History of the Lozells Inn on Lozells Road in Lozells Birmingham in the county of Warwickshire. Research is augmented with photographs, details of licensees, stories of local folklore, census data, newspaper articles and a genealogy connections section for those studying their family history.


Lozells Inn
Lozells Inn

Some History of this Pub
The Lozells Inn closed in 1998 and the property was converted into a shop. Although the bay window on the first floor is still in place, the beautiful windows and doors on the ground floor have been lost. As you can see from the photograph below some money was lavished on this building in the past. The glazed tiles and terracotta made this a very fine-looking establishment. The massive lanterns probably dated from the late Victorian era but note the vertical sign attached to the bay - something of an art deco style signboard that Ansell's brewery added around the time of this photograph.

Lozells Road - Lozell's Inn [c.1935]

The Lozells Inn traded on the north side of Lozells Road, almost opposite the Bell Inn. In the 20th century this was a clear case of 'us and them' as the Bell was a Mitchell's and Butler's house. So, depending on whether the locals liked Aston or Smethwick water mixed with their hops and barley, this determined the choice of watering hole in this part of Lozells. However, in the 19th century it was a completely different story as both of these pubs would have sold more unique ales, some locally brewed and almost certainly using malt processed nearby.

It was perhaps because Lozells was on the edge of the countryside up until the mid-19th century that a number of malthouses were in operation on this thoroughfare. One of the more well-known malthouses was indeed just across the road on the corner of Wilton Street. In fact, during the First World War the buildings were owned by Ansell's, a time when the Lozells Road Picture House stood next to them. Another large brewery to operate the maltings on the corner of Wilton Street were Showell's of Langley Green. In the 19th century however it was sole proprietors who were listed at this address. For example, in 1892 Thomas Swift was listed as the maltster, whilst in 1879, it was the business concern of James Poole.

The earliest reference I have found for the Lozells Inn is a listing in an 1835 trade directory in which Job Martin is recorded as the publican of what was then called the Lozells Tavern. The census of 1841 records him as a retail brewer so the pub, like many of the period, almost certainly sold homebrewed ales. Darlaston-born Job Martin kept the Lozells Tavern with his wife Sarah and the couple employed a servant for the chores of the house. Job Martin was still listed as the publican in 1845 but by the end of the decade he had moved to a nearby house from which he earned his living as a 'proprietor of houses' and seemingly doing very well for himself. However, the 1851 census records him as a widow. He evidently re-married and accumulated some wealth because the sensational story of his widow's last days are detailed in the right-hand column.

Job Martin probably remained the freeholder of the Lozells Tavern whist installing a manager or, more likely, renting the pub out to another individual. In 1851 this was Thomas Bagg, a 36 year-old victualler who hailed from Gloucestershire. Twelve years younger, his wife Elizabeth was born in Lichfield. The family's life within the licensed trade lasted only for a few years before they moved to Great King Street where Thomas Bagg took on the position of a milkman. He may have simply handed the keys to the Lozells Tavern back to Job Martin for the former landlord was again listed as licensee in a trade directory for 1852.

Thomas Hall was in charge of the place by the end of the decade. The name of the pub changed from the Lozells Tavern to the Lozells Inn around this period. Thomas Hall was also recorded as an innkeeper, suggesting that the building was now being used by transients. The railways had arrived by now and people found it easier to relocate to other parts of the country to find work or, indeed, a new life. This possibly explains whey the Lozells Inn was now being kept by somebody from Lincolnshire who had married a woman from Northamptonshire before moving to Aston. They brought with them a nephew by the name of Thomas Stokes who was recorded as publican in the census of 1871 but later trade directories reinstate the name of Sarah Ann Hall as the licensee.

Sarah Ann Hall found herself in hot water in March 1871 when she was charged with permitting card-playing in the Lozells Inn. She was brought before the magistrates after one Saturday morning a policeman found four men in the pub's tap room playing cards for a quart of ale, this being paid for by the two losers. The charge would appear to be rather harsh but the Superintendent told the bench that the Lozells Inn had become a resort of bad characters and that Sarah Ann Hall had been cautioned on several occasions. She was subsequently fined £2 and costs.

