History of the Crystal Fountain at Cannock in the county of Staffordshire. 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.



 

Crystal Fountain
Crystal Fountain

Some History of this Pub
This Grade II-listed public house is in an odd location. The building is substantial in size and was probably erected to serve the burgeoning neighbourhood to the south of Cannock. The locale had little development in the late Victorian period. Indeed, between the town and the Union Workhouse there were only a scattering of houses until the First World War. However, the area was extensively developed during the inter-war years and it was in 1937 that Linford's, a local building firm based at High Green, constructed the Crystal Fountain for Mitchell's and Butler's.

St. John's Road had been laid out many years before and the earliest residences were built just off the Wolverhampton Road. Unusually, the Cape Hill brewery did not acquire land in order to build the Crystal Fountain on the road junction where it would have made a bold statement of intent. Instead, the pub was put up a little further down the thoroughfare. Consequently, it is possible to drive along Wolverhampton Road and miss the place. Moreover, this is something of a landmark or flagship pub so it is baffling why Mitchell's and Butler's elected to erect it in what was essentially a quiet  backwater. Of course, it is not so quiet these days and the locale is now dominated by a huge supermarket and, despite the construction of a relief road, traffic still thunders past the end of St. John's Road.

I have to admit that I didn't really know of the Crystal Fountain until the sensational story appeared in the press in August 2011 [see column to right]. Not being from the area, I have been guilty of simply passing through Cannock on the way to somewhere else - such as an off-road cycle ride on Cannock Chase. As a youngster, we were occasionally treated to a Sunday day out at Hednesford Raceway. But, over the years, I have not spent much time in the pubs of Cannock. This is my loss because I have since learned that the interior of the Crystal Fountain has much of its original layout and fittings. Naturally, I went to take a look but, at the time of my visit, the building was empty and had a 'For Sale' notice on the frontage.

As you can see from the gallery above, the Neo-Georgian frontage of the Crystal Fountain features a simple 'block' with a pantile roof [possibly sourced locally] partially hidden behind the parapet which features moulded stone coping. The main windows also feature moulded architraves with large keystones - I am not sure why two birds of prey have been used here. Indeed, I'm not sure how the pub came to be named the Crystal Fountain. Another classical feature to be incorporated into the building is the use of an oculus above the two entrance doorways.

Just a few yards along St John's Road is the entrance to the Chase Academy. The origins of this educational establishment can be traced back to the Roman Catholic school that stood next to the Convent of the Holy Rosary. The nuns were also teachers at the school.

The aforementioned Union Workhouse was located on the other side of Wolverhampton Road and little further out of town. Replacing an older workhouse at Brewood, this was constructed in 1872 and served as the workhouse for the Penkridge Union. After the Second World War the building was used a county hostel, where accommodation was given to both the elderly and the homeless.
© Copyright. Posted on 14th December 2011
Images supplied by Digital Photographic Images.

 

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Licensees of this Pub
1940 - James Henry Butler

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

Links to other Websites
Cannock Chase
Cannock Chase History
Cannock Chase
Mining Historical Society

Not One to Mix with the Riff-Raff in the Bar

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Quotation
Charles Lamb by Henry Hoppner Meyer
"If I ever marry a wife, I'll marry a landlord's daughter, For then I may sit in the bar And drink cold brandy and water.”
Charles Lamb

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Newspaper Articles
Kevin and Kat Scott at a Halloween Party in the Crystal Fountain [2010]
"A Cannock pub that closed in the wake of claims it was used for sex parties is being sold off.

Enterprise Inns has put the Crystal Fountain in St. John's Road on the market through agents Fleurets. They are seeking £200,000 for the freehold, including contents.

The pub has been closed since the end of May after licensees Kevin and Kat Scott left.

There were claims parties at the Crystal Fountain were advertised on swingers' websites, with allegations sending shock waves through the community.

Enterprise Inns spokeswoman Vicky Averis said the pub had since been available for let but is now on the open market.

