The Lord Roberts Public House Sandy
The Lord Roberts about 1920 [Z50/99/48]
The Lord Roberts Public House: 1 Market Place, 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 Lord Roberts [HER 16305] states that it was built in 1863. It is a brick construction with a tile roof, there are two small projecting gables to the ends of the front elevation on the first floor. Each gable has two sash windows with applied timber decoration to the upper part of the gable and bargeboards. The ground floor is rendered and there are four windows between the two doors at either end.
The statement that the building was erected in 1863 seems to be based purely on the evidence of the 1876 countywide licensing register which states that the unnamed beerhouse run by Amos Papworth was first licensed in that year. The register has been known to be wrong about such dates, however. The 1876 register states that the owner of the beerhouse, which at that date had no name, was John Steed of Baldock [Hertfordshire].
The countywide register of 1891 gives the owner of the beerhouse, still without a sign, as Thomas Jarvis of Bedford. John Steed had died and been succeeded by his son Oliver, but the business was bought by Charles Morley in 1888, perhaps the Lord Roberts was sold at that date, either direct in the auction sale of Steed’s brewery and its licensed houses, or later by Morley.The countywide register of alehouse licences of 1903 reveals that the nearest licensed house was 64 yards away, that the state of repair of the Lord Roberts, now so named (Field Marshal Sir Frederick Roberts V. C. became Lord Roberts in 1892], was good and that it had two front and two back doors. In 1910 Thomas Jarvis was taken over by fellow Bedford brewer Charles Wells and the Lord Roberts remains a Wells house at the time of writing .
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 Lord Roberts [DV1/C147/37] found it owned by Charles Wells and occupied by George W. Wolfe who paid rent of £26 per annum, which had been fixed about 1921.
The brick and tiled semi-detached building comprised a living room, scullery, bar and tap room with four bedrooms above. Outside stood a cellar, a w. c., a coal shed, a public w. c. and urinal, a brick and tiled two stall stable and a brick and slate six stall stable with a loft over. Farm buildings also leased as part of the Lord Roberts comprised: a brick and tiled two stall stable with a loft over; three large brick and tiled stalls with a loft over; two small brick and tiled stalls and an old wood and corrugated iron two bay open shed.
At that date the Lord Roberts was still a beerhouse. Trade consisted of about one thirty six gallon barrel of beer and about two dozen bottles of beer per week. Takings were £7 per week. The valuer commented: “Good position, nice bars” and “Ought to do much more but Red Lion is opposite”. Yet it is the Lord Roberts which has survived and the red Lion which is no more. In February 1949 the Lord Robert became a fully licensed public house [PSBW8/2].
The Lord Roberts March 2010
- 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;
- PSBW8/1: Register of Alehouse Licences - Biggleswade Petty Sessional Division: 1903-1915;
- Z50/99/48: photograph: c. 1920;
- WL800/3 page 24: photograph: 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;
List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:
1869-1876: Amos Papworth, butcher;
1876-1896: Emily Papworth, butcher;
1896-1899: Thomas Papworth, butcher;
1899-1907: Edmund Crawley, horse dealer;
1907-1914: John Truin;
1924-1940: George William Wolfe
1957: Donald Knight;
1957-1960: Frank Logie Tough;
1960-1962: Raymond Frank Tickner;
1962-1965: Thomas Charles Lovett;
1965-1972: Keith Raymond Wilkinson;
1972-1978: Arthur Anthony Clough;
1978-1986: Harold Joseph Emler;
1986-1987: Derek Charles Gibbs and James Denyer;
1987-1988: Derek Charles Gibbs and Raymond Spencer;
1988-1989: Raymond Spencer and Susan Lesley Keen;
1989-1992: Raymond Spencer and William John Bambridge;
1992: Paul David Worrall and Douglas John Baker;
1992-1993: Mark Anthony Chakley and Douglas John Baker;
1993: Reginald Stanley Corley and Douglas John Baker;
1993-1994: Richard Reading and Douglas John Baker;
1994: James Michael Keane and Douglas John Baker;
1994: Dawn Elizabeth Jordan and Douglas John Baker;
1994-1996: David Thatcher and Douglas John Baker;
1996: David Thatcher and William Marvin Humphries