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We continue our pub crawl with a trip to 

'Who Could A' Thowt It'

I would expect many people to be familiar with this phrase but did you know it was the name of a Southowram pub? 

This pub, known to locals as 'Ba Gum Who Could A' Thowt It', was just down Walterclough Lane (off the corner of Law Lane). It sold it's last drink as a pub on Boxing Day 1933, and was demolished in 1945. The stone going towards the rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral

It is said to have been licensed from the 1860's following the enactment of the Beerhouse Act in 1830. There were hundreds of Beerhouses opened at this time. The licensing aspect for Beerhouses came in 1869 when these houses were then subject to a 'Justices licence' for the sale of beer.

This new regulation killed off many of them but a few did survive, including the 'Ba Gum'. One reason for the new law was the amount of drunkenness due to the vast number of places offering beer.

pictured is Mrs Ada Jane Thornton (licensee)

A particular case at the 'Ba Gum' became the topic of conversation throughout the town for months after. In 1904, John Tidswell, the then licensee, was found drunk on the premises with a number of his customers in a similar state by the police. The outcome at court was a foregone conclusion and he was found guilty and fined 7/6d for allowing the customers to be drunk and a further pound for being drunk himself.

The talking point was not the case itself but the fact they had actually got caught in the first place. It had been known by everyone but the police that customers had been drinking to an excess and for hours beyond closing time for years. Whenever the police sergeant knocked at the pub door, the licensee would wait a few moments and then let him in and naturally everyone had gone.

It was later discovered there was a secret passage that led to adjoining cottages.

After the days of being a pub, the premises had a short spell as a café.


Cock and Bottle

1 Common Lane, Southowram, Halifax, West Yorkshire

This photo was taken in 1950 and it's at the Cock and Bottle when it was a Whitakers pub but what else can you tell me. Can you put a name to any faces? Were they local girls or visitors?


Blue Bell

As we exit the Cock and Bottle and turn right there is a patch of grass (opposite Sams off license). Here once stood the Blue Bell which later became a fish and chip shop but burned down in the 1950s. Blue Bell seen here behind the tram.

Blue Bell (middle of the buildings on the right)


Manor House

The Manor House was supposedly haunted by the ghost of Sarah in her white wedding dress who was sometimes seen, standing at the bedroom window

All that is left of the Manor House is this signpost in one of the gardens of the houses that now stand in its place.


Travellers Rest

Around 1830 Bankfield Farm down Marsh Lane(junction with Long Lane) was known as Travellers Rest beerhouse.


Blaithroyd WMC and New Road Hotel

Blaithroyd Working Mens Club was at Castlemaine House at 9 Blaithroyd Lane. There was also a pub called 'New Road Hotel' aka 'New Road Tavern' at 66 Blaithroyd Lane(probably at the junction with Trooper Lane) which closed in 1949.


Pineberry Hill Tavern

Pineberry Tavern or Pineberry Hill Tavern was a beerhouse and will probably be somewhere on the picture below but I'm not sure which building on Southowram Bank it would have been.

Dyer and Miller pub was also at Bank Bottom but was demolished before WWI.

Other Southowram pubs included Cat Heads, Horse and Groom, Rook Tavern and Single Sisters but their whereabouts are unknown. Can you help?


Duke William

Opened in 1819 and the pub closed on 25th July 1965.


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