Some history of the Waggon and Horses on Adderley Street at Bordesley in Birmingham in Warwickshire


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The spelling of this pub seems to have drifted in and out of the single "G" and double "GG" so to avoid confusion I will stick to the traditional double "GG" Waggon and Horses.

The building is one of the oldest surviving public-houses in Bordesley. Many of the neighbouring taverns in this part of Birmingham were completely rebuilt but the Waggon and Horses is one of the old houses. Remodelled rather than rebuilt, it shares some of the characteristics of another survivor - the Spotted Dog in Bordesley Street.

Today, for some reason, it is a common misperception to think of the Waggon and Horses as a Digbeth pub. However, it has always been a Bordesley location and, historically therefore, the building was part of Aston and not Birmingham. During the 19th century the borough of Birmingham took chunks away from Aston which remained outside the city's jurisdiction. During this period it was governed by the Aston Manor Local Board. However, it had become an Urban District by 1903 and was finally absorbed into Birmingham in 1911.

The Waggon and Horses is a slightly later building than the aforementioned Spotted Dog but this is simply because it is a little further from the centre of Birmingham. During the late 18th and early 19th centuries Birmingham gradually "moved out" during the march of the industrial revolution. It may be hard to imagine in the 21st century but this locale was completely rural up until this period.

The development of Adderley Street was well underway during the early-mid 1820s. The name of the thoroughfare commemorates the Adderley family who owned extensive tracts of land around this part of Birmingham. Charles Adderley, who would later become the first Lord Norton, owned much of Duddeston and Vauxhall, along with parts of Bordesley and Saltley. The ancestral home of the Adderley family was Hams Hall near Coleshill. The first Charles Adderley, an equerry to King Charles I, bought the original hall. Following a major fire in 1890, the hall was demolished and rebuilt in the village of Coates in Gloucestershire at the whim of the shipping magnate, Oswald Harrison.

Birmingham : Inn Sign of the Waggon and Horses on Adderley Street at Bordesley [2007]

John Muddyman was an early recorded licensee of the Waggon and Horses. Born in 1796, he was a son of the coal dealer William Muddyman. The publican himself became a coal and corn dealer turned brewer who produced homebrewed ales in the back yard. This mixed business provided the name of the tavern. The sign of the Waggon and Horses was fairly common as they were the principal means of transportation before the advent of the railways. Many pubs and inns acted as agents and all manner of goods could be left there where they would either be forwarded or collected by locals to whom they were addressed. John Muddyman employed several men who no doubt transported coal from the canal wharf to customers in the locality.

John Muddyman married the widow Sarah Scott at Saint Peter and Saint Paul's Church at Aston in May 1840. She was the daughter of Thomas Manning of the High Street in Bordesley.

By 1845 a small brewery had been established in Adderley Street and it is possible that John Muddyman opted to buy in a more consistent ale for his customers. George Jones, who later moved the business to Watery Lane owned the Kingston Brewery, which was founded just along the road from the pub. Ironically, Watery Lane was the location from which the next licensee of the Waggon and Horses moved. Builder and brickmaker Henry Jackaman took over the licence following the death of John Muddyman in 1848. Widow Sarah Muddyman moved along the road to continue trading as a carter. However, she retained the lease on the Waggon and Horses and sub-let to Henry Jackaman. Indeed, she was the leaseholder of a row of properties adjoining the house. Her business interests were sold following her death a decade later. The particulars reveal the volume of business conducted by the Muddyman's at Adderley Street.

Birmingham : Sale of Business Interests of Sarah Muddyman of Adderley Street at Bordesley [1859]

Born in Bury St Edmunds in 1810, Henry Jackaman kept the Waggon and Horses with his wife Elizabeth who hailed from the Kent village of Farningham. Her sister, Sarah Sharp, worked in the tavern as a cook. The couple also employed Walsall-born Fanny Cook as general servant. The below extract from Slater's Directory of Birmingham shows that Henry Jackaman continued to trade as a brick-maker and builder in addition to his duties as publican.

Birmingham : Henry Jackaman in Slater's Directory [1852]

It would appear that homebrewed ales were still being sold at the Waggon and Horses as Henry Jackaman was recorded as a retail brewer in the 1851 census. He and his wife later moved to the Great Western Inn at nearby Allcock Street. Subsequent licensees tended to be listed as publicans or innkeepers, suggesting perhaps that brewing on the premises had ceased.

