This page attempts to explain the significance and meaning behind the Widders Inn Sign. Research is augmented with photographs of pub signs.



 

Inn Signs
Inn Signs
Widders

Background Information
These two inn signs are from the same pub in Cradley. Thirteen years separate the two sign boards. The Crown Inn had been colloquially known as The Widows, or Widders, for generations so it was almost inevitable that the name was changed in 2007. A new sign was erected but it was not well produced and didn't last too long. This signboard appeared in 2013.

The Crown Inn was kept by the widow Eliza Oliver for over fifty years. The publican was born in the early 1840's and died in the late 1920's. Nowadays, we are told our lives have changed much more than those of previous generations. However, although it is true that the pace of change has increased, can we really argue that life changes more dramatically in the modern era? Sure, we have piles of consumer goods at our disposal but they only tend to be improvements or refined versions of something we already had. And whilst it is true that inventions like the Internet have changed the way we interact and communicate, this could only work if you have electricity - and this came along during the life of Eliza Oliver. Gas power to our homes also happened during her life - not to mention clean running water through pipes and taps.

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And what about the postage system that evolved and peaked during Eliza Oliver's time at Barrack Lane. Horses were replaced by bicycles and cars whilst she was pulling pints. And when she had a day off she could walk down to that new-fangled invention called the railway!

During her lifetime there were three changes to the throne and, as licensee of the Crown Inn, she witnessed the effect a World War had on her local community. On a civil or social level Eliza Oliver witnessed the introduction of mass free schooling, women earning the right to vote, the formation of trade unions, a modern police force and other emergency services, even hospitals where major medical advances were made.

Eliza Oliver would have heard radio for the first time, perhaps bought a record or enjoyed a night at the cinema. Yes, life does change, but does it change as much for us as it did for Eliza Oliver?
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Inn Sign
Inn Sign of The Widders at Cradley [2014]

Inn Sign of the Crown Inn at Cradley [2001]

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Inn Sign Society

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Quotation
Frederick the Great

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.
Frederick the Great

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