Sheffield area Hillsborough when pubs were packed with soldiers

The Cambridge, still just a Hillsborough, Sheffield beerhouse in 1871
The Cambridge, still just a Hillsborough, Sheffield beerhouse in 1871

This week on Dus Tha Fancy a Pint, we’re resuming our gentle stroll around the pubs of Hillsborough, Sheffield in 1871 that we began last week.

Last week we left off at the Rose Inn at 627 Penistone Road and now we’re heading to the Hotel at 452 Penistone Road, in business from 1836 until 1992.

The Old Blue Ball pub, Hillsborough, Sheffield

The Old Blue Ball pub, Hillsborough, Sheffield

William Lockwood is recorded as having the licence for the Cambridge but it was just a beerhouse in 1871, no spirits allowed.

It was named after Adolphus Frederick, Duke of Cambridge and son of ‘Mad King George’.

This is another hostelry that suffered badly on the night of the Sheffield flood, it stood just a couple of doors away from the Garrison Hotel which also suffered badly in the flood.

Both were well built houses but it didn’t protect the Cambridge against the demolition brigade, it was swept away in the 1990s.

The Queens Ground in Hillsborough, Sheffield once had a famous racetrack

The Queens Ground in Hillsborough, Sheffield once had a famous racetrack

On drinking the last drops from our glasses we leave the Cambridge and walk to the British Queen just a few steps down the road, still on the left-hand side of Penistone Road.

This was a new pub in 1871 and the licensee was Elizabeth Cooke but once again it was a beer-only house.

I can’t seem to find much info on this pub but what is strange is Elizabeth was licensee of the Old Crown in 1862 but there’s no mention of the British Queen in any of my directories.

In my 1905 Whites there’s an entry for James Whiteley running a beerhouse at 456 Penistone Road – could this be the elusive British Queen?

The New Barrack Tavern in Hillsborough, Sheffield, which was reopened and renamed shortly after the original pub closed

The New Barrack Tavern in Hillsborough, Sheffield, which was reopened and renamed shortly after the original pub closed

On leaving the British Queen we cross over the road, dodging the horses and carters taking stores to the barracks plus quite a few soldiers milling around now.

The 22nd (Cheshire) Foot were the regiment at the barracks in 1870 and the E Battery Royal Horse Artillery took over for the rest of the 1870s.

We are going to sample the liquid delights of Barrack Tavern at 601 Penistone Road.

This pub was built in 1852 because of the influx of soldiers in the town after the barracks was built in 1848.

There were other barracks but this was by far the biggest.

In 1871 John Pearson had his name above the door from that year until 1879.

Did he retire or did he die? I couldn’t say.

His son Henry took the licence from 1879 until 1890 and again did he do what his father did?

His wife Mary Ann Pearson took over until 1907 and yet again another member of the family took the licence over, Jabez Pearson, and he held the licence until 1916.

Did he volunteer for certain death in France, I just don’t know, but I do hope he had a long and happy life.

The Tavern did close in the early 1990s but thankfully it was reopened shortly after and renamed the New Barrack Tavern.

We now leave the Barrack Tavern, turn right and walk down Burton Road and across Langsett Road to the Woodland Tavern.

This smart-looking pub was built in 1845 but closed in 1921, a short life really but I suspect it was for road-widening measures.

When we order our drinks the landlord Enos Jackson is serving behind the bar but always keep in mind most of these pubs were just classed as beerhouses and not by the names we know them now.

His beer was just like rabbit gravy, beautiful.

I must mention my two travelling companions are quite aficionados of the amber nectar and know a good pint from a bad one.

We drag ourselves away from the Woodland, cross Woodland Street and go in the Victoria at no 325.

It’s full of off-duty soldiers and on the whole they are okay, but trouble soon erupts because of the least little thing.

Thankfully someone’s got up and hush is called for as he sings The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane. It brings tears to the eyes of anyone away from home.

Thomas Ralph is the landlord and even he has a tear in his eye, strange how sad songs and beer can do that to the hardest man.

The Victoria closed in the 1970s for road widening but where it stood is still a bare patch of ground.

The applause is deafening for the young singing soldier as we leave and go to our penultimate destination and that is the Travellers Rest at no 426. The Travellers was selling beer in 1852 and our present licensee Thomas Harman received his licence in 1863 but moved on in 1878. The pub closed in the 1920s.

The Queens Ground Hotel is our last call and this pub was known worldwide because of the athletic races that were held at the rear of the pub.

The ground in its name was a cricket ground but the racetrack took that over.

Up to 20,00 spectators would attend these races, mainly if the ‘fastest man on two legs’ was running; no not me but Harry Hutchens.

I have written a more detailed account of this formidable athlete in a previous Weer Thi Ells That? article so I urge you to try to read it simply because of his achievements, just Google his name.

The Queens Ground was opened for business in 1833 and it’s still selling fine beer as it did all those years ago.

From 1865 to 1876 Alfred Peat was the licensee, his son Reuben took the licence from him and held it until 1879.