History of the Red Lion Inn at Cradley Heath 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.



 

Red Lion Inn
Red Lion Inn

Some History of this Pub
The Red Lion Inn was located on the eastern side of Cradley Road, midway between the Five Ways and the Post Office erected in 1907. The building still stands and can be seen below trading as a fish and chip shop. The Red Lion faced the Old Cross Guns Inn on the other side of Cradley Road.

Former Red Lion Inn at Cradley Heath [2008]

The Red Lion Inn was a beer house and, as a result, is not easy to trace in directories of the early-mid 19th century. Rowley Regis locations are fairly non-specific in these earlier volumes. The first record I have found for the pub dates from the mid-1860's. Early in 1866 Hezekiah Golden was declared bankrupt whilst trading as publican of the Red Lion Inn.

Former Red Lion Inn at Cradley Heath [2014]

Occupied by Marlborough Print in 2008, the building to the right of the Red Lion in this photograph is called Cradley Heath House and was erected in 1867 by Joseph Sutton, a tailor and draper who, although originating from Birmingham, had been trading in Cradley Heath for a number of years. Another tailor and draper by the name of Thomas Wesley was open for business just two doors up from the Red Lion and next door to the Crown Inn on the corner of Grainger's Lane. In 1871 between Thomas Wesley's shop and the Red Lion was the shoe manufactory and retail outlet of Henry Hampton. This can just be seen to the left of the former Red Lion where, in 2008, the premises were occupied by a hairdressing salon.

Henry Heaton was a carter in the iron trade. He is not listed as beer retailer in trade directories but is shown at this address in the census.

Joseph Partridge was the licensee by the early 1880's. The former nail maker kept the beer house with his wife Hannah. The couple had earlier lived in Peartree Street at Reddal Hill. Following their spell at the Red Lion, they retired to Mace Street in Old Hill. Meanwhile, Joseph Sutton, the man who had erected the neighbouring property had moved to Edgbaston where he continued to trade as a draper.

Cradley Heath - Mosaic of Joseph Stevenson next door to former Red Lion Inn [2008]

The premises of Joseph Sutton were later occupied by the Banbury-born tailor Joseph Stevenson. His wife hailed from the Isle of Wight. Their daughter Hilda worked as a hairdresser. The family name remains in the mosaic floor of the entrance to the old shop.

At the turn of the 20th century Thomas Price was involved at both the Red Lion and the Hand of Providence in Holly Bush Street. The chainmaker and publican had married Sarah Ann Tromans in 1867. By the end of the Edwardian period the couple had moved to Hagley.

David Tromans held the licence of the Red Lion for over twenty years. As a widower, he hired Miriam Hampton as manager of the beer house. The Old Hill-born publican also employed Nellie Mansell as a servant. 

David Tromans was succeeded by Clifford Pearson, a former puddler who had lived in both King Street and Elbow Street in Old Hill.

The name of Henry Horan appears in the 1936 Kelly's trade directory for Cradley Heath but he is not in the licence register for the Red Lion. The register shows that the property was owned by Thomas Price before he sold it to the Netherton Bottling Company. In June 1926 the Red Lion was acquired by Grigg and Brettell Ltd., though the company was part of the Holt Brewery Company by this period.

The licence of the Red Lion Inn was referred to the compensation authority on March 5th 1941 and it was extinguished later in that year on the last day of December. Harold Slater was the last licensee to pull a pint behind the servery of this beer house.
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Licensees of this Pub
1866 - Hezekiah Golden
1881 - Henry Heaton
1881 - Joseph Partridge
1888 - Joseph Partridge
1900 - Thomas Price
1904 - 1927 David Tromans
1927 - 1928 Clifford Harris Pearson
1928 - 1931 Joseph Turner
1931 - 1931 Major Allport
1931 - 1931 Bertram Robbins
1931 - 1934 Henry Robbins
1934 - 1936 Bertram Billingham
1936 - 1941 Harold Slater

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

Map
Map showing location of the Red Lion Inn [1884]
On this map extract from 1884, I have marked the location of the Red Lion, along with some of the other local pubs. The beer house was opposite the Old Cross Guns Inn on the other side of Cradley Road.

Building Plan
Plan Showing Five Ways Road Junction at Cradley Heath [1950's]
This is a plan dating from the 1950's and shows the Five Ways area of Cradley Heath and still has the location of the Red Lion Inn despite the fact that the pub had ceased trading by this period. You can click on the image to view the plan in full.

Links to other Websites
Black Country Bugle
Black Country Gob
Black Country Society
Cradley Heath Speedway

Quotation
Alexander The Great
"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”
Alexander The Great

 

Newspaper Articles
“At a meeting of chainmakers, held on Thursday night, at the Red Lion Inn, Cradley Heath, Mr. S. Penroyce presiding, a committee was appointed for considering the advisability of making an early application for an advance of 20 per cent, on all sizes of chains. The deputation from  Newcastle-on-Tyne attended the meeting, and urged the operatives in that district to co-operate with the operatives in the North Country districts."
"Wages Agitation in the Chain Trade"
in Birmingham Daily Post
: January 27th 1883

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Work in Progress

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Beer and Pipe Smoker

Bar Pof the Red Lion Inn [1884]arlour Stained Glass

Tap Room Etched Glass

Cheers!

The Young Barmaid by Charles Sillem Lidderdale

Beer is Best

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Publican

Public Bar Stained Glass
 

Woman Serving Beer

Brewery Buildings