Tetley’s Post War ‘Estate’ Pubs in The North

We’ve just acquired a couple of editions of Tetley’s in-house magazine from the 1960s and thought we’d share some pictures of the then state-of-the-art modern pubs featured.

We usually scan these things and effectively thrown them away on Twitter but thought that we ought to put them somewhere a bit more permanent in case they’re interesting or useful for other researchers, or just for the enjoyment of people who might recall the pubs in question as they were in their heyday.

The first batch of photos are from The Huntsman for Autumn 1964. This picture is on the front cover:

The Cup & Ring (exterior).

Explanatory text inside says: ‘The Cup & Ring, the new opened Tetley house on the edge of the moors by Baildon. It is almost certainly the only public house in the country with this name — taken from the cup and ring markings carved by Early Bronze Age people on certain stones of Baildon Moor.’ Today the pub is — obviously, of course, it goes without saying — gone.

The Earl Francis, Park Hill, Sheffield -- exterior.

Next up is The Earl Francis at Park Hill in Sheffield of which the magazine says:

[The] third Tetley ‘pub’ in the vast comprehensive area of Corporation flats which will ultimately house 10,000 people, was named as a reminder of the local historical association with the Shrewsbury family… The first two of these three Tetley houses were each an integral part of the ground floor of the block of flats in which they were situated. The Earl Francis differs in that it is a separate building. To ensure harmony with its background of flats the shell was built by the Corporation; but the main entrance and canopy, the internal planning and structure, and all fixtures and fittings were dealt with by The Company.

The licensees were Alan and Valerie Maxfield, then only in their early twenties. He was a former fashion designer, salesman and bar manager and together they enjoyed collecting small oil lamps. Obviously. We wonder if they might still be around? Here they are behind the bar in the lounge:

Mr and Mrs Maxfield behind the bar.

Here’s a wider shot of the lounge showing the ‘attractive glass wall’:

The lounge at the Earl Francis.

And this is the public bar with more and harder seating, and lino (or similar) instead of carpet:

Public bar at the Earl Francis.

Next, we head north, The Ebor in Leeds, confusingly named in honour of York (Eboracum) because the Burmantofts estate sits alongside York Road.

The Ebor, Leeds -- pub exterior.

This seems to be a classic case of a pub that was too modern and too clever for its own good: at some point, it got renamed The Rose & Crown and had some faux-Victorian bits nailed on to the outside. It is, though, still in operation, and What Pub calls it a ‘busy estate pub’:

The licensees at the time of opening were Mr and Mrs Withington, two ex-pat Lancastrians, who enjoyed angling in their spare time. Here they are at launch with Mr J.S. Page from the brewery (left):

Mr and Mrs Withington.

As a marked distinction from the antiquity of its name, The Ebor is modern in architectural design, and up-to-the-minute in its equipment. Being in an all-electric area it is illuminated electrically, warmed by electrically heated ducted air; and from casks taken into the cellar by a counter-balanced lift, the beer is delivered to the latest type of dispensers by electric pumps. (As an ordinary householder I shudder to think of the electricity bills!)

This is the lounge with a 15×5 foot aerial view of the city of York on the wall, which feels to us as if it might wind up Leodensians:

The lounge at The Ebor, Burmantofts, Leeds.

And here’s the public bar looking very clean and bright:

The public bar at The Ebor pub, Leeds, in 1964.

Customers find the spacious, airy and well-furnished lounge comfortable and cosy. Yet, so brightly attractive is the public bar, with its green, black and red lather furniture, and inviting atmosphere that some regulars prefer it. Its popularity with a few customers is rumoured to be due, in part, to the fact that the lounge can be overlooked by long sighted wives working in the kitchens of flats opposite; but I wouldn’t know about that!

Now we head into Lancashire and also jump four years forward in time to when Tetley had become Tetley Walker, and The Huntsman had been renamed Tetley Walker incorporating The Huntsman. From the front cover of the Spring 1968 edition we have The Crooked Wheel, a Walker Cain branded pub in Worsley Mesnes, Wigan:

The Crooked Wheel.

In the intervening years, it seems to have burnt down and then been demolished after a period as a notoriously rough pub under the name The Wheel.

The Ribbleton, Preston.

Still in Lancashire we next visit The Ribbleton at Preston which opened in 1963 between two large housing estates:

The Ribbleton is a public house which ‘stands well’. With its steeply sloping roof it has, when seen from the outside, a rather Alpine quality… Its rooms are spacious and comprise a public bar, the Valentine Lounge (named after Leonard Valentine, the last independent landlord of the old Bowling Green Inn which was replaced by this new house) and the Cromwell Lounge (Cromwell fought a battle at Preston), which are all furnished in a modern, luxury style with subtle lighting and different ceiling levels giving a sense of cosiness and warmth of welcome.

The Public Bar at the Ribbleton.
The Public Bar.
The Cromwell Lounge at the Ribbleton.
The Cromwell Lounge.
The valentine lounge at the Ribbleton.
The Valentine Lounge.

The pub was run from its opening by Thomas Hunter Low, a Glaswegian former butcher and RAF clerk, and his wife, who apparently had no given name but enjoyed judo and weightlifting. Here they are with their daughter, Susan, son, Andrew, and Kim the Alsatian:

Mr and Mrs Low with their children and dog.

The Cromwell Lounge (where the mods and the young guns hung out if the photo is anything to go by) was also home to Mrs Low’s favourite item, ‘The African Mask’, brought back for her from Mombasa by a customer:

An African mask on a wall at The Ribbleton.

