History of the Waggon and Horses on High Street Aston in Birmingham in the county of Warwickshire.

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Some history of the Waggon and Horses

The Waggon and Horses stood on the eastern side of High Street Aston, on the southern corner of Webster Street. The building formed part of the development between Phillips Street and Webster Street. The pub is marked on the map below, along with the Dog and Duck.

The large building between the two public-houses was the infamous 'House That Jack Built,' an independent department store fondly remembered by those who lived in the locality. From what I can gather it was not a rival to the luxurious city centre emporiums but a more down-to-earth place where you could buy everything from pots and pans to socks and a bit of lino for the kitchen floor, the sort of shop where people could have a good rummage.

Birmingham : Map Showing the Waggon and Horses and the Dog & Duck at High Street Aston [1968]

The map extract from the late 1960s is good for clearly showing the locations of the two public-houses not long before they would shut up shop. It also shows the redevelopment that had taken place along the High Street which had been widened and divided by a blinking car park of all things - as if the Newtown Shopping Centre was ever going to replace the old businesses that once lined Newtown Row and its continuation into High Street.

Birmingham : Waggon & Horses on High Street Aston [1954]

Like the Dog and Duck, the Waggon and Horses would become a part of the tied estate of Ansell's Brewery Ltd. In the above photograph the brewery's familar sign can be seen on the end of the building advertising their ales to all who came along the High Street.

The sign of the Dog and Duck may have referred to the rural character of this area up to the early 19th century but the Waggon and Horses name was a reminder of the importance of this old turnpike to Walsall and the amount of horse-drawn traffic that once rolled along the road.


Another possible reason for the name of this tavern was the fact that just a few doors away, between the property and the Dog and Duck, was the works of Cornelius Johnson, a carriage builder and master wheelwright. He would later operate his business in conjunction with running the Porchester Arms in Porchester Street.

Isaac and Sarah Shaw were running the Waggon and Horses in the early 1860s. Formerly working as an agricultural labourer at Sandy Hill in Erdington, Isaac Shaw was born in 1814 at Wednesbury. His wife Sarah was however from Newport in Shropshire. The couple married at Aston's Parish Church of St. Peter and St. Paul in February 1836. They settled at Marsh Lane where they lived near the Hare and Hounds for many years.

When living at the Waggon and Horses Isaac and Sarah's sons were bringing in extra money for the household. William possibly had a connection with the name as he was a jobbing carter. James worked as a metal roller whilst Isaac was a sword grinder. The Shaw's would later run the Three Horseshoes, a beer house in Alma Street.

The Waggon and Horses was also a beer house. Isaac Shaw was listed as a beer seller rather than retail brewer so he would have been selling ales made elsewhere by a common brewer.

In August 1869 the publican, George Wright, had his licence suspended in consequence of either permitting gambling or opening during improper hours. The charge sheet is not clear on the actual offence.

The spelling of this public-house is generally accepted to be Waggon but often it is listed with just the one G. The licence of the beer house was transferred to John Harriman in January 1878. He was born in Wolverhampton in 1847 but his wife Emma hailed from Macclesfield in Cheshire. The did not stay in the licensed trade for too long and later lived in Lichfield Road from where John Harriman worked as a brazier. At the end of the Victorian period the widower was living with his daughter in Nechells Park Road.

More to follow on the Waggon and Horses.


Licensees of this pub

1861 - Isaac Shaw
1867 - Jane Owen
1869 - George Wright
1878 - John Harriman
1890 - William Cobley
1900 - Richard King
1915 - Frank Miles Power
1946 - 1955 Albert Randall Stokes
1955 - 1959 Arthur Norman Bowser
1959 - 1960 Reginald Victor Pouch
1960 - 1966 William Henry Smith
1966 - 1967 Dennis Ronald Pardoe
1967 - 1967 Joseph Stanley Frazier
1967 - 1968 Dennis Patrick Hanna
1968 - 1968 John Sadler
1968 - 1969 Francis Patrick McGill
1969 - 1969 Robert Alfred Willis
1969 - 1972 Frederick William Frost
1972 - 1972 Reginald Harry Wedgbury
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub.

Ansell's - The Better Beer

Genealogy Connections

If you have a genealogy story or query regarding the Waggon and Horses on High Street Aston you can contact me and I will post it here in addition to including your message within the website pages for Birmingham Genealogy.

Have Your Say

If you would like to share any further information on this pub - perhaps your ancestors 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 will post it here.


Related Newspaper Articles

"At the Erdington Petty Sessions, on Friday last, before Thomas Colmore and Abraham Dixon, Esqs., and the Rev. W. K. R. Bedford, Isaac Shaw, of Aston New Town, was convicted in the nominal sum of 1s. and costs, for obstructing the footpath in Webster Street, by placing a cart there. The Bench informed the defendant that if he offended again they would inflict the full penalty under the Act."
"Petty Sessions"
Birmingham Daily Post : October 28th 1861 Page 2

"John Johnson, coach-builder, Inkerman Street, Aston, was charged with having been disorderly in the Waggon and Horses Inn, High Street, Aston, on Sunday; and also with assaulting Police Constable Savage. The prisoner went into the house at noon, and asked for some refreshment, but as he had been disorderly the previous night, the landlord, John Harriman, refused to serve him. The prisoner insisted on being served, and became disorderly. Police Constable Savage was then sent for, and as the prisoner would not be persuaded to go out, he was removed by force. During this proceeding the prisoner struck the officer in the face. He was ordered to pay 18s., or go to gaol for 14 days."
"Disorderly in a Public-House"
Birmingham Mail : May 10th 1882 Page 3

Brummagem Boozers

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