The Bell Public House Sandy
The Bell March 2010
The Bell Public House: 1 Station Road, Sandy.
The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county’s historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. The entry for the Bell [HER 16439] notes that it is a 19th century building, built in brick with a hipped roof and a single storey extension at the front.
The countywide register of alehouse licences of 1876, when the Bell was owned by Charles Malden of Eaton Socon, states that the building was first licensed in 1863. In 1857 Thomas Morland and Conrad Wilkinson conveyed a house and two other cottages and nine acres, one rood, three poles of land called Woolfield to Obed Edom Barker of Sandy, gardener, for £1,400 [GK144/2].
In 1895 Barker, then living at Ramsgate [Kent], conveyed The Bell Public House and two acres of arable land adjoining it to George Frederick Anstee of Eaton Socon for £1,575 [GK144/5]. The following day Anstee conveyed the property to Bedford brewer William Pritzler Newland, partner in the firm of Newland and Nash for £2,700 [GK144/7]. Nine days later Newland mortgaged the Bell to Anstee for £1,800 [GK144/8], it was repaid two years later [GK144/9].
The countywide register of alehouse licences of 1903 reveals that the nearest licensed house was 144 yards away, that the state of repair of the Bell was good and that it had one front and one back door. In 1922 a strip of land on the north side of The Bell was conveyed by George Emery of Pope’s Farm, Sandy to Newland and Nash for £15 [GK144/10]. In 1924 Newland and Nash was bought out by Biggleswade brewers Wells and Winch, though the conveyance of the brewery and licensed houses was not affected until 1938 [GK297/2].
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 Bell [DV1/C27/14] found it owned by Newland and Nash and occupied by Harry Tickner who paid rent of £60 per annum.
The brick and slate, detached building comprised a bar (“good”), a smoke room, a saloon, a living room, a kitchen and a cellar with two bedrooms and a box room above. An earth closet and washhouse stood outside along with a brick and slate stables and two cart houses “used as separate garages for 2 cars”. There were also three open cart sheds.
Trade consisted of about three barrels of beer per week but “no spirits” despite the Bell being a public house with a full licence. Takings were good at about £20 per week. The brewery also owned 1.589 acres of market gardening land adjoining, also rented by Harry Tickner, rent being included in the rent for the public house.
Wells and Winch was bought out by Suffolk brewers Greene King in 1961. The Bell remains a public house at the time of writing , still owned by Greene King.
List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:
1872-1883: Joseph Bennett;
1883-1885: John Bailey;
1885: James Bailey;
1885-1889: Harry Baines;
1889-1895: Thomas King Brandon;
1895-1905: Sophia Brandon;
1905-1914: Fred Stones;
1920-1927: Harry Tickner;
1928: Frank Brown;
1931-1940: Charles Hubert Valora Cuvelier;
1956: George William Goodyear;
1956-1965: Edward Irving Humphreys;
1965-1967: Adeline Sybil Humphreys;
1967-1969: Jack Ransome;
1969-1976: Dennis Frank Walker;
1976-1990: Donald Arthur Edward Gill;
1990-1992: Mark Andrew Powell;
1992-1995: Clive William Dobson and Patricia Maureen Holiday