Some history of the Waggon and Horses on Warwick Road at Greet in Birmingham in Warwickshire


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The Waggon and Horses stood on the corner of Warwick Road and Albion Road at Greet. The original tavern was rebuilt by Ansell's Brewery Ltd. during the inter-war years and that structure still stands. Following extensive renovations, the building was converted into an Italian restaurant around 2015-ish.

Birmingham : Map extract showing the site of the Waggon and Horses on Warwick Road at Greet [1890]

The earlier Waggon and Horses can be seen on the above map extract dating from 1890 and shows a smaller building on the corner of Albion Road. Note the single tram line that passed the pub on the Warwick Road. The line terminated a short distance away close to Greetmill Bridge spanning the River Cole. The name of the river crossing evoked the ancient mill that once stood nearby. A mile-post was positioned between the Waggon and Horses and Colebrook Terrace, indicating that it was two miles to Birmingham and eighteen miles to Warwick.

Birmingham : Aerial photograph showing the Waggon and Horses on Warwick Road at Greet [1935 courtesy of Britain From Above]

The rebuilt Waggon and Horses can be seen here in 1935. The tall chimneys were removed in later years. To the left of the photograph is St. Bede's Chapel. Serving as a Mission Hall of St. John's Church at Sparkhill, the chapel was opened in September 1894. The brick structure was designed by the Sparkbrook architect Mr. Harrison and built by Mr. Gostling of Moseley.

Birmingham : Greet Elementary School Class 4 Girls [1915-6]

In the aerial photograph the thoroughfare heading towards the top of the image [running south from the pub] is Percy Road and on the corner is Greet Elementary School. Formerly known as Greet Board School, the building that could accommodate 1,035 pupils was opened in 1892 by the Yardley School Board. The schools were damaged by bombing during the Second World War but later repaired.

As can be seen on the map extract from 1890 the schools were built on a site formerly occupied by a large house named The Poplars.

Ansell's Mild - Brewed in Birmingham

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The Waggon and Horses was formerly part of Yardley parish. The property was advertised in 1857 with eight acres of meadow land [see below], suggesting early publicans were engaged in agriculture in addition to refreshing those in the local area and travellers passing along the turnpike road.

Birmingham : Advertisement for the Waggon and Horses on Warwick Road at Greet [1857]

Many of the local population were engaged in agricultural activities during this period. The Waggon and Horses was then surrounded by open fields. However, this part of Greet was beginning to be developed as an extension of the Sparkhill area. By 1860 twelves cottages adjoining the Waggon and Horses were offered at auction with a 99-year lease that commenced in December 1853, perhaps a clue to the origins of the public-house? One of the "newly-erected" dwelling houses had a large oven at the back of the property making it suitable for a baker.

Birmingham : Notice of insolvency of William Edward Pardoe of the Waggon and Horses on Warwick Road at Greet [March 1861]

William Edward Pardoe was an early publican of the Waggon and Horses. He had become an insolvent debtor and the above notice appeared in the newspapers in March 1861, the month in which he was due to appear before the Judge of the County Court of Worcestershire held at the Guildhall in Worcester. The notice is useful to those with an interest in William Edward Pardoe as it provides information of his career path prior to 1861. Recorded simply as Edward Pardoe, he was at the Plough and Harrow on Jamaica Row around 1858-9. The original address of the tavern is given above as Balsall Street.

By the time of the census conducted in April 1861 William and Ann Sandford were running the Waggon and Horses. The couple both hailed from Worcester. The Sandford's took pity on William Sharrod, an elderly man with no home. They allowed him to sleep in a hovel on their land. The couple also kept some ducks in the same building. Rising early one morning in August 1862 both Sharrod and the ducks were missing. The elderly man, carrying five shillings and in a state of insobriety, was later apprehended by the police. William Sharrod was committed for trial at the Sessions.

Birmingham : Trade Directory listing for the Waggon and Horses on Warwick Road at Greet [1867]

John and Elizabeth Langmead were mine hosts at the Waggon and Horses by the mid-1860s. They both hailed from what was then known as Devonshire. John Langmead was a noted shooter in the Birmingham area and held contests to the rear of the Waggon and Horses. The couple would later move to Walsall where John Langmead worked as a carpenter and joiner.

