Some history of the Hope and Anchor Inn on King William Street at Amblecote in the County of Staffordshire
This photograph was taken in around 1940 during Ada Nightingale's long era at the pub. She had been licensee since the First World War. It looks as though there was once another door to the left of the building but this had been bricked up and the window enlarged - notice the headstones of the original door and right-hand window.
Dating from around 1846, this beer house, originally called the Stocking Inn, was located at No.40, and later No.44 King William Street. The Hope and Anchor Inn was approximately halfway along the thoroughfare almost opposite Dennis Street.
Thomas Weaver was both owner and licensee of the Stocking Inn during 1868. He later moved to Bristol. Succeeding Hannah Cole, Samuel Duggan took over the licence of the house in October 1870. He had grown up in nearby Collis Street where his mother Mary ran a greengrocer's shop. Thomas Weaver sold the beer house to Samuel Duggan in 1875. He almost immediately attempted, but failed, to secure a full licence for the premises.
Not only was Samuel Duggan unsuccessful in this application to retail wines and spirits, it would be over 70 years before the house was granted a full licence. Until then the premises was only licensed to sell beer and cider. As owner-publican, Samuel Duggan obtained a billiards licence for the house in 1880. I believe he and his family emigrated to the United States.
Moving from their home in Brettell Lane, William and Mary Brooks moved into the Stocking Inn during 1884. The couple had started married life together at Aston's Fold between Amblecote and Stambermill. William, a Lye-born former clay miner, died whilst at the Stocking Inn. Widow, Mary Ann Brooks, re-married to James Hand in April 1889. The ink colour used by the clerk filling in the licence register suggests that it was Mary Ann who changed the name of the tavern to the Hope and Anchor in 1888. Perhaps she felt the need to draw a line under her previous life and start afresh.
It was during Mary Ann's period as licensee that the pub was acquired by George Thompson and Sons of the Dudley and Victoria Breweries in Hall Street at Dudley. By the late 1890s however, the Hope and Anchor formed part of the tied estate of Bucknall's Brewery of Kidderminster. They were acquired by Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries Ltd. in 1914 which explains how this house came to be an outlet for Banks's beers.
Moving to Brettell Lane to work as a glass-cutter, James Hand was succeeded by 69 year-old Birmingham-born William Adey. Also a glass-cutter, he had moved to the Dennis Park area with his family in the 1860s. He shared the living accommodation with his daughter and her husband Samuel, a 28 year-old loco engine driver.
Widow Helen Flint was the beer house keeper at the time of the 1901 census. She was born in Campbeltown, Argyllshire in 1865. Her five children help to trace her movements; they were born in Devonport, Lichfield and Tamworth. She married Ernest Bridgens at Dudley in October 1904. Retaining the licence, she and her husband remained at the Hope and Anchor until 1913.
The Hope and Anchor was granted a full licence in 1949, the year in which George Corfield moved into the premises. He remained until 1952 when he was succeeded by James Jeavons, better known as Kenneth. He disappeared in strange circumstances in 1955. He had married Marion Bloomer at Rowley Regis in October 1941. She took over the licence following the vanishing of her husband.
The licensee in the early-mid 1960s was Ethel Annie Jordan. She would later run the British Arms on Furlong Lane at Cradley.
The last licensee of the Hope and Anchor was Violet Bradley who bolted the door for the final time on February 28th, 1971.
"Brierley Hill licensing justices heard today that a local licensee had been missing for six days "Quite a mystery," commented Mr.
A. L. S. Todd. A representative of Banks's Brewery was asking for the licence of Hope and Anchor, Amblecote to be transferred to a new licensee. The
magistrates' clerk Mr. G. M. King interrupted to say: "I believe there are some unusual circumstances." The Brewery representative replied: "Yes
sir, the licensee left the house on Tuesday morning and hasn't been seen since." Mrs. Jeavons, wife of the missing licensee 35-year-old James Kenneth
Jeavons, father of two children, said later: "My husband left the house at 10.30 Tuesday morning while I was in bed ill. I haven't seen him since. He gave
me no indication that he was leaving. He didn't take a suitcase or luggage. I have been to the police. It's a complete mystery." Brierley Hill police said
that Mr. Jeavons had been officially reported missing but they had no cause to suspect foul play."
"Vanished Licensee Mystery"
Evening Despatch : March 7th 1955 Page 1