These days The Ribbleton is known as The Ribble Lodge and is apparently still thriving. It’s nice to end on a bright note.

11 thoughts on “Tetley’s Post War ‘Estate’ Pubs in The North”

  1. The nearest pub to where I grew up was one of these, the Red Admiral in Runcorn, although I’d hardly call it a “local” as I could count the number of times I’ve been in it on the fingers of one hand. Still going, though. According to WhatPub, it doesn’t currently serve cask ale, although it has in the past.

  2. The Cup and Ring in Baildon was named for the carvings up on the moor, and was demolished in 2013 due to serious order problems. Predictably it’s not in the leafy part of Baildon or the attractive model village of Saltaire, but a council estate between the two.

  3. I have run the Ribble Lodge since October 2007 . Thankyou for posting this article , I’ll be sure to share

  4. I lived opposite the Earl Francis in 1994 during my first year at uni. You quickly learned not to be anywhere near it at chucking out time!

  5. As part of my mission to visit every pub in Leeds, I went to the Rose & Crown just over 3 years ago. A bit of research in advance told me it used to be a spoons, which was very surprising as it is well off the beaten track and is a classic estate pub. Not sure for how long it remained as such, but probably like Longsight spoons, not long. Would be interesting to know.
    Anyway, we stupidly chose a Friday night to visit, and it was a very uncomfortable visit, probably the only time I have been drinking a pint and really felt like I should leave, and I’ve visited many ‘rough’ pubs, without any issue at all. It looked like a very worn down early London spoons, not seen a lick of paint in years. Hardly any tables or chairs, but 2 pool tables. As we left, we were accused of being plain clothes police by the smokers at the door. When we arrived at the next estate pub, The Sportsman, the locals there couldn’t believe we’d been there, and said ‘they must have thought you were police’. Not sure ‘busy’ covers it, I’d say…

    1. “The Ebor” became a ‘Spoons in 1991, and was known as “The Moon under Water”, a traditional ‘Spoons name. It was an ordinary pub, and was offloaded in 1997 following the company’s decision to sell their modest branches, and instead to concentrate on what might be known as “Superpubs”. I visited it before, during and after its ‘Spoons existence, and thought it reasonable. However, it is generally regarded by ‘Spoons fans as being their worst-ever branch.

      1. The Sir Edwin Chadwick in Longsight, Manchester must have been a strong contender for that accolade. Spoons’ planners totally misread the nature of the area. Apparently Tim paid a visit, took one look and said “get rid of it”.

  6. My dad was a pub manager for Whitbread. We lived in one their newer pubs from 1973 – The Abbotsford, Rock Ferry. The pub was 5 years old and I was 17 when we moved in. It was similar to many Birkenhead Brewery/Threlfalls (absorbed by Whitbread) pubs built in Wirral. I think this was one of the last to be built by the company. A rectangle consisting of bar, two lounges, outdoor sales and ground floor ‘cellar’. The first floor licensee accommodation covered half of the ground floor footprint. That meant that there was flat roof which meant the premises were hardly secure. We had bars on the windows upstairs and for the door into the roof – unlocked usually.
    The barr was basic with tables and stools on floor tiles – very stark. The Outdoor adjoined it so the barman/woman could serve the tonic wine, British wine and 4 pint Bluecans. The lounges were 60s plush with carpeting, flock wallpaper and copper effect bar top. The 2nd lounge only open at weekends or for ‘ a do.’ A partition separated the lounges and the bar ran full length so the same staff could service both rooms. After a few years we installed one of those new fangled ovens to serve hot pies!
    Whitbread on Merseyside didn’t brew cask ale for many years. Beer was mostly served from tanks by the Porter Lancastrian system plus keg Tankard, Guinness and briefly Gauntlet.
    Although in a hard, working class area my Dad stood no nonsense and the pub had a good reputation. Very busy at 5:30 evening opening from Cammell Laird shipyard and other thriving businesses. Years after my Dad left for pastures new it was knocked into one huge room and gradually became rather dubious. It shut down 5 years ago and then had to be demolished after a fire. Housing on the site now. A number of others of similar design are no more also.
    After leaving school I worked for the company that built a number of the Birkenhead Brewery pubs. I wish I had the plans of the pubs that were kept in my office.

  7. It also occurred to me that there is definitely a standard design for Tetley estate pubs in that period. I can think of several examples of that maisonette/chalet look around south and west Yorkshire. I feel a small project coming on…

  8. I joined Tetley Walker in 1988 and don’t remember either the Crooked Wheel or the Ribbleton, although in my defence we had several hundred pubs, but very few in Preston.
    I wonder whether it was sold or swapped, or whether my memory is again at fault?
    I do remember that we had a big CIU club account on Worsley Mesnes; I wonder whether the pub was demolished and a club built there with a tie to Tetley? We were the biggest supplier in the Wigan area at the time.
    Note to historians; I don’t know when Walker Cain branding was removed, but when I joined the Peter Walker name had risen from the ashes and was used to brand a small estate in areas of high Tetley density, notably Liverpool and Bolton. PW had its own managing director who sat on the TW board,and its own area managers.
    The Tetley brewery produced Walker Mild, Bitter and best Bitter for the (I think about 30) pubs. They were distinct products, not badge engineering.
    I still have my PW business card and a fine piece of work it is too, with an embossed logo and gold border.

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