In the final decade of the 19th century Lancashire-born John Lankett was the licensee of the Waggon and Horses. He kept the hostelry with his wife Mary who hailed from Newport in Shropshire. At the turn of the 20th century they employed Bertha Birks and Lily Milward as barmaids. John Lankett had previously been recorded as a retail brewer. This was in the early 1880s when he and Mary kept the Locomotive Inn on Dollman Street at Duddeston.

Ind Coope Ltd. were operating the Waggon and Horses in the Edwardian era, a period when William and Maggie Hook were running the place. William was the son of the tailor, also named William Charles Hook. He and Maggie went on to run the Beggar's Bush at Erdington.

Ansell's Brewery Ltd. purchased the Waggon and Horses from Mrs. F. L. Spender Nicholls. and rebuilt the old tavern. Unlike neighbouring properties, the public-house survived the bombs during the Second World War.

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Genealogy Connections

"The picture below is of a pub day out, late 1920s I think. My grandfather is the chap on the very left at the back of the charabanc. The houses in the background were bombed in World War 2 as were the houses to the west side of the Waggon and Horses."

Birmingham : Charabanc Trip from the Waggon and Horses on Warwick Road at Greet [c.1928]

"My grandfather was born George Henry Powers in 1877 in a house back of Albion Road. This would have been at the rear of where the Waggon and Horses stands. In the 1901 census he was shown as a carpenter living at 15 Elsie Place in Greet, probably a back-court. He moved to a house in Manor Farm Road which he rented from about 1903 until he died in 1963. He could have bought that house a dozen times over!"

Birmingham : Construction Gang at Bridge near the College Arms on Stratford Road [1914]

"George Powers then worked for Birmingham Corporation as a ganger, laying sewers and was involved in the 1914 building of the river bridge on the Stratford Road by the College Arms public-house. The above photograph shows my grandfather, along with the gang of men who worked on the bridge."

Birmingham : George Henry Powers of Greet serving in World War One [c.1918]

"In 1916-17, at the age of 38, George Powers got called up during World War One. His younger brother Frederick had been killed earlier in the war. My grandfather served in a transport regiment. He returned unscathed and continued working for the council until he retired."

"My grandfather was a serious customer of the Waggon and Horses. Strangely, the Greet Inn run by M&B, was halfway between his house and the Waggon, but he never went in there. Might be he would only drink Ansell's?"

"George was widowed in 1926 and his house was run by his three daughters who hated the Waggon for the times he came back drunk. On the night of heavy bombing in I think 1940 [when the BSA was hit] the daughters could see from their house that bombs had dropped around Albion Road. Secretly hoping that the Waggon had been hit, when they went to work next day they saw that the houses to the right of it had a direct hit, as did the houses in Albion Road at the rear, I think the Waggon was unscathed. They never did build on the land to the right on Warwick Road which I always thought strange."

"After he retired at 65, my grandfather spent every lunch time in the Waggon and Horses and was one of those customers who had his 'own' stool, just behind the door. If anyone else went to use it, they were warned off. I'm sure he did a bit of bookie running in Percy Road at that time."

"In the photograph of Greet School my mother is third on the left of the front row. She always told us that the girls on the front row were there because they had shoes or boots, many didn't."
David Law, Birmingham

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Licensees of the Waggon & Horses