And so the Lozells stumbled on as a house of ill repute in the early-mid 1870's. The reputation of the pub was not enhanced when Edwin Butler was brought before the Magistrates in October 1874 on a charge of infringing the licensing act. It was proved by Inspector Frankton that he had opened for trading during unlawful hours, for which he was subsequently fined 40 shillings and costs. His stay proved to be short and the licence of the Lozells Inn was transferred on Wednesday 5th January 1876 to William Henry Collins. This publican had previously held the licence of the Roebuck Inn at Great King Street between March 1874 to October 1875.

By 1878 Marriott Miller was the licensee of the Lozells Inn. The Leicestershire publican kept the pub with his wife Mary for half a decade before deciding to up sticks and take over another pub in Manchester. The next incumbent, Henry Neary, witnessed some change in front of the pub in Lozells Road. It was reported on 1st December 1882 that there was a proposal by the North Birmingham Tramways to construct a tram line along Wheeler Street to Lozells Road. This promised to bring in some extra trade. However, there was a delay of some three years before the plans were put into action. The Lozells Road Line, operated by the Birmingham Central Tramways Company Limited, was opened on October 1st 1885. The company offered season tickets at 21 shillings for three months, and £4. for twelve. It was announced that cars would run every quarter of an hour from the Old Square. It wasn't long before passengers were being caught for riding the tram without a ticket. For example, James Williams was caught without his stub and was fined 2s. 6d. and costs, or seven days imprisonment.

When Henry Neary left for pastures new, his departure ushered in a long period of stability at the Lozells Inn as the Ransom family operated the pub for the rest of the century. Born in Bath around 1828, James Edward Ransom worked in the hotel trade when living in the Lancashire town of Ulverston. His wife Eleanor originated from Barsey, a town further south in the county. The couple later kept the Crystal Palace Vaults on the London Road in Liverpool before heading south to Birmingham.

Headed by James Edward and Eleanor, there was quite a Ransom clan living at the Lozells Inn towards the end of the 19th century. They employed two barmen and a domestic servant, suggesting that the place was really buzzing during this period.

It was a happy day for the Ransom family on August 9th 1887 when the licensee's daughter Annie Ransom was married to William Cole Bartram a short distance away at St. Paul's Church. I wonder if they held a function in the Lozells Inn? The pub did have a club room on the first floor. In 2012 two of the etched glass windows for this facility for the local community were still in place.

The cycle of life caught up with James Edward Ransom in October 1894 and, on his passing, the licence passed to his son Robert. I suspect that he sold the pub at the turn of the century. I have not seen a sale document but the next licensee, Harry James Walter, was recorded as a jeweller; it was his wife Emmeline who was running the Lozells Inn. The fact that she was recorded as manager suggests that the pub had been acquired by a large brewery by this period.

The 'big' brewery who took over the Lozells Inn was the Holt Brewery Company. They were almost certainly involved in the creation of the pub seen above. The whole building may been reconstructed as none of the existing exterior appears to date from 1835. It is possible however that the original building could be lurking beneath the outer casing? The Lozells Inn would have been one of the company's 250 pubs taken over by Ansell's Brewery Ltd. when they acquired the brewery in 1934. The photograph at the top of the page was probably added to the estate portfolio of images shortly after this date.

Lozells Road - Shops and Lozells Inn [c.1968]

A full list of licensees from 1950 can be seen in the column to the right. The last publican was Radcliff George Harrison who was involved with the last pub company to operate the building: The Alehouse Company Ltd. of Southampton. 
© Copyright. Posted on 04th July 2012
Images supplied by Digital Photographic Images
and Lyn Harrington via Birmingham History Forum

Brummagem Boozers

Ansell's Bruno Beer Mat [1957]

Ansell's Triple Gold Beer Mat [1960]

