History of The Beehive at Old Hill, Rowley Regis 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.



 

Beehive
Beehive

Some History of this Pub
To many people who grew up and lived in Old Hill during the 20th century, The Beehive was simply an off licence. However, it is was once a public house until its conversion to an outdoor.  I have memories of the place, though I cannot recall shopping there - there were, after all, other off licences closer to home. And in my early years I lived at an off licence.

Old Hill - Beehive Off Licence [c.1970]
Copyright : Sandwell Community History & Archives Service.

The building was located on the High Street, later called Highgate Street, on the north corner of Elbow Street. Here you can see the off licence in a photograph from around 1970. By this time the shop was being operated by Foster's. This wines and spirits firm were based at Queensbury Road at Wembley in Middlesex but were formerly based at St. James' Place. The company had acquired the off licence from Annie Slater of the King's Head Inn on Elbow Street. The Slater family had operated the shop and nearby pub for many years.

As you can see in the photograph, it was a fine-looking building that incorporated some nice architectural detail. Once again, this begs the question of why did they have to pull the building down? And the answer in many cases, as indeed this one, is the motor car. The 'top' end of Elbow Street, along with a section of Highgate Street, was lost when the new Old Hill by-pass was laid out.

The clock on the corner of the building formed part of an advertisement for Mackeson ales. There is also an illuminated sign for M&B, "the marvellous beer" and inside the Elbow Street window another for Guinness, with the slogan claiming that it was good for you. Notice also that the building is in line with the neighbouring properties. However, an earlier building used to stand back from the corner somewhat [see map to right]. The building in the photograph does seem to date from the late Victorian period and appears to be a 'new' build rather than an extension of an older property.

At the end of the Edwardian period Abel Siviter was running The Beehive with his wife Louisa. Abel Siviter was later a publican at the Queen's Head further up the road.

It was in 1919 that The Beehive lost its licence as a beer house and the property was subsequently converted into a shop. As part of a reduction in the number of licensed houses in Staffordshire, the committee met in January 1919 and refused to renew the licences on fifteen houses, the Beehive being the only one in the Rowley Regis Division.

The licence of The Beehive was transferred to Joseph Slater on October 1st 1919. He was the son of Edward Slater of the King's Head Inn around the corner in Elbow Street. Joseph had spent all of his childhood in the pub.

The licence granted to Joseph Slater was for spirits and wine only. It was not until 1947 that the Beehive off licence was allowed to retail beer. However, the magistrates only permitted the retailing of beer provided it was not sold via handpulls and that beer would not be sold in jugs. In addition, they applied a rule that the shop could not sell less that three pint bottles at any time. This strict ruling, which put the Beehive at a disadvantage to rival outdoors, was kept in place until March 1953.
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Licensees of this Pub
1911 - Abel Siviter
1919 - 1960 Joseph James Slater
1960 - Leslie Robert Hart

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Mackeson's Stout - You'll Like It Better

Genealogy Connections
If you have a genealogy story or query regarding The Beehive 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 the location of The Beehive [1884]
On this map extract from 1884, I have marked the location of The Beehive. Not that the property follows the building line of the houses and shops on the other side of Elbow Street. However, a new building brought it in line with the neighbouring properties.

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Black Country Bugle
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Quotation
Friedrich Nietzsche
"Our treasure lies in the beehive of our knowledge. We are perpetually on the way thither, being by nature winged insects and honey gatherers of the mind.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Mitchell's and Butler's Nourishing Stout

Guinness As Usual

1950 Advertisement for Mitchell's & Butler's

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Banks's Imperial Mild Ale [1960's]

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