1861 - William Sandford
1867 - John Langmead
1879 - William Rickards
1883 - William Terry
1892 - John Lankett
1905 - William Charles Hook
1915 - Henry Harris Lewis
1919 - William Marshall
1928 - Bernard J. Hopkins
1934 - Walter Rose
1948 - 1955 William Joseph Stansfield
1955 - 1957 Harry William Warrilow
1957 - 1957 Leslie Smith
1957 - 1958 George Frederick Copperhurst
1958 - 1959 John Hogg
1959 - 1961 Alexander Andrew Meir
1961 - 1962 Richard Rafferty
1962 - 1963 Charles Henry Tanout
1963 - 1966 William Henry Garrington
1966 - 1967 Norman Frank Pritchard
1967 - 1967 Albert Henry Carter
1967 - 1968 Kenneth Clayton Evans
1968 - 1968 William McCloughlin
1968 - 1969 William McCaffrey
1969 - 1969 James Joseph Matthews
1969 - 1970 Ivor Bursey
1970 - 1973 John McCawon
1973 - 1974 James Thomas Tuite
1974 - 1977 John Thomas Clyne
1977 - 1977 Brian Michael Fuller
1977 - 1978 Peter Laurence Shanock
1978 - 1981 Patrick Aloyious Levings
1981 - 1986 Peter Samuel Ginau
1986 - 1987 Christina Mary Regan
1987 - 1988 James Henry Wyatt
1988 - 1988 Lorraine Mary Richardson
1988 - 1989 Eric Darby
1989 - 1991 Lorraine Lesley Manders
1991 - 1992 Peter Garrigon
1992 - 1993 Edward James McGuire
1993 - 1994 Francis Richard Swan
1994 - 1994 Roger Maurice Curley
1994 - 1996 Philip William Hall
1996 - 1996 Kathryn Peach
1996 - 1998 Michael Jones
1998 - 1999 Edward John Wills
1999 - 2000 Robin Baskerville
2000 - Alison Woodward
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub.

