Some Butler's Pubs
A fine view of the Coach and Horses on Cannock Road, Wolverhampton around the turn of the twentieth century.
The Coach and Horses in 1932.

From Butler's magazine.

The smoke room in the Coach and Horses in 1932.

From Butler's magazine.

A Butler's ashtray. Courtesy of Frank Sharman.

A new pub, the Bushbury Arms, Low Hill, Wolverhampton, which opened in December 1928.

A rear view of the Bushbury Arms. From Butler's magazine.

A dance in the assembly room at the Bushbury Arms.

From Butler's magazine, August 1929.

From the January 1929 edition of Butler's magazine.

New Year's Eve 1931 celebrations at the Bushbury Arms.

Another new Butler's pub, the Merry Hill, Merry Hill, Wolverhampton. From Butler's magazine, May 1931.

Another view of the Merry Hill. From Butler's magazine, July 1931.

The interior of the Merry Hill. From Butler's magazine, May 1931.

From the February 1930 edition of Butler's magazine.

Another Butler's pub, the New Inn in Willenhall.

From Butler's magazine June 1932.


The old Giffard Arms.

The smoke room in the old Giffard Arms.
The inglenook fireplace in the old Giffard Arms.
The temporary Giffard Arms.

From Butler's magazine, January 1930.

The Giffard Arms, Wolverhampton

 The following article appeared in the" Express and Star" on December 17th 1929, and is reproduced by the courtesy of that newspaper :

One of the most interesting architectural features of the new Victoria Street, Wolverhampton, is "The Giffard Arms," opened today, the recessed frontage of which, built in a design of Tudor spirit, relieves the flat faces of the other new buildings on either side of it. The remaining small portion of the old house was removed this morning.

"The Giffard Arms" is built on the site of an old inn that had many unusual features, such as a fine wrought iron gate, ancient oak beams, and old glass to recommend it. The public spirit of a great commercial house is made evident in the desire of the owners, Messrs. Butler and Co., Ltd., Springfield Brewery, Wolverhampton, to make a noteworthy effort to beautify an important thoroughfare in the borough by the design of their new building. The dominating feature is the bay, 40ft. high and 20ft. wide, carrying the principal windows, which gives an air of dignity to the whole front.

Links with the Past.

Though modern in design, "The Giffard Arms" keeps intact a series of links with the past, old time associations being commemorated in carved bosses and shields, which display various armorial bearings and historical symbols. One of these carvings shows a young boy attacked by a panther, and another the cross-bow or arblast said to have been used by Sir John Giffard in killing the beast. These perpetuate the legend of Giffard's cross at Chillington, to the effect that in the 16th century Sir John killed at that spot a panther which had escaped from a menagerie and was about to spring on a woman and a child. Though the legend appears to have no other authority than a passage in Harrison Ainsworth' s novel "Boscobel", it is nevertheless true that the family crest and motto- Prenez haleine tirez forte (take breath, pull hard) granted in 1513 and 1523 lend colour to the story.

The Wolverhampton and Staffordshire arms occupy other shields, and the Tudor rose and portcullis are also displayed. Symbolical bosses illustrate "good cheer," morning by a crowing cock, and night by an owl, and there is the sign of the owners of the house over the door. The projecting carved oak sign of the inn bears the arms of the Giffards, and is a notable example of modern commercial art in the traditions of the inns of mediaeval times. Interior accommodation is more comfortably and conveniently arranged than in the old premises, with decoration, furnishing and equipment on a scale commensurate with the outward appearance of the building. A large assembly room is on the first floor, and has oak panelled walls and enriched plaster and beam ceiling with painted glass in the bay window.

Popular Portrait

In this room hangs a portrait of Thomas William Giffard (1789-1861), of Chillington, a cheerful, popular and generous character, after whom it is probable the original house was named. His portrait, in blue coat and buff trousers, once hung in the Corn Exchange, and the original is now in the Sessions Court, or Prince's Chamber, at the Town Hall. Large reproductions of this portrait, in mezzotint, once had a considerable vogue in the district, and can still occasionally be procured.

"The Giffard’s Arms" which the present building replaces, does not seem to have been an inn of any antiquity. There was, in the seventeenth century, an important branch of the family of the Giffards, of Chillington, living in Cock Street, since renamed Victoria Street, one member of which, Bonaventure Giffard (1642-1733) became first Vicar Apostolic of the Roman Catholic Church in England. The site of their house has not however been discovered, and the name of "The Giffard's Arms" does not appear in local directories before 1818.

Since the death of Mr. F. T. Beck, the work at the new building has been directed by Mr. James A. Swan, F.R.I.B.A., of Birmingham, who has redesigned the whole of the details, including carving and enrichments, and to him much of the credit of providing this attractive and interesting example of modern commercial architecture for "the new Wolverhampton" is due.

From Butler's magazine, March 1932:

Licensee for Forty Seven Years

On March 8th Mr. Arthur Lamsdale, one of our most popular licensees, retired from business at the age of seventy six, when he gave up possession of the Tiger Hotel, North Street, Wolverhampton, the license of which has been transferred to Mr. Jack Mitton, of  Wolves fame.

