Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Slip End > The Rising Sun Public House Slip End

The Rising Sun Public House Slip End

Rising Sun in the 1960s [WBFlow4/5/SE/RS2]
Rising Sun in the 1960s [WBFlow4/5/SE/RS2]

Rising Sun: 1-3 Front Street, Slip End 

This public house on the corner of Front Street and Church Road is first mentioned in any record held by Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service in 1837 when it was conveyed by William Thorogood to luton brewer Frederick Burr. At this time it was a beerhouse, and in 1860 William Burr's trustees conveyed it, along with the rest of his business and licensed houses to Thomas Sworder [Z660/D/1/4]. Sworder sold his business to rival Luton brewer J. W. Green in 1897 [WB/Green4/1/VP1] and Green merged with Flowers Breweries in 1954, taking the Flowers name. In 1962 Flowers were taken over by Whitbread who, in 2001, divested themselves of their brewery and public house business.

The countywide licensing register of 1903 states that the premises was in fair repair and a satisfactiory sanitary state. It was 108 yards from the nearest licensed premises. It had both a front door and a side entrance.

1917 the beerhouse was visited by a valuer, Arthur Walker Merry of Stafford, Rogers & A. W. Merry of Leighton Buzzard and Bedford, in regards to the renewal of its licence. He found the place had an "excellent bar" and a tap room with a fourteen feet counter with a public urinal "opening thereout", there was also a club room and cellars. Private accommodation consisted of a private sitting room and kitchen. The valuer clearly felt, from comments made in his report on the Royal Exchange, for which see, that the village only needed one public house and that the Rising Sun should be it. The Royal Exchange remained open, however, on a technicality concerning the issuing of the notice of objection to renewal of the licence.

In 1927 the beerhouse was valued under the terms of the 1925 Rating Valuation Act; the valuer [DV1/C24/76] found a brick, cement faced semi detached building in a corner position with bar, smoke room, living room and scullery downstairs along, unusually, with the cellar "on the ground floor" and three bedrooms and a box room above; outside were a shed for storing lumber, coal and "general things", a stable used as a washhouse and "general rubbish store room", a public urinal and earth closet. Trade was 2½ barrels a week with eighteen dozen bottles of beer and three dozen bottles of minerals. The notes make interesting reading: "Tenant is a new arrival does not know gross taking" (he had been there since June 1926) and "Tenant a favourite".

The Rising Sun in March 2007 
The Rising Sun in March 2007


  • X95/299 and 300: schedule of deeds notes conveyance by William Thorogood to Frederick Burr: 1837;
  • Z660/D/1/4: conveyance and mortage by trustees of will of William Burr and Elizabeth Burr to Thomas Sworder of Luton, brewer and his uncle Thomas Sworder of Hertford, solicitor: 1860;
  • BS2234: ten year lease from Edward Burr, Richard Hatley Crabb and Thomas Sworder to William Anstee, John Cook and Benjamin Bennett: 1862;
  • X95/283: account of rents: 1867;
  • Z660/D/1/6 and X95/270: conveyance by Edward Burr and Richard Hatley Crabb to Thomas Joseph Sworder of Hertford (son of Thomas Sworder of Hertford) and Thomas Sworder of Luton: 1878;
  • WBGreen5/5/1: register of successive tenants to J.W.Green Limited licensed premises: 1887-1926;
  • X95/287: Proposed arrangement of loans of Thomas Sworder & Company - Rising Sun valued at £500: 1889;
  • PSL6a/1: Register of Alehouse Licences: c.1890-1922;
  • WB/S4/1/1/5 and X94/314: Sale particulars for sale, by auction, of Thomas Sworder & Company's brewery etc.: 1897;
  • X95/332: abstract of title of Thomas Sworder to various licensed premises: 1897;
  • WB/Green4/1/VP1: conveyance of brewery and licensed properties of Thomas Sworder to J.W.Green Limited: 1897;
  • WB/Green1/1/1: record of articles of association and licensed houses owned by J.W.Green Limited: 1897-1936;
  • BML10/45/10: Luton Licensing Sessions: 1917;
  • PSL6a/2: Register of Alehouse Licences: 1922-1964;
  • WB/Green6/4/1: trade analysis ledger of J.W.Green Limited licensed premises: 1936-1947;
  • WB/Green4/2/4: certificate of title to licensed properties of J.W.Green Limited: 1936-1952;
  • WB/Green4/2/5: list of licensed properties of J.W.Green Limited: c.1936;
  • WB/Green4/2/10: schedule of deeds to J.W.Green Limited licensed premises: 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/Flow4/5/SE/RS1-2: black and white exterior photographs: 1960s.

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

1853: James Coleman
1872-1883: Joshua Dickenson
1883-1889: Mrs Eliza Dickenson;
1899-1910: Joshua Dickenson; [convicted on 10th December 1900 of adulterating gin 2.5 degrees below 35 degrees under proof - fined 18/6 costs];
1910-1916: Henry Charles Dickenson;
1916-1926: George Daniels Matthews
1926-1931: William Swain;
1931: Ernest Cheney;
1955: Walter Birch;
1969: Reginald Raymond Swallow;
1990: Seamus Murphy and Mary Gabriel McNamara;
1990: Seamus Murphy and Jacqueline Wheaton;
1991: Graham Henry Edwin Tucker;
1992: Edward Nicholson;
1992: Brian Joseph Minnighan.