Birmingham-born George North was recorded as innkeeper rather than brewer. He was possibly related to James North, a retail brewer based in Deritend High Street. The 1861 census records that 45 year-old George North lived here his aunt Jane Woolley, a 56 year-old widow who was born in Minworth. George North also employed his niece Sophia Gallow as a general servant. She was born in Harvington, Worcestershire in 1842. George North later moved to run the Malt Shovel Inn at Selly Oak.

Clara Mason was the licensee of the Waggon and Horses in the mid-1860s. Along with her maltster husband James, she had previously kept the neighbouring Bricklayers' Arms. James Mason died at the end of 1864. Clara subsequently took over the licence of the Waggon and Horses which, at that time, was owned by William Devey, a legacy of the Muddyman estate. In September 1865 Clara Mason applied for a music licence for a room at the tavern. She told the magistrates that a Cheapside band would practice in the room.

Clara Mason re-married in October 1867 to the former japanner George Stainton. The licence of the Waggon and Horses had already been transferred to him in May of the same year. George and Clara Stainton would become owners of the premises. The couple lived on the premises with her four children Clara, Florence, William and Nelly. The Stainton's also employed 18 year-old Maria Goodman as a general servant so it was a fairly full house. The family later moved to a large property on Moseley Road from which George Stainton worked as a photographic artist.

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The Waggon and Horses became a relatively early target for the emerging large brewery concerns and in the 1870s Showell's Brewery moved in to secure the pub for themselves. The firm were based at the Crosswells Brewery at Langley. The company also had a brewery at Stockport and also operated some pubs in London though these were later sold to Reffell's Bexley Brewery Ltd.

Birmingham : Plan for alterations to the Waggon and Horses on Adderley Street in Bordesley [1878]

Showell's Brewery initiated improvements to the newly-acquired Waggon and Horses and, in September 1878, the brewery commissioned William Jenkins, an architect and surveyor based at 34 Bennett's Hill to draw up plans to improve the existing building. William Jenkins worked quickly and the plans were approved by William Hill, Borough Surveyor on October 25th 1878. The proposals included the restructuring of the floor space, the installation of larger windows, the creation of a rear smoke room and an outdoor department. This jug counter was accessed by its own door and was a key part of the pub's business. The men working the furnaces in local factories would send a "runner" to the pub to fetch essential liquid refreshment. The yard was also adapted to incorporate a "new-fangled" pub addition - the toilet. The "before-and-after" designs help to identify the key changes to the building [click on the plan to view an enlargement].

Showell's Crosswells Ales

James Beard was the licensed victualler in charge of the Waggon and Horses for much of the 1880s. Born in the Worcestershire village of Peopleton in 1847, the former coachman kept the pub with his wife Emma. Four years younger, she hailed from the carpet-making town of Kidderminster. The couple were married in December 1877 at the Church of Saint Thomas, both of them being residents of Holloway Head at the time.

Birmingham : Map showing the Wagon and Horses on Adderley Street in Bordesley [1888]

By the time of the 1891 census 34 year-old licensed victualler John Hunt was the licensee. The son of a lock-maker lived here with his Birmingham-born wife Georgina and their 4 year-old daughter Theresa. The couple employed 16 year-old Alice Butlin as a general servant. Enjoying inn status, the pub had a visitor on the night of the survey. George Edmunds, a metal-roller, was possibly helping to impart his skills at a nearby firm. The Hunt family later moved to the Royal Mint on Icknield Street, another pub operated by Showell's so perhaps the move was an internal decision within the company.

The Langley-based brewery installed 51 year-old Henry McCann as manager just before the 1901 census. He was born in Bermondsey, London but had moved to Birmingham when his father found employment in the Jewellery Quarter. He kept the Waggon and Horses with his wife Brummie-born wife Elizabeth. The couple lived here with their eight children - Florence, Louis, Alice, Dorothy, Frederick, Sidney, Lily and George.

Herbert Pickering was the incumbent detailed in a 1912 rate book for Adderley Street in which the pub was listed as a licensed public-house with shopping and stables. The ground rent on the property was £87.0s.0d. per annum. The rates of £11.17s.3d were paid in full.