The pub is Grade II listed and dates from 1937. It has a five-bed living area, and a patio and garden to the rear. The sale is being handled throught Fleurets' Birmingham office."
"Scandal-hit pub is set to be sold off"
in
Express and Star
August 12th 2011
© Copyright. Image supplied by Express and Star


"By day the Crystal Fountain is a genteel child-friendly pub, set in a quiet suburban neighbourhood. But by night the Grade II listed boozer, just a stone’s throw from two primary schools, has been the setting for sordid swingers parties.

Landlord Kevin Scott and partner Kat have been running the secret events since taking over in October – without the knowledge of pub owners, Enterprise Inns. Now the randy pair have been given their marching orders by the brewery and are being kicked out of the pub in Cannock, Staffordshire.

Kevin, 54, insists full sex does not take place on the premises but admitted other sexual acts might at the event - which has a ‘no knickers policy’.

Last night local councillor Clive Morgan reacted with disgust at news of the sexy shenanigans. He said: “I’m shocked and appalled that this has been going on under the noses of honest, decent, hard working citizens in my area. It’s absolutely disgusting that something like this could happen in a nice family pub like the Crystal Fountain.’’

The Sunday Mercury discovered the couple advertising their sex ‘socials’ on seedy swinging websites. Randy Kevin and Kat, 30, described themselves online as “committed doggers” and posted a revealing picture from a Halloween bash at the Crystal Fountain.

They wrote: “We have recently moved from Yorkshire where we hosted many socials at our old pub. Our new pub is much bigger, so our socials are now on a bigger scale. The pub is a spacious four room pub with a large enclosed beer garden, which in the summer months is great fun!”

The final farewell party was due to take place last night when up to 90 swingers from across the UK were expected to attend. Previous events organised by the couple, who moved from Barnsley last year, have won warm reviews on internet sex forums.

One male swinger said he was literally bouncing after an earlier ‘social’ at the Crystal Fountain. “It was the first time we have been to one of these parties so did not know what to expect - but it was fun,’’ he said. “I met some great people and had good fun on the bouncy castle with nothing on."

“Yes, that was me!” Our reporter went undercover to find out more about what goes on, and what comes off, at the Crystal Fountain. He approached landlord Kevin outside the premises by posing as a first-time swinger. At first the pub boss was wary of our man, but soon warmed to his theme and chatted to us in the street, as innocent locals wandered by. Kevin said: “We have been doing this for about eight years now in pubs up and down the country. That is how I met my partner actually and we have been together ever since."

“It’s just a social event, you won’t see any shagging or anything like that, although you never know, you will probably see someone getting a blow job or some other kind of play - so don’t be surprised if you do see that going on. We don’t get any trouble from the locals, we just shut the curtains and get on with it, to be honest with you. We have got about 90 people from all over the country coming on Saturday and it seems like the local hotels are completely booked up. We have all sorts coming from straights to gays to bisexuals to transvestites to transsexuals. You name it and they will be there.

"But it’s not seedy, it is not like the 1970s or something. It is just a place for like-minded people to get together and meet other people without any pressure - although I do have a no knickers rule which I always enforce. That helps to keep the atmosphere jovial. We also do things like raffles and this time we are having a tombola in aid of a leukaemia charity. If you’re lucky you could win a dildo and some lube there.”

But unfortunately for Kevin time has now been called on his stay at the Crystal Fountain, which is just a few hundred yards from a new Asda.

A spokesman for Enterprise Inns revealed the couple had been dismissed. He said: “Following complaints from a member of the public, Enterprise Inns carried out a full investigation, as a result of which there will be a change of retailer at the Crystal Fountain.”

Kevin and Kat were unavailable for comment last night.

But Councillor Morgan said: “The sooner Mr Scott and his partner vacate that place the better for everybody in Cannock, it’s utterly disgusting. It’s one thing doing this in a proper swingers’ club, but quite another in a popular family pub. It’s outrageous.”
"Landlord fired after staging seedy swingers sex parties at Cannock family pub"
by Adam Aspinall in Sunday Mercury
May 22nd 2011
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