Some history of the George Inn at Wyre Piddle
The George Inn at Wyre Piddle may have long gone as a public house but the building still stands on the corner of George Lane. Although the Anchor Inn outlived its close neighbour, it would appear that the George Inn was the senior house and of some importance.
One of the earliest references I have seen for the George Inn is dated November 1814 when all of the furniture and effects of the house were advertised for auction because Benjamin Lock was quitting the business. The sale included four-post bedsteads and hangings, feather beds, blankets, quilts, counterpanes, mahogany tables, chairs, piers and swing glasses, an eight-day clock in an oak case, and a good assortment of brewing utensils, and near 30 well-seasoned casks of different sizes. The auction took place at the Bell Inn at Pershore. It is clear from the advertisement that the George Inn was a homebrew house.
In 1825 the above advertisement appeared in the Worcestershire Chronicle. Mr. Tustin was seeking a couple to undertake the chores around the property, both inside and out. A later advertisement provides a glimpse of the George Inn during the early 19th century. A sale notice from 1840 detailed the property which was to be sold at an auction held at the George Inn on May 14th 1840. The auction was for the "old-established public house, called the George Inn, with the garden and necessary outbuildings, and other conveniences adjoining; likewise two cottages, with a good malthouse, granary, stable and capital and extensive loft over the same, with yard and piggery; also detached from the house, but near adjoining thereto, a brewhouse, with good kitchen garden, as also a capital roomy barn, and, adjoining with the garden, an excellent orchard well stocked with choice fruit trees, all in the occupation of Mr. Frederick Bick."
The auction was one of two lots, though it was originally planned to sell Lot 2 with the pub. The second lot was for a "capital granary, coke house, and coal yard, with a piece of exceedingly rich and fertile garden ground adjoining the coal yard, containing, about three-quarters of an acre." The auctioneer stressed that this "very desirable property holds out to the public and opportunity for investment rarely occurring in this neighbourhood; being well adapted not only for persons in the public line, but to those wishing to embark largely in the malting, corn dealing, and in short any business requiring room, situation, and facility for carriage of goods both by land and water - having the picturesque and navigable River Avon at its base, and the railroad from Gloucester to Birmingham and London within four miles."
On October 28th 1856 the licence of the George Inn was transferred from Luke Lock to Thomas Blizard, possibly a later publican of Elmley Castle. By the 1860's maltster and baker Edmund Andrews was in charge of the George Inn. Both he and his wife Elizabeth hailed from neighbouring Pershore. Together, they kept the George Inn for over twenty years.
By all accounts, Edmund Andrews was a bit of a card and probably had his wife pulling her hair out in frustration of his antics. For example, in April 1869 he was charged with permitting drunkenness at the George Inn. The police took a dim view of what sounded like high jinks amid the tavern. After a few pints of ale in the George Inn, Elijah Watkins, the village blacksmith, was a little worse for wear so the publican told Job Wilson, an employee at the pub, to wheel home the smith in a wheelbarrow - always a comical sight in old photographs but once a common way to take customers home. The village bobby was not amused and took the baker-publican to court. They both claimed that Job Wilson had only supped a couple of pints, though they admitted that "there was something put in his last cup that overcame him, possibly whiskey!" The Bench took exception to the way that Edmund Andrews and his employee Job Wilson conducted themselves in court and the pair were "severely reprimanded for the disgraceful way in which they had given their evidence." Edmund Andrews returned to the pub to explain to his wife that he had to pay a fine of 10 shillings plus 14s. 6d. in costs.
One of the staples of the George's calendar, and of increased sobriety, was the annual meeting of the Agricultural Labourers' Union. In 1874 this was held on Thursday June 12th when about 120 sat down to tea provided by Edmund and Elizabeth Andrews. Of course, mischievous Edmund, applied for an extension of the licensing hours so that the farmers could have a little fun later on. Once the speeches were out of the way, "a very pleasant evening was spent dancing to music supplied by the Bishampton Band.
By February 1882 Edmund Andrews was teetering on bankruptcy but somehow he managed to come back from the brink. Whether it all got too much for him is speculative but in May 1886 it was reported that the the baker, maltster, licensed victualler and market gardener had died. In July 1886 the licence of the George Inn was transferred to his widow Elizabeth.
In August 1896 Supt Cope presented his annual report at the Pershore Petty Sessions and stated that he had "no complaint to make as to the manner in which any public house had been conducted, but drew attention to the fact that on September 24th 1896 the licence of the George Inn had been transferred to Sarah Whitmore, on condition that her son resided with her and assisted in the management of the business, but for some time the son had been employed at Worcester, and only visited the house occasionally." As a result of this issue, a decision on the renewal of the licence was adjourned until later in the month. The licence was renewed with Supt Cole withdrew his objection as Sarah Whitmore had stated she was to leave the house shortly.
"James Redding, charged George Emms with
committing an assault on the 8th of November 1847. The complainant having
accused defendant of having worried his cat, was knocked down by him. Fined 14s.
including expenses. George Verander of Hill and Moor, charged Charles Clarke and
Edmond lzod with striking him on the 6th instant. The defendants, coming out of
the George Inn, at Wyre Piddle, on the day named, met with the complainant and
knocked him down several times without provocation. Fined 1s. 6d. and expenses."
Worcestershire Chronicle : November 24th 1847 Page 5.
"John Cole was charged with having refused to quit
the George Inn at Wyre Piddle on the 16th November. Mr. E. Andrews, the
landlord, said that the defendant was very tipsy and quarrelsome. He was fined 5
shillings with 8s. 6d. costs."
Worcester Journal : November 30th 1878 Page 3.
Licensees of this pub
1814 - Benjamin Lock
1820 - J. Melen
1840 - Frederick Bick
1825 - Mr. Tustin
1851 - John Morris
1856 - Luke Lock
1856 - Thomas Blizard
1874 - Edmund Andrews
1886 - Elizabeth Andrews
1890 - Elizabeth Ann Vaughan
1890 - Joseph Hodgetts
1894 - Frederick Harris
1895 - William John Owen
1896 - Sarah Whitmore
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub.
This extract from a plan drawn up in 1884 shows the George Inn, opposite the ferry across the River Avon. Note the footpath which, at times, could be treacherous.
Have Your Say
If you would like to share any further information on this pub - perhaps you drank here in the past? Or maybe knew a previous publican? Whatever the reason it would be great to hear of your stories or gossip. Simply send a message and I'll post it here.
"At each Inn on the road I a welcome could find; At the Fleece I'd my skin full of ale; The Two Jolly Brewers were just to my mind; At the
Dolphin I drink like a wheale. Tom Tun at the Hogshead sold pretty good stuff; They'd capital flip at the Boar; And when at the Angel I'd tippled enough, I went to the
Devil for more."
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