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The Blue Lion Public House Luton

The Blue Lion about 1960 [WB-FLow4/5/Lu/BL2]
The Blue Lion about 1960 [WB/Flow4/5/Lu/BL2]

The Blue Lion Public House: 23 Cumberland Street, Luton

It is not known when this public house first opened but it must have been after 1828 as there is no Blue Lion in Luton in the countywide register of alehouse licences for that year [CLP13]. Many public houses and beerhouses in Luton opened in the 1840s and 1850s with the great expansion of the town due to the railways. The Blue Lion, when first opened, was a beerhouse.

The countywide licensing register of 1876 states that the Blue Lion was then owned by the brewers Edwards of Redbourn [Hertfordshire]. This firm was taken over by Benjamin Bennett of Dunstable in 1882. By 1919, however, the house was owned by Hatfield & Harpenden Breweries Limited, a firm created in 1902 by the merger of Glover & Sons of Harpenden [Hertfordshire] and Pryor Reid & Company of Hatfield [Hertfordshire]. In 1919 [WB/Green4/1/VP3] Pryor Reid (which still traded under that name despite the merger) conveyed the Blue Lion, along with the Queen's Arms and land in both Luton and Clifton to Luton brewer J. W. Green Limited. At that date the Blue Lion was still a beerhouse.

In 1954 J. W. Green merged with Midlands brewers Flowers, the new company retaining the Flowers name. In 1962 this firm was taken over by Whitbread. The Blue Lion closed in 1970 and was demolished to make way for the new ring road.

Looking towards the site of the Blue Lion from Cumberland Street June 2010
Looking towards the site of the Blue Lion from Cumberland Street June 2010


  • WBGreen5/5/1: register of successive tenants to J.W.Green Limited licensed premises: 1887-1926;
  • WB/Green4/1/VP3: conveyance of properties from Pryor Reid & Company Limited to J. W. Green Limited: 1919;
  • WB/Green4/2/4: certificate of title to licensed properties of J.W.Green Limited: 1936-1952;
  • WB/Green6/4/1: trade analysis ledger of J.W.Green Limited licensed premises: 1936-1947;
  • WB/Green4/2/5: list of licensed properties of J.W.Green Limited: c.1936;
  • WB/Green4/2/8: Schedule of Deeds and Documents regarding properties of J.W.Green Limited: c.1949;
  • WB/Green4/2/16: letter from J.W.Green to solicitors Lawrance, Messer & Company asking which licensed properties had been in continuous occupation: 24 Jul 1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/17: Trust Deed of J.W.Green Limited with list of licensed premises: 1952-1972;
  • WB/Green4/2/19: Various loose schedules of deeds and documents: c.1954;
  • WB/Green4/1/Vp14: agreement for bracket and wires to be affixed to the Blue Lion, Luton by Luton Broadcast Relay Service Limited: 19 Mar 1956;
  • WB/Flow4/5/Lu/BL1-2: photographs: 1960s

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

1872-1890: Edward Green;
1919: Cartwright;
1919-1932: Charles Bransom;
1932-1935: Caroline Bransom;
1935-1940: William Allan Solomon;
1940-1942: Gordon James Gale;
1942-1943: Albert Rodell;
1943-1952: William Dodd;
1952: Lillian May Dodd;
1957: Bernard Kevin Taaffe;
1969: Norman Arthur Hards;
Public house closed 1970.