Some history of the Foresters' Arms at Woodlane near Yoxall in the County of Staffordshire


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The Foresters' Arms stands on a road junction of the old turnpike road from Ashbourne in Derbyshire, a route that crossed the River Trent to the south of Yoxall. The public-house may have benefited from some trade with those who were too tired to continue onwards without some ale or a bite to eat. However, this would have been in the latter years of the turnpike's days. Not that the end of the turnpike trusts meant that people stopped using the road once paid for by the tolls levied.

The premises are in a locale or hamlet known as Woodlane, forming part of the parish of Yoxall. The building can be seen on the 1902 map extract below.

Yoxall : Map extract showing the location of the Foresters' Arms at Woodlane [1902]

The location of the tavern resulted in an apposite inn sign. However, the extensive Needwood Forest was disappearing rapidly when this house opened for trading. Following an Act of Parliament of 1803, rich landlords got even richer and helped to destroy the planet by felling trees on their estates in order to profit from the timber.

Charles Upton was the licensee of the Foresters' Arms by 1860. Born in the locality in 1815, he kept the tavern with his wife Ann. Living in a cottage next to the tavern was the Chelsea Pensioner William Sharratt, who once served in the Grenadier Regiment Of Foot Guards. He was listed as licensee in some records but William Taylor is given as the licensee in the 1871 census. He hailed from Elford and hired Mary Ash as a servant. She was born in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. So, the household was an unusual composition.

William Taylor married Mary Ash in September 1871. Both he and the old soldier died in the 1870s so she wound up becoming the licensee herself. She ended up marrying into the Upton family so things kind of came full circle. Weird how life pans out at times!

After a spell of running the Crown Inn, Arthur and Elizabeth Newell jumped ship to the Foresters' Arms by the end of the Edwardian period. Arthur Newell, a native of St. Helen's on the Isle of Wight, had previously worked as a yacht steward.

A well-known member of the farming community, Leonard Joyce was licensee of the Foresters' Arms for over 20 years. He retired in 1960 and went to live at Clifton Campville where he died at his home 'Ivy House' fifteen months later. He was a member of the National Pig Breeders' Association and had his own pedigree herd of large white pigs. He was also a member of the Farmers' Union. Such was his popularity it was a full church at Clifton Campville for his funeral service.

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Yoxall : Advertisement for the Foresters' Arms at Woodlane [1988]

The Pat and Simon named in the above advertisement was Simon Andrews and his mother Pat. They became tenants of the Foresters' Arms in the autumn of 1988. At this time the pub was operated by Ind Coope.

Along with her husband, Pat Andrews had kept the Queen's Head at Ockbrook. They moved here as a fresh start following her husband's death. Growing up in the Queen's Head, Simon learned all about the licensed trade between qualifying as a chef after completing a course at the Buxton Catering College. He took his first professional steps in kitchens by working at restaurants in Nottingham and Mansfield.

Yoxall : Christmas Advertisement for the Foresters' Arms at Woodlane [1991]

Yoxall : The Foresters' Arms at Woodlane [2010]

Landlords Steve Hayes and David Birrell had been around the block before they bought the Foresters' Arms in August 2013. It was the first of two spells running the pub, between which they leased out the place. They first met in 1988 in Derby before forging a partnership running pubs in the region. Their first venture, or adventure, was The Crown at Abbot's Bromley, which they took over in 1989. They moved a short distance into the Coach and Horses which they ran from 1992 until 2009. The duo then bought The Dog and Partridge in Marchington, selling up three years later to take on the Foresters' Arms.

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Foresters' Arms

Licensees of the Foresters' Arms

1860 - Charles Upton
1871 - William Taylor
1871 - William Sharratt
1912 - Arthur Newell
1928 - Harry Birchwood
1936 - George C. Wallis
1940 - Leonard Allsopp
1960 - George Madeley Sutton
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.

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Related Newspaper Articles

"On Saturday an inquest was held before Mr. Flint, coroner, at the Foresters' Arms, Wood Lane, Yoxall, on the body of William Mosedale, aged sixteen years, who lived at Yoxall Woodhouses. Deceased was at work in a field near his home on the morning of the 10th and at about eleven o'clock a young man ran a fork grain into his face near his eye. He was taken home, and was attended by Mr. Armson, surgeon, but he died at about four o'clock on Wednesday afternoon. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death."
"Fatal Accident"
Burton Chronicle : July 22nd 1886 Page 2

"A verdict of "Accidental death" was recorded at an inquest conducted by the East Staffs. Coroner [Mr. J. L. Auden] at an inquest held at the Foresters' Arms, Yoxall, on Tuesday, on James Moore [56], a plumber, of The Cottage, Wood Lane, Yoxall, who was killed on Sunday, when he fell from the thatched roof of his home, after putting out a fire in the chimney. He fell 24ft feet on to the garden at the rear of his house, at the feet of his 22-year-old son, who was visiting him. Dr. James Charles Armson, of Yoxall, said Moore underwent an operation some time ago to try and find some cause for several attacks which he had had, but he was apparently a sufficiently healthy man to go up on to the roof of a thatched house. The cause of death was shock following a fall. Moore was dead when seen by witness. Herbert Charles Moore, of The Cottage, Wood Green, Yoxall, a pharmacy student, gave evidence of identification. He said that about 8.30 on Sunday morning, he and his father found the chimney on fire. They borrowed two ladders and put them up to the front of the house. After damping the thatch with buckets of water, father went up the ladder at the rear of the house to see if the fire was out. Witness was at the bottom. "I saw him step from the top of the ladder on to the thatch," he said. "He took hold of the cement at the base of the chimney. Then I turned my head, and looked up again as he rolled off the edge of the roof. He had fallen down the thatched roof." His father never spoke to him again."
"Yoxall Man Killed"
Burton Observer and Chronicle : April 22nd 1937 Page 1

Burton-on-Trent : Ind Coope Brewery Poster [c.1910]

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