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The Shannon Public House Potton

The Shannon Public House: 18 Biggleswade Road, Potton

18 Biggleswade Road September 2007
18 Biggleswade Road September 2007

This public house was named after Captain Peel's locomotive. Peel built the Potton to Sandy railway which opened in 1857 and, as he was in command of the frigate HMS Shannon in the Black Sea at the time, the locomotive used on the track took the same name. It is not surprising, therefore, that the 1876 countywide licensing register states that the Shannon was first licensed in 1857. The owners in 1876 were the trustees of Thomas Strickland, deceased. By the time of the 1891 countywide licensing register the owner was Wells and Company, brewers of Biggleswade.

The countywide licensing register of 1903 gives the owner as Bedford brewer Charles Wells. The Shannon was in need of repair. It stood 35 yards from the nearest licensed premises (the Bushel and Strike) and had one front and one back door. The Shannon closed for the last time in 1915, becoming a private house.

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. Potton, like much of the county, was assessed in 1927. the valuer visiting 18 Biggleswade Road [DV1/C9/30] found it owned by Albert Darlow and occupied by George Ernest Burrows, whose rent was £35 per annum, set in 1918. It was now called Beechcroft House.

Downstairs accommodation comprised two reception rooms and a kitchen, and upstairs were four bedrooms and a bathroom. A lean-to washhouse stood outside along with a lean-to wood and corrugated iron garage for a motor bus and a wood and tiled three stall stable with a loft over, used as stores. The valuer commented: “Detached but old, was a pub” and “Has a bath”. A later hand, writing on 8th June 1934 noted: “Inspect for Valuation for Sale. There is no bath”.

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;

· CD827: account of succession of real estate: 1874;

· 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;

· CD828: grant to trustees: 1886;

· 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;

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

1861-1869: Thomas Peters;

1872-1882: James Burnage;

1882-1884: Samuel Pett;

1884: John Bentley;

1884: Frederick Burdett;

1884-1886: George L.Nicholson;

1886-1887: Peter Mee;

1887-1888: Jesse Badrick;

1888-1890: James Stephen Lincoln;

1890-1894: John Martin Barltrop;

1894: Charles Edward Jacobs;

1894-1898: William Roberts;

1898-1901: George Pearson;

1901: James Laing;

1901-1911: Alfred George Ackerman;

1911: William Stephen Price;

1911-1914: Charles Cooper;

1914: Walter Meeks Bentley

Public house closed 1915