Wednesday, November 02, 2011

British Pub Week : The One And Seven-penny Pint


Staying with British Pub week, my picture today features a part of a pub sign I noticed as I was out walking through Halifax on Monday. The pub is the Beehive and Cross Keys which was built in 1932 following the demolition of two earlier pubs : yes, you guessed, the Beehive and the Cross Keys. Both these earlier pubs had been owned by the Swift family and in the 1880s, Henry Swift, established a brewery behind the Cross Keys in the splendidly named Spice Cake Lane. Road widening in the 1930s swept away the earlier pubs, the brewery and - perhaps most tragically of all - Spice Cake Lane.

The new pub was a functional 1930s affair designed by local architects Walsh and Maddocks. Functional it may have been, but in addition to the more traditional inn sign at the front of the premises, the builders set two fine mosaics into the side wall. I seem to recall that the Beehive and Cross Keys was the first pub I ever bought a pint of beer in. I was a little under age and trying to cover my innocence with bravado. The landlord pulled the pint and I handed him one shilling and sixpence. "When did you last buy a pint of beer?" he asked somewhat severely. I looked at him in puzzlement trying to cover my embarrassment. "Nay Lad", he continued, "it's one and sevenpence now".

17 comments:

  1. Seems a long time ago. When I started as an apprentice in the RAF, 1963, I can remember we were paid £4 a week, and we could go to town and have a good time on that, and still have money in the bank. Hard to buy a pint in London for that now.

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  2. I love the mosaics on the side. Did you notice that the upper mosaic bears a strong resemblance to the Papal coat of arms?

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  3. Ah! The Beehive! It Was Probably the nearest Pub to where my Mam & Dad lived (If you don't count The Irish Club)
    I haven't been inside for several years.
    Have you ever heard of the rumours about Pat Phoenix there (in the 60s/70s)? I don't really know the full story but its something to do with some actor (The Playhouse ,of course, being across the road)A Love Triangle & some sort of fist-fight/argument ..........ah Real Life can be a soap-opera too!

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  4. Excellent, Alan. And who wouldn't want to live in 'Spice Cake Lane'?

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  5. One of the things Gem and I adored doing during our UK visit, was take note of the many unexpected and delightful place names. After all, who wouldn't want have an address featuring a place named Spice Cake Lane?!

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  6. Spice Cake Lane - there has to be a story behind that!

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  7. So much history in pubs.

    My father in law has a huge collection of pump clips - and i mean HUGE - he has thousands but only ONE from each brewery. So courage would only count as one, as would say Scottish and Newcastle. He has every Welsh pump clip since 1900 bar one (not available) including every micro brewery. Oh, he can bore people for hours!

    Did you know there's even a pumpclip museum http://www.pumpclipmuseum.com/

    As for me, I just like the beer.

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  8. I love the name Spice Cake Lane. It makes the mouth water!

    The mosaics on the side of the pub certainly add a lot to the attractiveness of the building.

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  9. I remembr my father-in-law complaining bitterly when the price went up to 1/11d

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  10. Enjoy the history behind these premises. Good one about the price of a pint! The first time I went in way under age the local police came in to check the estblishment. I was not noticed!

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  11. I'm another one who rather fancies Spice Cake Lane.

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  12. What nice blogs you have (I love sepia too) and love mosaics too,lovely pub, here we have a little town almost have all the houses with mosaics in their walls included the church!Gloria

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  13. is whipped cream way interswct with spiced cake lane - what a tasty name!

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  14. we all have one of those blushing moments, for one reason or another...
    ;)~
    HUGZ

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  15. Nice blue - might use it somewhere in the new house.

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  16. Alan, I was arrested in a raid by the constabulary when I was in college. I was three weeks shy of legal. (21) The case was dismissed when I finally stood before the judge because, by then, I was comfortably legal. The judge was a good man and wished me a happy birthday. My crime was having a beer in my hand when the police swept in to quell evil. Luckily, I was not scarred from the experience.

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  17. Super photo. Do you know if there are any photos of the original Beehive Inn? Death record of my granduncles son who died in October 1925 said he was "Archey Edward Morrison of the Beehive Inn, 31 Kings Cross Street, Halifax"

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