Friday, 27 February 2015

Duke Of Wellington, 26 John Street

John Street ran from Derby Street down to Deane Road - or Blackburn Street as it was known until the 1890s.

The first recorded record of the Duke Of Wellington was in the 1871 census when Robert Holme, a 27-year-old carter, and his wife Caroline were running the pub. Robert Holme is described as a beerseller and cart owner on the census return. By 1881, the Holmes were still at the pub with Robert now a hay and coal dealer as well as a beerseller.

But it seems that Robert Holmes decided he had to choose between his two businesses: the beerhouse or the distribution of goods. He chose the latter and went to live Deane Road. By 1911, he and Caroline were  living in nearby Roundcroft Street where Robert is described as a master carer. He died in 1923.

The Duke Of Wellington was taken over by Wright Green. He was also a carter and lived further up John Street and was most likely known to Robert Holme. But while Wright Green ran the pub for over 15 years his time at the pub ended badly when its licence was refused in 1905.

Number 26 John Street was later combined with number 28 to make enlarged retail premises. A marine store dealer named William Hatton was there in 1924. It was subsequently converted back into two residential properties.

John Street no longer exists – at least not by that name. Many of the properties, including the former Duke Of Wellington pub, were demolished in the mid-sixties, but around a dozen remained for some years after. The thoroughfare was widened and became College Way, now University Way.

University Way looking towards Deane Road in September 2014 (copyright Google Street View). Whowell Street runs off to the left. The car park in the distance is the site of row that contained the Duke Of Wellington.

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