Paul Gibson’s Hull and East Yorkshire History

Lost pubs of Hull — S

Sculcoates Arms, Charles Street

The loss of the ‘Scully Arms’ was felt deeply by local historians and pub enthusiasts alike, as it was possibly one of the most attractive pub fronts in Hull. The property was been built between 1838 and 1842, and was known ‘by the sign of The New Inn’, when sold in 1849 (Hull Packet). Also mentioned in the sale notice, were the ‘brewery and appurtenances thereto adjoining’, clearly illustrating that it had its own brewing facilities at that time. It was shown on the large scale 1853 Ordnance Survey plan, as the Sculcoates Inn.

The pub was refurbished in the 1890s, when its famous ceramic tiled exterior was added. Internally the Bar was finished in white glazed tiles, but was out of bounds to women, who had to sit in the Snug – entered by a side door in Raywell Street. During the 1930s the pub was run by Joseph Gorman for many years, and was known locally as ‘Smokey Joe's’. My late uncle, Arthur Gibson, recalls a brass bar ornament (a pixie?), which had a permanently lit flame for smokers, and a stove in the corner with a pan of peas usually sat warming on the top. The pub closed on Sunday 9 April 1972, but was not demolished until 1983.

Sculcoates Commercial Hotel, Wincolmlee

This was an interesting building, located within warehouses on the east side of Wincolmlee – directly opposite the end of New George Street. With its back facing the River Hull, the pub had been recorded in trade directories as early as 1838, when Daniel Moloney was the victualler. Originally a Hunt's Brewery house, it was taken over by the Hull Brewery Co in the 1880s.

In June 1937 the rear outbuildings ­– which had just been rebuilt following damage by a moored ship – collapsed into the river. The cause was given as subsidence due to erosion beneath the buildings, and water entering the old cellars. The remaining buildings survived the Second World War, and the pub continued trading until the late 1950s. The site is now empty, as this former mill warehouse was yet another that was demolished without thought for our industrial heritage.

Shakespeare Hotel, Humber Street

The Shakespeare Hotel was situated on the south side of Humber Street, in the heart of what was until recent years, Hull's fruit market area. Following the development of this section of Humber Street, during the first years of the 19th Century, the area thrived. A new theatre named the Theatre Royal, opened in Humber Street in 1810, and was no doubt the inspiration for the name of this pub – the Shakespeare Tavern ­– which opened that year.

In Stark contrast, in 1832 the Humber Street Wesley Chapel was built to the west of the pub and – sandwiched between these two grand buildings – its title elevated to that of hotel during the 1840s. In a later – possibly 1890s – refurbishment, six carved heads of Shakespeare were added to the rather plain frontage, and are visible in this photograph of c.1926.

The Shakespeare closed following heavy bomb damage, sustained in an air raid on the 9 May 1941. Its licence was suspended until 2 March 1953, when it was surrendered to enable the granting of a full licence to the Dover Castle pub, on the Hedon Road.

Ship’s Hold, Wincolmlee

The Ship’s Hold in Wincolmlee was first recorded c.1822, when this section of road was still known as Church Street – as it led to the parish church of Sculcoates, then St Mary’s in Air Street.

It was re-built in 1904, when the tiled frontage shown here was applied. The door to the left of the building led to the Bottle & Jug area, and the door to the right to a very small bar. The Ship’s Hold closed c.1967, and was demolished in the 1970s.

Picture courtesy John Wiles

Shipwright’s Arms, Marvel Street

Kendall & Gruby formed a partnership in 1876, and took over the South Myton Brewery and re-named it the Exchange Brewery. The brewery was alongside the Portland Arms at No. 138 Porter Street, and in 1892 Worthingtons bought the brewery, and its estate of 24 pubs was broken up. These included the Railway Tavern, Paragon Street; Queen’s Head, Walker Street; South Myton Tavern, Clifton Terrace, Day Street; Shipwrights Arms, Marvel Street; Reefer, Posterngate; Crown & Cushion, Land of Green Ginger; Neptune Tavern, Neptune Street; Oriental, Hedon Road; Cromwell Hotel, Walmsley Street; Plumbers Arms, Dagger Lane; Juno, Church Street; The Queens, Charlotte Street; Norwood Arms, Woods Lane; Mason’s Arms, Walker Street; Red Lion, Gibson Street; Linnet & Lark, Moxon Street; Dog & Gun, Garden Street; Earl Cardigan, Fish Street; and the Albert Hall, Midland Street.

Curving brickwork like this was a common feature of many corner public houses in the days of the Shipwright's Arms. The property was originally built c.1810 as two shops, one of which later became this beer-house c.1826. Originally owned by Kendall & Gruby, it was purchased by Worthingtons in 1892, and was enlarged and re-fronted. Although still a small beer-house, it had been enlarged slightly to two rooms – a smoke room (or snug) and a larger bar, both having doors to separate streets.

Shown here as a Hull Brewery house, c.1926, having survived the ravages of slum clearance in the 1930s, the Shipwright's Arms suffered bomb damage during the Second World War, and was demolished in the late 1940s.