Licensees of this Pub
1835 Job Martin
1845 Job Martin
1851 Thomas Bagg
1852 Job Martin
1854 C. Robinson
1856 C. Robinson
1860 Thomas Hall
1864 Thomas Hall
1868 Mrs Sarah Ann Hall
1869 Thomas Hall
1870 Mrs Sarah Ann Hall
1870 Mrs Sarah Ann Hall
1874 - 1876 Edwin Butler
1876 William Henry Collins
1878 Marriott Miller
1881 Marriott Miller
1884 Henry Neary
1887 James Edward Ransom
1892 James Edward Ransom
1895 James Edward Ransom & Son
1898 Robert Ransom
1900 Robert Ransom
1901 Harry James Walter
1919 Harry James Walter
1925 Dennis Hodgetts
1930 Shephard Cole
1937 Alfred Edward Godfrey
1950 - 1953 Frank Brown
1953 - 1953 Alan Fosbrooke
1953 - 1955 Henry Cecil Hayes
1955 - 1958 Henry Anthony Taylor
1958 - 1961 Walter Colin Chatterley
1961 - 1962 Ian Thomas Turner
1962 - 1968 Thomas Josh McGuire
1968 - 1969 Kenneth Alan Williams
1969 - 1971 Patrick Joseph Bashford
1971 - 1975 Maurice Frank Mabbett
1975 - 1978 Irene Anna Audley
1978 - 1979 Desmond Arthur Cafferty
1979 - 1982 Maureen Gloria Burke
1982 - 1991 George Wilborn Harrison
1991 - 1996 Ronald James Beaven?
1996 - 1997 Dorothy Eunice Harrison
1997 - 1998 Radcliff George Harrison

Lozells Road - Map Showing Lozells Inn, Bell Inn and Mallthouse [c.1900]

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Genealogy Connections
If you have a genealogy story or query regarding the Lozells Inn you can contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Birmingham Genealogy.

Links to other Websites
Aston Brook through Aston Manor
Birmingham City Council
Birmingham History Forum
Birmingham Places and Place Names
Carl Chinn Archive
Handsworth History
Ladywood Past and Present
Perry Barr and Beyond
Winson Green to Brookfields

Work in Progress

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Ansell's Mirror [c.1900]

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Newspaper Articles
"Mr. B. Sanderson, deputy coroner for North Warwickshire, held an inquest yesterday at the Lozells Inn, Lozells Road, Aston, on the body of Caroline Skellett [66], widow, who resided at 25, Caroline Road. Amy M. Skellett, niece of the deceased, said that she had resided with her aunt since she was a child. Deceased's husband had been dead about three years, since which time she had slipped into intemperate habits. Witness last saw the deceased alive shortly after ten o'clock on Saturday morning, when she was the worse for drink. For several days previously deceased had been drinking brandy to excess. About 11.20 on Saturday night witness returned home and, as she could not gain admission, she looked through the back window, and there saw her grandmother lying on the floor in front of the fire with her head on a chair. Dr. Alfred Harvey said that he saw the body shortly before one o'clock on Sunday morning. The deceased was dead, and the body smelt strongly of brandy, a glass thaty had evidently contained that liquor being on a table close at hand. He was of opinion that death resulted from apoplexy, caused by excessive drinking. Police-constable Joseph Whitcroft said he found a number of bottles in the house which had evidently contained spirits. The jury returned a verdict to the effect that the deceased died from apoplexy, the result of excessive drinking."
"Death of Excessive Drinking"
Birmingham Daily Post 31st December 1884

Comic Postcard - Pub Opening Hours

Comic Postcard - Money Matters

Ansell's Draught Beer Mat [1964]