Related Newspaper Articles

"An inquest was held at the Waggon and Horses Inn, Greet, on Saturday, before Mr. Ralph Decker, coroner, on the body of Edith Mary Baugh, who had been found dead in bed on Thursday, the 6th inst. Deceased was eight months old, and the daughter of Mr. Ebenezer Baugh, district agent of the British Equitable Society. On the day of the child's death she had been left at home, with two other children, in the care of Sarah Ann Pearson, the nursemaid. Shortly before four o'clock, a girl, named Downing, called at Mrs. Baugh's, and went in the nursery to see the children. One of them was then playing about the room, another was asleep in the cot, and the baby and nursemaid were missing. Some conversation passed between Downing and Mrs. Baugh's cook, the latter being of the opinion that the nurse had taken the bay out with her. When Downing, however, was leaving the room she saw a child's hand stretched out from under the bedclothes. She pulled back the clothes, and saw the baby lying on her side. The clothing which the child had on was saturated with water from the neck to the waist. The head was quite dry. Annie Crogan, cook at Mrs. Baugh's, corroborated Downing's statement. She further stated that at twenty minutes to two o#39;clock when going into the nursery for the children to go downstairs to dinner the nursemaid was writing. Witness only saw two of the children in the room at that time. Pearson came down to dinner with the two elder children, but left without having anything to eat. She seemed exceedingly quiet. Witness believed that Pearson left the house about half-past three o'clock, as a draught came into the kitchen as though a the front door was being opened. Pearson was very good to the children, and particularly fond of the baby. When witness saw the baby at four o'clock, her hands and face were cold, but the body felt warm. Witness afterwards found two written statements in Pearson's handwriting. They were as follows : "I left the baby lying on her face. When I came up I found her so. Where, I shall be when you find this I do not know." The other letter was addressed to Mrs. Baugh, and it stated : "You will be surprised to find me gone, but when you look at baby you will know the reason why I have left. I left her lying on her face while I went to make the corn flour, and when I came back I found her so. Where I shall be when you find this, I do not know, for I shall not go home; I feel mad." Evidence was then given by Mr. Martin Rosten and Mr. Pratt, surgeons, both of whom stated that there were no external marks of violence upon this the deceased. Mr. Rosten, who had made a post-mortem examination, said there was nothing unusual noticeable, except a great pallor on the surface of the body. The state of the lungs showed that the child had died of asphyxia, but from what cause he was unable to state. Death might have been caused by drowning, or by an interference of the power of respiration, or by convulsions. The body had been moved about so many times, which might account for witness being unable to detect those conditions which were apparent in the case of drowning. He certainly thought death resulted from syncope. In reply to the jury, he said that the blue mark on the side of the neck was the result of the post-mortem.' Mr. Pratt deposed to having seen the deceased shortly after four o'clock on the 6th inst. It might then have been dead about an hour. The blue mark did not then appear on the child's neck. It was possible that death resulted from natural syncope, brought about by convulsions. Mr. Baugh : Would syncope be produced by suffocation if the child had been very tightly covered over by bedclothes? Witness : There is no question about that. Sarah Ann Pearson, the nursemaid, who had been crying bitterly during the whole of the proceedings, was then asked by the Coroner as to whether she would prefer making any statement. He remarked that there was a certain amount of suspicion against her, which had been brought about by her own conduct. The fact of her running away at such a moment would naturally cause the suspicion to arise. He duly cautioned her before making up her mind, and suggested that she should first consult her friends or some legal gentleman. Mrs. Pearson : My daughter knows all about it; she is the only one that can do so. Let her give her own tale. I know nothing at all about it, and I do not wish to hear any secrets from my daughter. The accused, who had been charged in the morning, at the Solihull Police Court, on suspicion of having caused the death of Edith Mary Baugh, then volunteered the following statement : "On the day in question Mrs. Baugh left home about twelve o'clock. She left me in the nursery with the three children. Soon after she was gone I rocked the baby to sleep. I wrapped a shawl around her shoulders; it did not cover her head. I left her asleep on the nursery bed. That was nearly one o'clock. She was not lying entirely on her face, more on her right side. I went downstairs to make the corn flour. I was absent about half an hour. Ann told me to bring the children, and upon going back into the nursery Ann was there. I washed the children and made them ready for dinner. I cut the children#39;s meat up, and then went upstairs to fetch the baby. When I got to the bed baby was lying on her face. I moved the things, as I though it would suffocate her. The child did not move; I took her to the basin and threw some water over her thinking it would bring her round. I did not know what to do. I laid her on the bed again. I was thunderstruck. I did not tell Ann. I waited to see if the baby would come round, and as she did not, I thought upon poor Mr. and Mrs. Baugh, and I could not stay in the house any longer. It seemed as though the baby's death would be blamed to me, as I was left in charge. As the little boy went downstairs to fetch the matches I went out by the front door. I wrote the letters; I could not stay to meet Mr. and Mrs. Baugh. I took some of my things away." Mr. Baugh [to the Coroner] : She speaks about wrapping the baby up in a shawl. Pearson : I often did that, sir, when the baby was not warm; the baby had not been asleep since seven o'clock in the morning. Police Sergeant Webb deposed to having apprehended the prisoner at Netherton, near Dudley. When charged with causing the death of Edith Mary Baugh, she replied "Oh, my God, I never hurt the child; no one can say I did. I loved that baby as I loved my life." A letter, which the prisoner had written to her aunt since her apprehension, was then read. It was a corroboration of the statement mad to the Coroner. The Coroner then summed up the evidence, after which the jury held a brief consultation, and returned a verdict that death had resulted from accidental suffocation. The jury requested that the Coroner should censure the girl for her foolish conduct. The prisoner having been reprimanded by the Coroner was taken back to Aston Police Station, and will be brought before the Solihull magistrates this morning."
"Inquest on a Child at Greet"
Birmingham Daily Post : January 17th 1876 Page 7

"Henry Leigh, Frederick Stanley, Thomas Lawton, William Evans, and Thomas McDough, all of Greet, were charged with unlawfully and wilfully obstructing the footpath in Albion Road, Greet, on the 16th June. John Lankett, of the Waggon and Horses, Albion Road, Greet, said that he called the attention of a police constable to the five persons accused, who were loitering about just outside his premises, obstructing the footpath so that it was impossible for a person to pass by on the pavement. Police Constable Monroe said that Mr. Lankett complained to him about the five prisoners standing outside his house, and that several people had to leave the footpath to get by. Superintendent Yardley said he had past there hundreds of times, and had always seen a number of this "crew" there, and that it was a very great nuisance. The magistrates, considering this was their first appearance in Court, discharged them cautioning them that if they were brought up again on the same charge they would be severely dealt with.."
"Greet Loiterers"
Warwickshire Herald : July 21st 1892 Page 8

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