Allsopp's Beer Labels

Samuel Allsopp and Sons Ltd. of Burton-on-Trent acquired Showell's Brewery and its estate of 194 tied-houses in 1914. This brought the Waggon and Horses under the ownership of a truly historic brewery. However, the company, founded in the 1740s, went through a difficult period before merging with Ind Coope in June 1934. Subsequently, a new range of beers were on offer in this public-house.

Ind Coope Beer Labels

At the beginning of the Second World War the Waggon and Horses was kept by Charles and Harriet Leake. The publican also worked as a fitter and turner at a brass factory. The couple's daughter Eunice worked in a Co-op shop. Indeed, the family once kept a shop before getting into the licensed trade.

The Waggon and Horses was subject to a discussion at an Ind Coope board meeting held at London's Victoria House and chaired by Lt. Col. Kingsmill DSO OBE MC on Thursday December 3rd 1953. Michael Sperling reported that "a further review of the uneconomic houses in Birmingham had been made and that the pub had been placed before the Committee of Management of Ind Coope & Allsopp Ltd. with a view to disposal." Trade was reported to be two converted barrels per week and the "property was in an area where on account of redevelopment proposals and other changes in the character of the locality, the trade was declining rapidly." The board resolved to "authorise the sale of this uneconomic property at a price to be approved."

The Waggon and Horses was discussed again in 1954. However, on this occasion it was to agree a lease for an adjoining petrol station, on land that the brewery also owned. Somerset House Garage [Birmingham] Ltd. leased the property from Ind Coope on a five-year lease expiring on the 25th December 1959 at a rent of £175 per annum. This was renewed but at the higher rent of £200 per annum.

Birmingham : The Waggon and Horses on Adderley Street in Bordesley [1978]

Ind Coope did not sell the Waggon and Horses but a solution was found in 1961. In that year Ansell's merged with Ind Coope & Allsopp and Tetley Walker to form Allied Breweries in 1961. The pub was quickly changed to sell the local brew and the fortunes of the Waggon and Horses were reversed. It was not the end of the pub's Ind Coope livery which remained in place for much of the 1960s. However, the Waggon and Horses was decked out in Ansell's signage by the 1970s.

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Many of the old factories closed and much of the housing cleared but the pub remained a popular haunt of the nearby bus garage. Ansell's was closed in 1981 and their range of beers were subsequently brewed at Burton-on-Trent, became a subsidiary of the Carlsberg Tetley Group.

Birmingham : Ground Floor Frontage of the Waggon and Horses on Adderley Street in Bordesley [1978]

In another industry shake-up, the Waggon and Horses was sold in 1986 to Robert and Theresa MacKay who used the first floor function room as a jazz club. Being located in Adderley Street, changing the name of the pub to The Cannonball proved irresistible. A member of the Miles Davis Quintet in the late 1950s, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley was one of the great saxophonists of his generation.

Cannonball Adderley and Strings [1955]

Birmingham : The Cannonball on Adderley Street in Bordesley [c.1988]

The Cannonball enjoyed early success but suffered as a result of Ronnie Scott's opening in Broad Street. The MacKay's sold the pub to June and James Nye who restored the old Waggon and Horses name. Barbara and Derek Rivitt took over as custodians on June 29th 2001. In more recent times, the old hostelry has been turned into Dead Wax, a live music and vinyl bar where old records are spun whilst punters enjoy craft beer and pizzas. I believe that it is part of Brighton's Laine Pub Co. and managed by former Sunflower Lounge boss and recording artist Ben Drummond.

Birmingham : Dead Wax on Adderley Street in Bordesley [2020]

