The White Hart Inn was one of several pubs to become secondarily established in Hucknall Huthwaite nearer end the 19th century. Later appearance presents a brief historic background, but can start from the properties construction stone marking R W 1829.
Detailed 1835 mapping of a rural Hucknall-under-Huthwaite hamlet identifies precise location of this recent property added among a scattering of older farm related buildings. Claiming bottom left triangulated corner inside a formerly known Hucknall Green area had afforded prime position atop busiest junction facing the main highway that initially offered a Blackwell Road address.
Constructing a spacious three storey house in such a prominent central position presented one of the largest and most grandly styled residences for years to come. In demonstrating very wealthy status, it caused frustration readily identifying who that affluent gentleman was.
John Ward is firmly suggested from 1800 forest land enclosures, also offering a family connection opening up this public house. Comfortably entertaining guests could account for generously sized extra rooms, plus servants quarters that can furthermore be determined also later accommodated staff for at least one known licensed Inn keeper. Hid behind modern tap room bar was found the old dumbwaiter. Far later tenants demonstrated how that hand cranked lift once served food cooked from upper level kitchens through well equipped layout.
Broad and tall frontage afforded very magnificent window views overlooking all the southern common meadows beyond the valley where New Hucknall Colliery would be sited. It also continued to offer a highly visible landmark for all future busier through traffic. Entire design therefore looks, to all intents and purposes, ideally aimed to fulfil role of a fine Inn. But licensed trading isn't actually realised until after that new Huthwaite pit openly invited huge numbers of miners. That did prompt several more individuals to claim basic title of a beer house keeper or retailer, until local industrial breweries started branding the entire trade.
Mansfield Brewery became prestigious owners of this premises. Naming the Huthwaite White Hart simply chose one of England's most popular legendary pub signs found among most localities. Title isn't immediately recognised among Huthwaite census or trade directories, and there's no readily found record dating purchase or potential alterations. A rear view did however show a slightly different roof pitch angle. This can only suggest a large extension was added across the back to initially suit grander brewery designs fully accommodating future status serving as a roomier public Inn.
An 1888 marriage identified and likely dates John Ward-Ball and Lucy nee Robinson into becoming first known beer house keepers.
Past generations had referred to this pub by a distinguishable locally named Lawrence's. That very clearly stems from next long term keep under Joseph Lawrence. Born c1863 Madely, Shropshire, father William brought them to Skegby working as coal miners. His 1894 trade entry finally discovers White Hart naming. A Hucknall-under-Huthwaite 1901 census still simply titles Joseph keeping the Blackwell Road pub, although claiming what looks to read Owner & Attorney cannot yet be fully dismissed until historically asserting what still seems to be a brewery tenancy.
Listing a household that included two servants might raise further genealogy interests. Comparing previous and later census records discovers Skegby wife Annie is replaced by a recent second marriage to Elizabeth. Eldest son had been a bricklayer before continuing his fathers business from 1932 beer retailer addressing 43 Blackwell Road. William Oliver Lawrence is also next recognised keeping the 1941 White Swan pub.
Year 1941 rather mysteriously only acknowledges Dr Vance as a notable White Hart Inn resident. Running a Market Street surgery doesn't really share any vested interest managing the brewery Inn, where later arrival of another doctor is known similarly acquiring comfortably appointed lodgings. My father incidentally recalled 1959 nighttime urgency, having to knock awake Dr John Clitheroe in order to oversee my home birth. Elder generations furthermore recalled a time requiring a sick note signed off in the bar room.
Press reports identify some notable group activities. The Noble Pride Lodge held their 1907 dinner at the White Hart Inn, where Mr and Mrs Lawrence are last confirmed hosting a Nov 1933 annual dinner of the Huthwaite Horticultural Society, catering for about 70 members. Funeral attendance identifies Jan 1934 existence of the White Hart Women's Death and Dividing Club. Members of the White Hart Death and Dividing Society are furthermore represented in 1935. A smoking concert later that year in connection with the Hawarden Lodge of S.E.I. Druids discovers a similar scheme by presenting Bro. William Marriott of Teversal, with a £50 cheque as a compensation grant from the Society owing to his being unable to follow his employment. What a shame there's no illuminating transcript from Brother H Wilcox, Kirkby, giving his address on the work of this unusual and intriguingly titled society.
Proud to admit that openly showing off young cocks frequently featured my great grandfather William among top prize winners. It did involve select breeding, so the term bird fancier only adds obvious connotations. But of course, this all relates one seriously competitive sport involving pigeon racing. The White Hart became 1935 headquarters for the Huthwaite Homing Society, inviting a series of open shows starting off with 'young cocks' before arousing wider attention with further classifications including 'old hens'.
Guesstimating year when Keetley surname exchanged tenancy from previously running the Huthwaite Railway Inn, is based upon vague details given by their late son Terence. Despite this big leap forward in time, the original pub layout could not have changed much, when personally recalling Main Street entry into a corridor accessing at least three separate dark wood panelled rooms Rear right portion didn't appear to be entertaining much public use at time, filled by old chairs with cloak hangers all around the walls.
Whatever the date actually proves to be for Mansfield Brewery eventually affording a modernised open plan layout, that reopening will likely also acknowledge introduction of the Pegg family. Alan and Maisie managed to make the most of that major refurbishment, profiting from the enlarged best side offering a relatively comfortably furnished relaxed evening atmosphere. Louder left tap side activities encouraged darts and dominoes teams, raising what may arguably recognise this pubs peak popularity throughout the eighties. Offering sponsored headquarters for Huthwaite Football Club shows Alan sharing a 1987 place assisting Trev Wass's team in ultimately achieving their outstanding cup winning success.
Compelled into taking over the Mansfield New England pub left the White Hart with an uncertain future, as a widespread slump in trade effected nineties businesses. A long list of subsequent tenants included desperate attempts just trying to stop frequent closures, while a few did regain short term success.
The once familiar early morning sound of brewery barrels being delivered became less frequently heard in the noughties, while the occasional sound of wooden skittles played outdoors showed some attempt to encourage broader customer interests.
Constant streams of far heavier traffic made it difficult presenting comparable 2004 views of the premises on this busiest junction. White Hart window views saw out the Huthwaite colliery, plus a landscaped pit tip scarred by extending general waste tipping. Pedestrian safety especially for school children crossing afforded 2005 traffic lights, although they didn't stop vehicles crashing.
Capturing a garishly coloured 2004 interior recognises a few years bannered resurgence 'Under New Tenancy' of Mrs Sally Smith. Wood beamed ceiling disguised supporting girders needed for removing central corridor walls opening up the entire lounge room.
Erecting November 2005 scaffolding for repairs defied a normally busy Christmas period. January 2006 removal confirming reason for another 'Pub To Let' sign. Previous generations recalled removal of an old Main Street small butchers shop opening up rear car parking entry. Little used after realising dangers that enforced heavy penalties upon any drink drivers, the original Blackwell Road entry point was found blocked off to provide 2007 shelter. A national smoking ban added insult to injury among this dying trade.
Hanging sign had gone when March 2008 compares longest shown span of the entire frontage. Final inevitable closure predated February 2010 coldly displaying 'For Sale' truly marking end of at least a now known 118 years pub use. Planning permission for conversion into a shop with flats began materialising into 2011. A photo gallery covers fuller transformation then addressing 1 Main Street, NG17 2QW, exposing changes beyond 2016, after initial work eventually presented Nazrans Premier Convenience Store.