Monday, 8 June 2015

Jolly Carter, 281 Derby Street

Derby Street runs across the centre of this 2012 image (copyright Google Street View). High Street runs off into the distance. The Jolly Carter was situated on the right-hand corner as we look, where the sign is. The Rams Head still stands on the opposite corner though it is now an Asian food shop.

The Jolly Carter was situated at 281 Derby Street on the corner of Derby Street and High Street, directly opposite the Rams Head.

James Green was a carter living on Derby Street in 1841. Aged 36, he lived with his wife Mary, also 36, and their five children. Business must have been good because the Greens were able to afford to employ a servant. While the image of domestic help is somebody working in a large house in an Upstairs, Downstairs setting it is surprising just how many tradespeople in more modest households utilised servants in the nineteenth century. Pubs were full of them.

James Green branched out into the beerselling business around 1842 and like many who converted their homes into beerhouses in the middle of the 18th century he named his pub after his ‘other’ job and called it the Jolly Carter.

The Greens remained at the pub well into the 1850s; however, they were gone by 1861 when the pub was being run by John Smith. He was a coal miner living at Edge Fold with his wife and baby in 1851. Like James Green he remained in his other job working as a coal miner while his wife, Mary, ran the pub.

The Jolly Carter appears to have struggled as landlords came and went. But Derby Street at that time was a competitive market. The pub was bought by local brewers Magee Marshall & Co whose Cricket Street brewery was about 200 yards away from the Jolly Carter.

The problem for the Jolly Carter was that Magees owned a number of other pubs on Derby Street. Magees houses the Rams Head, the Crown and the Pike View were all nearby and Magees wanted a full licence for one of those pubs, the Pike View, enabling it to sell wines and spirits as well as beer. Licensing magistrates were loath to simply upgrade a beerhouse’s licence to a full licence. They expected some horse-trading to take place as they wanted to reduce the number of licensed premises. A brewery had to be prepared to give up other licences before the magistrates could be expected to grant a full licence.

In 1904, Magees applied for a full licence for the Pike View. In return they said they were prepared to give up the licence for the Jolly Carter, a beer off-licence at 68-70 Rosamund Street, as well as the Elephant and Castle on Blackhorse Street, a fully-licensed pub since 1804. The magistrates granted a full licence to the Pike View and the Jolly Carter closed.

The old beerhouse became a shop and for a number of years it was a tripe dressers owned by Vose and Sons who merged with a number of other Lancashire tripe shops in 1920 to form United Cattle Products (UCP). It was a poodle parlour in the seventies and was demolished along with the rest of the row in the 1980s.

As for the original Jolly Carter himself, James Green decided that he had to choose between selling beer and being a ‘lurryman’ as carters were also known. He was a carter by trade and in 1861 he was living at 74 John Street (now University Way) and was still working as a carrier of goods. He remained in the trade until his death in 1873 at the age of 68.

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