Mr. Lamsdale had forty seven years as a license holder to his credit, but he had actually been connected with the trade for sixty years, for it was in March, 1872, that his father went as tenant to the Royal Oak, Alma Street, Wolverhampton.

In 1881 they removed to the Golden Cross, Merridale Street, and four years later Mr. Lamsdale took over the license himself and sold the house to Messrs. Butlers. Later on Mr. Lamsdale also held the licenses of the Oxley Arms, Bushbury, and the Rose and Crown, Penn, but in 1901 he gave them all up and went to the Merrida1e Arms, which belonged to the Manchester Brewery Company.

The Tiger Hotel, North Street, Wolverhampton.

Mr. Arthur Lamsdale.

Five years later he took over the Rock Hotel, Tettenhall, where he stayed until 1917, when he took over the license of the Darlington Arms, Darlington Street. In 1924 he took over The Spread Eagle, Victoria Street, a Butler’s house which has since disappeared owing to street improvement, and in 1928 he went to the Tiger, where he remained until his recent retirement.

Mr. Lamsdale also has an excellent record of public service. He was a member of the Bushbury Parish Council from 1899 to 1901 and was afterwards elected a member of the Wolverhampton Town Council, where he remained until 1908. For some years he was also a member of the Wolverhampton Board of Guardians, at one time being vice-chairman of that body. He was also for many years a member of the Tettenhall Urban District Council and of the Seisdon Board of Guardians.

Mr. Lamsdale admits to no special hobby or pastime, but he has always been a keen racegoer, and at one time or another has seen most of the famous races in the country. His numerous friends will be glad to hear that although he has retired from active participation in the business he will not desert Butlers altogether, as he will reside with his son-in-law and daughter (Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bett) at the Vine Inn, Upper Vauxhall, Wolverhampton.

The roof garden at the Tiger Hotel.
The Spring Cottage, Walsall.

The Turk's Head, Walsall Street, Willenhall.

The bar at the Turk's Head, Willenhall.

From the April 1927 edition of Butler's magazine:

Railway Tavern Bowling Club

Rapid Progress made in Two Years

The second annual dinner in connection with the Railway Tavern Bowling Club, James Bridge, Darlaston, was held on Wednesday evening, March 2nd, when Mr. W. Reynolds, chairman of the club, presided. The club did exceptionally well last season, winning the Darlaston Central League, Wednesbury and District League (B. Section), the "Forsyth" Hospital Cup, while they were the semi-finalists in the Staffordshire Cup Competition.

A capital repast was provided by Mr. F. A. Wadsworth, of Wednesbury, which was thoroughly enjoyed. After the toast of "The King", the Chairman said how pleased he was to see so many present. He regretted the absence of the President, and hoped they would see him at the opening of the green.

Members of the Railway Tavern Bowling Club.

The balance sheet was presented by Mr. Davies, and showed that the income was £46 19s. 3d., including a balance brought forward, while they finished the season with £4 12s. 3d. in hand. Mr. G. Smith, in proposing a vote of thanks to the visitors, said how pleased they were to see Mr. Rubin, and hoped he would be with them for many years, also Councillor C. Simmonds, Mr. Bignell, and Mr. Bratt. In responding, Mr. Rubin said he was delighted to hear the progress the club had made during the two years of its existence, and it was a source of surprise to him to hear they had lifted all the cups available in the district. Mr. Smith had remarked that he hoped during the summer they might get a challenge cup, but there was no need to wait until then as he would give one right away.

Mr. E. Whitehouse said he would be pleased to give a medal to go with the cup. Councillor Charles Simmonds also briefly returned thanks, and said how very pleased he was to know the club had been so successful. Mr. Harold Rubin then presented medals to the following: Messrs. J. Shaw, J. Whitehouse, J. Williams, I. Morris, G. Plant, R. Watkins, W. George, T. Fereday, R. Griffiths, B. Darby, H. Blakeway, J. Cotton, P. Holder, J. Davis, S. Smith, J. Hewitt, J. Griffiths, G. Humpage, A. Richards, A. Yates, and A. Hales.

Thanks were accorded to the donors of prizes, the Host and Hostess (Mr. and Mrs. Alcock), and the artistes. During the evening an enjoyable musical programme was gone through, the artistes including Messrs. M. Sweeney, H. Longmore, S. Booth, B. Griffiths, and H. Thorney, and Captain Dickenson, while Mr. T. Moran was the accompanist.

The Neachells, Willenhall Road, Wolverhampton.

From Butler's magazine, September, 1932.

The bar at The Neachells.

The old Mitre Inn.

The new Mitre Inn.

From the June 1940 edition of Butler's magazine:

The Victoria Inn

The Victoria Inn, in Deans Road, Wolverhampton replaces an old house of that name which has recently been demolished.

Owing to the development of a large housing estate, the old premises were quite inadequate for the ever increasing number of Butler’s customers.


The new Victoria Inn.

The interior of the Victoria Inn.

Crisp packet courtesy of Frank Sharman.

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