The Queen's Head was located at No.76 High Street, next door to the Fox Hunt
Inn. The latter managed to outlive its neighbour but the Queen's Head was
arguably the more important of the two, particularly as it was the tap house of
the Old Hill Brewery. In fact, during the Victorian era the pub was more
generally known as the Old Hill Brewery not the Queen's Head.
Here you can see the Queen's Head in a photograph dating from just after the
Second World War. The building on the right is the
Fox Hunt Inn. On the other side of the Queen's Head you can just make out a
small general shop.
Former coal miner Joseph Griffiths was running the
beer house in the early 1870's. He kept the pub with his wife Isabella. The
couple had five children living on the premises but still had room to take in
boarders. The family later moved to Wrights Lane from where Joseph Griffiths
worked as a labourer in an iron works. Seemingly, he didn't make his fortune
running the brewery tap.
A number of licensees came and went in the 1870's suggesting an unsettled house.
In April 1877 the licence passed to Eliza Tinkham. The wife of a railway
contractor, she and her husband had previously lived at Sandfield Cottage in
Harborne. In September 1877 she applied for a seven day licence for the
beer house but was refused.
Silas Chambers was one of the pub's more colourful characters. A newspaper
article [see below] reveals that the
beer house was still selling
homebrew ales for he was reported as having got up early to start brewing.
In later years the Queen's Head formed part of the tied estate of
Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries Ltd.
The column to the right features a biography of Silas Chambers, a man who had a
varied career, the running of pubs being just a part of his extensive curriculum
vitae. He had previously kept the
Prince of Wales in Wright's Lane.
The Queen's Head survived a scare in 1913 when the pub was referred by the
Rowley Regis licensing justices. However, after consideration, the Staffordshire
Licensing Committee decided to renew the licence of the Queen's Head. This was
during the same session in which pubs like the True Briton Inn at
Quarry Bank and the Pheasant Inn at
Brockmoor lost their licences and were forced to close.
Abel Siviter, licensee of the Queen's Head throughout the 1920's, had moved up
the road from
Richard Edge held the licence of the Queen's Head for over twenty years. He was
hauled before the magistrates in April 1941, charged with "aiding and abetting
Victor Edmonds in the consumption of beer after permitted hours." The publican
was fined £2 with £5.5s.0d. costs.
The Queen's Head was granted a full licence on February 1st 1950. I am not sure
of the exact date of its closure and when the building was demolished. However,
I think the pub was wound up in the mid-late 1960's and the building pulled down
in the early 1970's.
All text and images
- click here for more information.
"A serious fire at the Queen's Head inn, High Street, Old Hill, was prevented by
the timely discovery of the licensee, Mr. Silas Chambers, on Wednesday morning.
At 3.30am the landlord arose for the purpose of commencing his brewing
operations, when he was surprised to find the sitting room full of smoke and the
furniture in flames. Mr. Chambers at once roused his wife and family, and
summoned the local fire brigade, which quickly turned out. The furniture was
then well alight, but after working for some time, the firemen succeeded in
extinguishing the flames. Damage to extent of about £100 was caused, the floor
of the sitting room having been burnt through and a quantity of the furniture
precipitated into the cellar. The damage is covered by insurance. It is supposed
that the outbreak was due to a gas jet, which had been left alight in the
cellar, setting fire to the sitting room floor. When the brigade attempted to
open the doors of the engine-house it was found that there was some obstruction
behind them, and on going outside Engineer Cook discovered Mr. Chambers lying in
an unconscious condition, having been overcome by the fumes and his exciting
rush to the station, He was attended to, and quickly recovered.”
Just in Time"
in Birmingham Daily Post
: August 22nd 1913.
All text and images
- click here for more information.
1871 - Joseph Griffiths
1876 - John Blaydon
1877 - Eliza Tinkham
1880 - Eliza Tinkham
1887 - Joseph Harding
1903 - Edward Stevens
1912 - Silas Henry Tilley Chambers
1919 - Edward Chambers
1919 - 1932 Abel Siviter
1932 - 1955 Richard Edge
1955 - 1956 Phoebe Blanche Edge
1956 - Lawrence Bernard Hanes
If you have a genealogy story or query regarding the Queen's Head you can
contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Staffordshire Genealogy.
On this map extract from 1939, I have marked the locations of the Queen's Head,
along with the
Fox Hunt Inn. The thoroughfare at the bottom of this map extract is Waggon
Black Country Bugle
Black Country Gob
Black Country Society
Cradley Heath Speedway
"I do not want a husband who honours me as a queen, if he does not love me
as a woman.”
“The death occurred, in tragic circumstances, on Saturday, of Mr. Silas H.
Chambers, of 116, Powke Lane, Old Hill, at the age of 56 years. He collapsed and
died whilst watching Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux Grounds.
This occurred soon after the Wanderers had scored their first goal in the first
half. A doctor was summoned immediately, but on examination Mr. Chambers was
found to be dead. He had recently been attended by a doctor for heart trouble,
but had carried on his business, and his condition had so much improved that his
health gave no cause for anxiety.
Mr. Chambers was a well-known figure in the Old Hill district, and his
straightforwardness and generosity earned for him high esteem. He was born at
Dudhill Farm, Old Hill, which has been in the family for a very long period. At
an early age he assisted his father with horse-drawn traffic on a local canal,
and later he acquired a horse of his own and engaged in navigation on the canal.
His activities covered local districts as far as Birmingham. He made great
progress and became a road haulier in addition to his canal work. At one time he
owned the Prince of Wales Inn, Wright's Lane, Old Hill, and subsequently he went
to the Queen's Head Inn, High Street, Old Hill. Eleven years ago he bought the
Summerhill Farm, Kingswinford, and made a successful farmer. As a haulage
contractor, Mr. Chambers was well-known in the Midlands. He conveyed goods both
by road and water, and was so keenly interested in water transport that rather
less than two years ago he had a motor-boat built to his own design. He
supervised its construction on his premises, and its subsequent launching on the
canal. Two new motorboats were also launched by him recently. A close follower
of local administrative affairs, he made two unsuccessful attempts to secure a
seat on the Rowley Regis Council, contesting Rowley Ward on one occasion and Old
Hill on the other. He was a great sportsman, and while at the Queen's Head he
engaged in whippet racing, a Black Country sport in which he was keenly
interested. He was also a pigeon fancier. At one time he was an ardent Villa fan
but, of late years, he had taken a Wolves season ticket. His wife died four or
five years ago, and he leaves one son and two daughters. At his funeral the
vicar, Rev. H. Card, said : "he did not know a man more straightforward. To him
his word was his bond, and he did not know a heart more golden. Many could
testify, if they were allowed, as to the generous nature of their brother, and
he would never have his many acts of kindness, typical of him, made public in
any shape or form. He did not let one hand know what the other gave. Rowley
Regis would suffer a loss by his passing. He was a good father, and a worker in
the best sense of the word."
Man's Tragic Death"
in Brierley Hill Advertiser :