private house.

The former Locomotive March 2007
The former Locomotive March 2007

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;
  • X758/1/17/35: postcard of Deepdale including public house: c.1900;
  • PSBW8/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1915;
  • X704/275: photograph of postcard: c.1920s;
  • WL801/39: glass plate negative: c.1925;
  • 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
  • WL722/29: Pint Pot in-house magazine of Charles Wells with photograph of Locomotive: 1980;
  • Bedfordshire Magazine xxiv.p.275: interior photograph: c.1994.

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

1854-1874: James Lenton, pig dealer;
1874-1879: Joseph Leonard;
1879-1888: James Brown Pigott;
1888: James Tell;
1888-1894: Edwin Roberts;
1894-1896: Annie Roberts;
1896-1897: George Webb;
1897-1902: George Peacock;
1902-1910: Emma Peacock;
1910-1920: Arthur James Gale;
1924: Edward Hutchinson;
1928: Louisa Hutchinson;
1931-1936: John Austin;
1940: William Mallett
1957: Edward Allen Cheyne;
1957: Donald Anderson Jardine;
1957-1959: George Henry Jones;
1959-1962: Maud Maves;
1962-1963: Thomas James Flannery;
1963-1966: Alexander Brodie;
1966: Peter Robert Fielding Jameson;
1966-1970: Victor Douglas Bruton;
1970-1972: Samuel John Bellingham;
1972-1974: David Michael Wallace;
1974-1981: Christopher John Allen Clark;
1981-1982: Jeremy Lance Dimmock;
1982-1985: Clive Antony Billings;
1985-1992: Kenneth Arthur Roper;
1992-1993: Peter Roy Clayton;
1993-1995: George Michael McGrath
1995-1996: Clive Charles Melrose.