Shoulder of Mutton, Lime Street

Neither the 1835, or 1842 plans of Hull show any buildings on the site of the Shoulder of Mutton in Lime Street. By the time of the first Ordnance Survey plan in 1853, the buildings of Brooke & Tate's Groves Brewery are shown, on what was probably the site of former army barracks.

The Shoulder of Mutton was recorded in the trade directories from around 1855, when it was the ‘tap’ for the brewery, and James Brook was listed as the first victualler. The buildings were part of a purchase agreement, when the Hull Brewery Co. took over Tate's in 1896. At this point the pub was rebuilt as it appears in this photograph of c.1926.

Trade at the Shoulder of Mutton suffered badly, when vast numbers of houses in the ‘Groves’ district were demolished in slum clearance schemes, before and after the Second World War. It closed on 5 February 1959, when the licence was immediately surrendered for the granting of a full licence for the Rose Tavern, on the Hessle Road.

Slater’s Arms, West Parade

The Slater’s Arms at No.92 West Parade, was most likely to have been named with reference to the Slater family, several of whom lived in West Parade in the 19th Century. This was the north end of West Parade – off Sping Bank, rather than the older end of West Parade – off the north side of the Anlaby Road.

Established c.1863, it was a plain beer-house run initially by William Henry Pearson. It was re-fronted in 1923, by brewers T Linsley & Co, as shown in this photograph. It was latterly a Tetley’s house (they took over Linsley’s), which closed in June 1968, two years after this photograph was taken. 

Southcoates Station Hotel, Holderness Road

On the north side of the Holderness Road – opposite the former (and now derelict) Corn Mill Hotel – is a street that now appears to have no name. This was originally Beeton Street, laid out in the early 1850s, but not built upon until the 1860s.

Mr R. Bubbins was recorded in a trade directory of 1872, as a victualler at the Railway Arms, situated at the corner of Beeton Street. William Glossop & Bulay Ltd, brewers and maltsters, purchased and enlarged the premises at the end of the 19th Century, and soon after it became known as the Southcoates Station Hotel, named after the nearby station on the Hull to Withernsea line.

The Hotel suffered bomb damage, and was closed on 18 May 1941; the licence was held in suspension until 1961, when it was transferred to the new Pelican Hotel, on James Reckitt Avenue. The site has remained empty ever since.

St Leger Hotel, Paragon Street

It is likely to be landlord John Rhodes and his family, standing at the doors of the St Leger Hotel on the corner of Paragon Street and Little Queen Street. He was there from 1904 until the 1920s.

The St Leger was originally known as the Druids Arms, established c.1863, and was later re-named after the famous horse race. The pub closed in 1923, when it was a Moors’ & Robson’s house, and was sold at auction in 1925. The property has been used for a number of purposes since then, and was latterly part of a pub once more. A Yates Wine Bar, developed in premises next door (formerly the White House Hotel), was extended to take in the former pub c.2003. Latterly known as the Kingston Tavern, the whole site is now empty awaiting a new use following the closure of the pub c.2009.

Picture courtesy of Peter Allsop

Stag Inn, Leonard Street

Originally owned by brewers Warwick & Richardson, of Newark on Trent, this tiny pub had previously been a grocers and tea dealers shop. It was first recorded as a beer-house c.1862, when John Craven was the beer-house keeper, and later became known as the Stag Inn - nos.14-15 Leonard Street.

Situated on the south side of Leonard Street, at the corner of a small terrace named Beulah Place on the left of the picture), it remained open until 1976. A long-time John Smith's house, it was demolished in the 1980s as this area was cleared under compulsory purchase.

Star Inn, Worship Street

The Star Inn stood directly opposite the entrance to the yard of the present Central Fire Station in Worship Street, and was a simple one-room inn first recorded as a beer-house around 1872, when the beer retailer, was J. Ward.

The door on the left of this c.1926 photograph led to housing to the rear of the property, known as Chapel Court. Chapel Court was named after the Tabernacle Independent Chapel, which opened in 1827 on the nearby corner of Worship Street and Sykes Street.

Stiff competition in the area spelt the end for the smallest pub in the street, for within a few hundred yards there were at least a dozen drinking establishments. The Star Inn was closed on 19 January 1934 by the Hull Brewery Co. and subsequently reverted back to its original form as a dwelling house. 

Star of the West, West Street

Still fresh in the memory of most Hull drinking folk, the Star of the West began life as a three-storey house of c.1788, with a small front garden. The name was probably a sea faring reference, as a large portion of its custom would have come from the many mariners, in lodgings around the area.

Following the pattern of most of its neighbours, it became a shop in the early part of the 19th Century and then a small beer house. The house front was extended over its garden, forming a single-storey shop – typical of its period in the 1860s. Initially a grocer’s it became a beer-house in the 1870s. Following its continued success, the front buildings were later built upon and altered, and the Star of the West finally acquired its imitation half-timbered façade in 1926-27.

Sadly the pub was demolished in 1997 for an extension to the Prospect Centre shopping complex.