Newspaper Articles
"An adjourned inquest was held yesterday, at the Lozells Inn, Lozells Road, upon the body of Emma Martin, the widow of Job Martin, licensed victualler, who died under suspicious circumstances a week ago, The enquiry had been adjourned to enable a post mortem examination of the body to be made. Since the death of her husband, about two years ago, the deceased had become the owner of considerable property, and resided at a private house in the Lozells Road. Subsequently to her husband's death she became intimate with James Birley, a master painter, who was married and had a family. Birley was a frequent visitor at the private residence of Mrs. Martin, and about three weeks ago he advised her to let her nephew, who was living with her, return to his home at Darlaston. On her doing so, Birley sent his daughter Emily to attend to her. Deceased shortly afterwards fell ill, and died suddenly, before any medical advice could be obtained. Inspector Frankton went with Mrs. Martin's son to the house where she had died, and found that a £50. note and the deeds of the property were missing. The note was found in the possession of Birley, and the deeds in that of the nephew, at Darlaston. It appeared that on the Friday, about four days before the deceased's death Birley had called in a solicitor to assist the deceased to make a will, but she proved to be too ill to execute the instrument. Dr. Harvey then detailed the result of his post mortem examination. He believed that deceased had died from inflammation of the lungs, coupled with a fibronous clot on the pulmonary artery. He saw no reason to suppose that death had been caused by unfair means. The Jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical testimony, but told Mr. Birley that they could not acquit him of all blame in the matter."
"Suspicious Death at Handsworth"
Birmingham Daily Post 20th November 1873

"William Robert Emery, cab proprietor, Frances Road Mews, sued William Webb, builder, Soho Hill, for £23., damages sustained by plaintiff in consequence of a collision. Mr. Tanner appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. A. Young for the defendant. Plaintiff's case was that shortly before eleven o'clock on the night of the 15th September a cabman in his employ, named Thomas Reeves, was driving a fare down the Lozells Road, in the direction of the Six Ways. When he arrived near to Carpenter's Road he saw a pony and trap approaching in an opposite direction. There were two young men in the trap and the pony was galloping at a furious rate. He saw the trap when it was fifty yards distant, and noticing that it was on the wrong side of the road, he shouted to the young men, but they seemed to take no notice. Believing that a collision was inevitable unless he got out of the way, he "eased off" towards the wrong side of the road, and while doing so, the pony and trap dashed into the cab. One of the fore legs of the cab horse was broken, necessitating the animal being killed on the following morning, and for this the plaintiff claimed £20. The harness and cab were damaged to the extent of £2., and plaintiff had to pay £1. for the hire of another cab until the damaged one was repaired. After the collision the two young - one of whom was was named Arthur Harrison, and was in the employ of defendant - endeavoured to get away, but Reeves detained them. In cross-examination, Reeves admitted that he had been three times convicted during the present year for being drunk while in charge of a horse and cab, and once for being drunk and furiously driving. He was also convicted last year of being drunk and disorderly. But he was perfectly sober on the night named, and this was corroborated by Police-constable Underhill, who saw the man shortly after the collision. The officer previously saw the two youths get into the trap, and drive away at a gallop. He shouted to them, but they took no notice of him, and shortly afterwards he heard of the accident. Mrs. Tyler, wife of Mr. Tyler, butcher, Lozells Road, saw the young men drive furiously along the road towards the Villa Cross, and on the wrong side. She believed they were going at  the rate of eight or ten miles an hour. Mr. Young, for the defence, called Mr. Webb and the youth Harrison to prove that, on the night named, defendant left Harrison in charge of the pony and trap outside the Bull's Head, Lozells Road [note: this is how the report read but is almost certainly the Bull's Head in Villa Road], giving him strict instructions not to go away, Defendant then went into the inn, and shortly afterwards Harrison drove the pony to Barker Street and called on his mother, who lives in that street. He subsequently took his brother a drive, and called at the Lozells Inn, where they had something to drink. Later on the collision occurred. In the meantime defendant, discovering that Harrison had disobeyed his orders, went in search of the pony and trap, and ultimately found it in the Lozells Road in a damaged condition. He there and then discharged Harrison. Mr. Young urged that Harrison, having taken upon himself to drive away on his own account, defendant was not liable in law for any damage which was done. Aftre some argument, the parties had a consultation, and Mr. Young then announced that they had agreed upon a verdict for defendant, plaintiff to contribute £5. 5s. towards defendant's costs. His Honour strongly commented on the reckless conduct of the youth Harrison."
"Curious Running-Down Case"
Birmingham Daily Post 8th December 1877

William Blake
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