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Anchor, High Offley

Discussion in 'Pubs and Eating Out' started by Noah, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. Noah

    Noah Well-Known Forumite

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    Olive has been at the Anchor, High Offley, for 50 years this year. This has led to much discussion as to the history of the pub with quite a lot of conflicting views, can anyone help straighten things out?

    The recent history is quite clear. Graham & Olive Cliff took over the pub in 1970 on the death of Graham's grandmother the redoubtable Lily Pascall. At the time Graham & Olive were still living and working in Birmingham. The pub was closed during the week and they drove back to the pub each weekend with a cask of Ansells Bitter in the back of the car, opening the pub at the weekends. On the 26th May 1975 it became a full time pub and the local branch of CAMRA organised a celebratory beer festival in a marquee with beers from Ansell, Banks, Burtonwood, Marstons, Thwaites & Wem. Other attractions included folk music, a yard of ale contest and a lucky dip for bottles of beer - in the canal. Sadly Graham died in 1986 at the age of 52 and Olive and her daughter Elaine have run the pub ever since.

    That seems very definite but earlier than that there is some confusion. Most accounts say that the pub was purchased from Greenalls in the 1960s and that alterations including the narrowboat bar in the room on the right and the "typical 1960s" decor in the room on the left date from the 1960s. But is this correct? Graham & Olive were living in Birmingham from the early 1960s at least, and would the elderly Lily have coped with all this? Greenall acquired the pub in 1966 when they took over the Wrekin Brewery & its pubs so some date after this. The account of the 1975 event says that Graham purchased the pub in 1970, which seems more likely, and it seems possible that the alterations date from this time. Anyone know more about this?

    Equally uncertain is how long the family have been involved with the pub. Various accounts say 150 years, a figure which has remained unchanged in accounts from the early 2000s on, since 1870, which would make it 150 years this year, about 100 years, quoted in the early 2000s and since 1903. The two latter would agree with the date when George & Lily Pascall took over the pub in 1903. Before that? I've tried tracing the families back to the early 1850s and can find no earlier connection with the pub. The licensees from c1894 to 1903 were George and Lois Tomkinson from Peover in Cheshire and i can find no connection between them and the Pascalls or Talbots.

    And when did the name change from the Sebastopol to the Anchor? Stiil apparently the Sebastapol in the 1920s?

    Can anyone help with this - or better write an account that can be used when the pub re-opens after the current plague outbreak?
     
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  3. industryarch

    industryarch Well-Known Forumite

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    Saturday 01 February 1890
    anchor 1803.jpg
     
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  4. industryarch

    industryarch Well-Known Forumite

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    1891 census

    anchor 1891.jpg
     
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  5. industryarch

    industryarch Well-Known Forumite

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    1871 census see also 1881

    anchor 1871.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
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  6. Noah

    Noah Well-Known Forumite

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    Thanks for these @industryarch . And Henry Ethell in 1861 although he had moved to the Wharf @ Shebdon by 1868. The name gets curiouser and curiouser. The siege of Sevastopol was in 1854/55 so the pub was probably (re)named in honour of this soon after. Yet all of the records found so far from 1861 to 1939 (including censuses, trade directories, court reports, marriage & other records) call it the Anchor. The only reference I have found to it as the Sebastapol is in the 1920s. Was it a case that everyone just carried on using the old name? (Wot they want to change the name for, don't hold with these gimmicky modern names ...)

    The only earlier connection with the trade was with the multi married Susannah Forgham who was related to several licensees in the Wellington & Shifnal areas. She was the mother of George Pascall (Lily's husband) and in 1901 She, George and her other children were living with her third husband Thomas Jones, innkeeper at the Junction Inn, Norbury. George married Lily later that year.
     
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