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The George Tap Public House Luton

A plan of the George Tap in 1895 [HN10-354-GH18]
A plan of the George Tap in 1895 [HN10/354/GH18]

The George Tap Public House: 14 Waller Street, Luton 

The George Tap served as a public house attached to the George Hotel. The first mention of this establishment is in 1878 when it was conveyed by Richard Lloyd Jones to Frederick John Coleman along with the George Hotel [HN10/354/GH10] where it is simply described as a messuage or tenement known as the 'George Tap' fronting north or north-east on Waller Street, Luton which adjoins the George Hotel and is now in the occupation of John Frederick Coleman or his under tenants.

By good fortune we have a lease of the George Tap by Coleman to one of these under tenants. It is preserved in the archives of Woburn solicitors Hobourn as the predecessor firm of Green and Tanqueray had Coleman as one of their clients. In 1888 draft terms of employment were drawn up for William Burnett to serve as barman at the George Tap [HN10/273/Coleman4]. The conditions meant that Burnett:

  • was to sell only drink supplied by Coleman;
  • was to buy drink at prices in the schedule (see below);
  • was entitled to keep profits in addition to his wages;
  • was to receive 1/- per week wages;
  • was entitled to occupy George Tap rent free for himself and his family as long as he was employed by Coleman;
  • was to prevent forfeiture of licence by Coleman by, in particular, preventing gambling, betting, drunken or disorderly conduct;
  • was to settle accounts with Coleman fortnightly.

Burnett's employment was to be terminated by giving 14 days notice. The schedule of prices for drink was as follows:

  • Irish whisky 18/6 per gallon;
  • Scotch whisky 20/6 per gallon;
  • Rum 17/- per gallon;
  • Brandy 27/6 per gallon;
  • Gin 14/- per gallon;
  • unsweetened Gin 15/- per gallon;
  • Shrub, cloves and peppermint 14/- per gallon;
  • Ginger Brandy 20/6 per gallon;
  • Port 16/- per gallon;
  • Sherry 14/- per gallon;
  • Pale Ale 62/- per barrel;
  • Stout 62/- per barrel;
  • XX ale 41/- per barrel;
  • No.5 Strong Ale 55/- per barrel;
  • Porter 41/- per barrel;
  • Bottled ales and stouts 3/9 per dozen.

When Coleman sold the George in 1895 to William Edward Dipple the description of the George Tap was as follows [HN10/354/GH18]:



Abuts on Waller Street in the rear, and contains Four Upper and Four Lower Rooms, Cellars, &c.

The Tap was sold again, along with the George, in 1911 when Dipple conveyed it to William Henry Miles [HN10/354/GH34]. The George Tap closed for the last time on 26th June1965 and was demolished, along with the George, in 1971.


  • HN10/354/GH10: conveyance of the George: 1878;
  • HN10/354/GH11: draft mortgage: 1879;
  • HN10/273/Coleman4: terms of employment of a barman: 1888;
  • HN10/354/GH18: sale catalogue for the George including the George Tap: 1895;
  • HN10/354/GH19: mentioned in a letter from Frederick John Coleman to his solicitor: 1895;
  • HN10/354/GH22: draft conveyance: 1895;
  • HN10/354/GH23: draft mortgage: 1895;
  • HN10/354/GH28: draft conveyance of adjoining houses: 1903;
  • HN10/354/GH31: sale catalogue: 1911;
  • HN10/354/GH34: draft conveyance: 1911;
  • WB/Green7/7/1: LutonTown centre Historic Pubs and Breweries Trail pamphlet: 1990s.

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

1822: Thomas Cooke;
1872: Elizabeth Wadsworth;
1872: Frederick John Coleman;
1888: William Burnett;
1890: Walter J. Nash:
1929: Arthur Edmund Fisher;
1963: Frank Lister Smith;
1963: Wilfred John Gent
Beerhouse closed 26th June 1965.