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.
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'
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.
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.”