Folk troubador Stuart Forester has a lovely song recalling the Star of the West on his website - click on this link to find his music: -

Station Hotel, Middle Street

Charles Sellers of Sellers & Nuttall, brandy merchants and brewers, died in 1815 and following the dissolution of the partnership their estate of public houses was sold by auction in 1816. This included the Barrel, in Middle Street. An inn of some kind had stood on this site since the early 1800s, and became known as the Barrel Tavern; by 1823 it had become the Golden Ball, 27 Middle Street. Between 1840 and 1842 the Golden Ball changed its name to the Acorn, and by 1882 had undergone another identity change, when it was listed as the Dublin Hotel.

Brook Street had been extended south to provide better access to Paragon Station in the 1880s, and the new alignment meant the Dublin was now on the corner of both Brook Street and Middle Street. The Irish link was strong in this area, which had always been heavily populated with Irish immigrant workers. By 1909 the Dublin had changed its name for the final time to the Station Hotel, which it remained until closure by the Hull Brewery Co. on 12 June 1958. 

Swan Inn, Mytongate

Originally known as the Black Swan, this Georgian beer-house became known as the Old Swan around the turn of the 20th Century. Situated on Mytongate, the pub ceased trading c.1915, after which it became a lodging house – and one of Wine & Spirit merchant Evelyn Cooke’s premises.

Latterly it was the wholesale outlet for Cameron’s Brewery in Hull, who for some reason painted the old black swan inn sign white. The pub and all around it, was demolished due to the horrendous 1970s planning error, which allowed the present Castle Street dual-carriageway to cut through our historic Old Town.

It is shown here in a photograph of c.1930.

Swann Inn, Beverley Road

The original Swann Inn began as a house with a front garden, later extended with a front shop. The sigle-storey extension across its garden, created the shop’s retail area – much in the same way as the Star of the West; note the large gas lamp hanging from an old plank over the door. It was first mentioned in 1863, when William Booth ran a grocer’s shop here, at no.12 North Parade, Beverley Road. To supplement his income he obtained a licence to sell beer and the front room of the shop became a ‘bar room’. In 1898, by then a Moors’ & Robson’s Brewery house, the pub was rebuilt as we see it today. The frontage features faience tiles by Burmantofts, fitted by local builder Mr. Goates; the cost of the tile work was £99-5s-0d, as part of a total cost of £1,094. In 1900 the Swan was granted a full 7-day licence when the licenses of the Foresters Arms in Finkle Street, and the Flying Horse in Sewer Lane, were surrendered. The name was in reference to the land-owner Mr John Wright Swann, as the pub sat on the western boundary of his estate.

The pub has been closed since 2003, but it is encouraging to note that a new lease of life is being sought for the Swan, and it is hoped that a compromise will soon be found for the use of this important part of the heritage and history of the Beverley Road. 

Shakespeare Tavern, Caroline Street

This tiny ale-house was built – possibly as a private house – on the corner of Caroline Street and New George Street in the mid-1820s. A trade directory of 1855 records it as the premises of joiner and beer retailer, Adam Killer, and it is recorded as a ‘pub’ from that date on.

It was not recorded by name as the Shakespeare until c.1874, and the origin of its name is unknown, although it could have been a reference to the nearby theatres on George Street, and Charlotte Street, and Jarratt Street – patrons of which, may have passed the tavern on their way back to the former Hull & Barnsley railway station, in Cannon Street.

Latterly a Hull Brewery tavern, it survived until 1932, when it was amongst the many properties demolished under the ‘slum clearance’ programme, which cleared the way for the construction of the present housing in this area. 

Seedcrushers Arms, Francis Street

The area around Charles Street (or New Charles Street as it was originally known) was mostly built upon the lands of George Pryme and William Liddell and developed from the early 19th Century. The northernmost section was developed slightly later and became fully populated by the 1840s.Most of the beer-houses in the area seem to have originated following the so-called Beer-House Act of 1830, which allowed almost anyone to open up a pub without many of the restrictions of licensing regulations. Most were opened to serve the industrial workers of the area and as such took colloquial names specific to the various trades, which later became official. Sculcoates was the centre of Hull’s most important industry; oil seed crushing (see trade & Industry pages) and many of the workers in the oil crushing mills would have lived in the Charles Street area. The area could in fact be seen as an area of housing built specifically to house the local industrial workforce. 

The southern side of Francis Street was fully built upon by 1842 but the section including the Seedcrusher’s Arms was still not built upon on a plan of 1835; therefore the building itself was of circa 1835-1840. The Seedcrusher’s Arms may first have been recorded in 1842 although this is difficult to confirm. The first definite evidence for its appearance seems to be in 1872. The first victualler appears to have been Thomas Shaw in 1872 and it was probably he who converted the beer-house from an ordinary dwelling house. Initially an un-named beer-house it was soon to become officially known by its local title and may suggest the possible occupation of the first victualler. Extended and re-fronted, probably in the 1920s (see 1920s photo above) it survived both World Wars and was very popular with servicemen during the Second World War with its bar, snug and smoke room. Following the demolition of every property around it in a compulsory purchase order of the late 1930s it finally closed its doors in 1949 and was demolished shortly after. 

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