Licensees of the Waggon and Horses

1835 - 1848 John Muddyman
1848 - Henry Jackaman
1853 - Thomas King
1859 - Mrs M. King
1861 - George North
1863 - Samuel Worthington
1866 - 1867 Clara Adelaide Mason
1867 - 1873 George Stainton
1873 - William Luckman
1877 - John Stone
1877 - William Henry Giles
1878 - Richard Farndon
1879 - James Feerick
1881 - James Beard
1890 - Henry Gibson
1891 - John Trow Hunt
1896 - William Tudor
1900 - Henry Walter McCann
1906 - William Argyle
1907 - George M. Evans
1908 - Sydney Lockwood
1910 - John Grindrod
1911 - Maurice Greenfield
1912 - 1919 Herbert Edmund Pickering
1919 - 1922 George H. Doyle
1922 - 1923 Abraham Palmer
1923 - 1925 John Chadwick
1925 - 1926 Herbert E. Pickering
1926 - 1933 George Frederick Wale
1933 - 1939 Herbert Thomas Dixon
1939 - 1942 Charles Matthew Leake
1942 - 1944 William Buffery
1944 - 1948 Charles Beasley Hobday
1948 - 1953 Ernest George Daniels
1953 - 1953 Ronald Edward Franklin
1953 - 1954 James Alfred Wilson
1954 - 1955 Donald Dingwall
1955 - 1957 William Harper
1957 - 1957 George Alfred Daniels
1957 - 1959 Robert Richard Toner
1959 - 1962 Hugh McCalmont
1962 - 1963 William Harper
1963 - 1963 Brian John Baker
1963 - 1965 Roy Joseph Summers
1965 - 1966 Thomas William Alderson
1966 - 1966 Cyril Keenan
1966 - 1967 Phillip Sydney Perks
1967 - 1968 Derek John Watson
1968 - 1969 David John Jones
1969 - 1970 Derek Malcolm Field
1970 - 1971 Baden Roberts Nield
1971 - 1971 Arthur William Anthony
1971 - 1980 Clara Amelia Hoccom
1980 - 1984 Shiela Bowen
1984 - 1985 John Francis Morgan
1985 - 1985 Brian Patrick Tohill
1985 - 1985 John Francis Smyth
1985 - 1987 Marion O'Sullivan
1987 - 1995 Robert Edwin Mackay
1995 - 2001 June Anne Nye
2001 - Barbara Denise Rivitt
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub. The dates of early licensees are sourced from trade directories, census data, electoral rolls, rate books and newspaper articles. Names taken from trade directories may be slightly inaccurate as there is some slippage from publication dates and the actual movement of people. The listing for 1912 to 2001 is complete and accurate as these names are sourced from licensing records and brewery property books. These records are hand-written and I have done my best to transcribe them accurately, though some scribbles of the clerks can be hard to determine.

Showell's Brilliant Ale

Allsopp's : The Best Drink Under The Sun

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Ansell's - The Better Beer

Birmingham : Painting of the Waggon and Horses on Adderley Street in Bordesley by R. Hutton [2001]

Birmingham : Waggon and Horses on Adderley Street in Bordesley [2002]

Birmingham : Bar of the Waggon and Horses on Adderley Street in Bordesley [2007]

Birmingham : Former Smoke Room of the Waggon and Horses on Adderley Street in Bordesley [2007]

Related Newspaper Articles

"About half-past seven on Tuesday morning last, a shocking accident, which ended fatally in the case of a boy named John Bird, took place at Millward's Grinding Mills, Adderley Street, Bordesley. The lad, it appears, was employed in some part of the works, and left his own work to grind some tools. He had scarcely commenced to do so, however, before the stone, weighing upwards of three tons, and driven by steam power, suddenly broke into several pieces, one of them being hurled through the roof of the mill into the adjoining yard, another passing through a brick wall, and a third striking the deceased, breaking both his legs and severely fracturing his skull. The poor lad expired almost immediately after the accident. At the inquest held on Wednesday, at Mr. North's, Waggon and Horses Inn, Adderley Street, a verdict in accordance with these facts was returned."
"Frightful Accident"
Aris's Birmingham Gazette : September 28th 1861 Page 6

"Yesterday an inquest was held by Dr. J. Birt Davies, Borough Coroner, at the Wagon and Horses, Adderley Street, on the body of Samuel Henry Wood [43], waggoner, who resided at No. 1, Violet Place, Islington. About five o'clock on Friday evening the deceased was driving two horses attached to a van belonging to the Great Western Railway Company, in Liverpool Street, when he was observed by a man named Henry Parsons to sway to and fro on his seat. He suddenly fell to the ground, and the two off wheels passed over his chest. Parsons once went to his assistance, but found he was dead. The body was removed to the Waggon and Horses, Adderley Street. The deceased was subject to fits, and had complained on the previous day of giddiness. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."
"Accidental Death"
Birmingham Daily Gazette : August 30th 1870 Page 5

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