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Historic Huthwaite Pubs
White Swan (Yard)
Gate / Portland Arms
Shoulder of Mutton
Col Wildman / Peacock
Travellers Rest (Crown)
White Lion (Top End)
Railway / Woodend Inn
White Hart (Lawrences)
Miners Arms (Pit Row)
The Royal Oak (Yard)
New Hucknall Institute
Workpeoples Inn
Victoria Workmens Club
Market Inn (Clubby)
Huthwaite Portland Club
Huthwaite Billiard Hall
Huthwaite Leisure Centre
Tandoori Restaurant
Rani Indian Restaurant
Brierley Forest Golf Club
Dated Pub Closures

A Hucknall History

Pubs & Licensed Clubs

Workpeoples Inn

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Kath Wright was still running their adjacent Main Street butchers shop when her family album shared earliest sight of an originally owned Workpeoples Inn. Sited upon bottom of Station Road, end corner doorway thereafter held Chesterfield Road address.

Robert Wright fronts main entrance, with a Hussar emphasising sign above advertising 'Good Stabling' being Light Cavalryman John Gilbert Wright. Photo composition suggests a promotional event that likely marked recent if not actual undated opening.

Workmen in background were believed to have been involved in sinking the modern Huthwaite pit. Constructing a row of houses to help home a mass influx of New Hucknall Colliery coal miners recognises 1884 layout of Wrights Yard extending rearward.

Apt choice of Inn name clearly aimed to welcome their continual arrival, although a familiarly called 'Workies Pub' can probably be best dated just before an 1894 trade directory listed farmer Robert Wright also becoming a titled Workpeoples Inn publican.

The Workpeoples Inn

1894 Robert Wright
1900 George James Wright

Home Ales Brewery

1932 John Ball
1933 Mr & Mrs J Evason
1935 Mr & Mrs C Hassall
1941 George Shaw


It appears this large premises very typically conjoined former private farmland dwellings befitting wealthier landowner status. Good sized rooms amply accommodated other interests beyond most common pub uses, long after recognising influential family members among Hucknall Huthwaite.

Local beliefs long maintained idea this pub offered earliest classrooms before opening an 1868 village schoolhouse. It's now determined that far predates any alcoholic licensing, but this property had offered an upper club room and Mr Wright's interest afterwards nominated him school warden.

Hosting 1895 inquest determining accidental cause of death for collier Thomas Marshall can show how pubs generally catered for public meetings. This more obviously highlights stressful dangers of underground work, fuelling social acceptance why many miners were regular heavy drinkers.

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Oddity of not finding the Workpeoples Inn by name in 1900 listing was surprising. George Wright simply claims trade of beer retailer, which could either be a simple lack of historic detailing, or a distinct change in family interests because John Gilbert Wright adds newer trade of butcher. It all so far leads towards surmising this coincides with the brewery buyout much earlier than previously supposed.

Nottingham based Home Ales brewery competitively began to quickly take over several established licensed premises from around turn of that century. They then proved rather slow affording any brand inspiring makeovers, adding reason for a significant historic void regarding the eventual Workpeoples Inn transformation, before eventually identifying the breweries 1932 landlord John Ball.

Workpeoples Inn

Offering a known 1920s upper clubhouse room for continuous use by the Huthwaite Weightlifting and Boxing Club may be earliest indication when the brewery presented their familiar layout. Cladding old stonework facade modernised and fully unified this entire premises by also moving main entrance to front Main Street. A large open frontage - often simply recognising grander status when giving access to farmer outbuildings - would of course become advantageous through later years inviting pub car parking.

Press columns reveal commonest clubs and societies associated with public houses. Amalgamating the Workpeoples and Portland Flying Clubs into a 1932 Huthwaite Homing Society exhibits one popular and fiercely competitive sport involving pigeon fanciers. A 1933 wedding reception at the alternatively identified Workpeoples Hotel was in fact hosted by the brides own Evason parents.

Socialising with fellow workmates inevitably mourned losses through many pit accidents. Like all good pubs, they ran an insurance scheme with sobering necessity before any national benefits. The Workpeople's Ladies' Death and Disease Club paid tribute upon death through illness to one young Huthwaite man, which kind of reassures that custom didn't entirely comprise of male miners.

What set the Workies pub apart from other Huthwaite licensed premises was capacity to serve dinners and suppers for upwards 50 guests. This was particularly so through 1935, when reported annual club meetings and award presentations showed favourable use by some of the most influential Huthwaite businessmen and local councillors offering appreciative thanks to Host and Hostess Hassell. And the Wright surname can be found among those notably affluent customers, retaining links with the pub Robert started.

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Views covering each of the final three decades of the 20th century doesn't reveal much change, except necessity to remove past brewery name left bland signage devoid of any former grandeur. 02101801 Some internal changes were made, although removing need for a separate off license counter made that side door access redundant years before. Main door entry had thereafter led into a corridor serving any bar end off sales. Giving full access to both left bar room and a right pool room, the corridor itself gained favour among a few regulars creating a cosy little snug. The late eighties revamp will account for exposing full length of the modified bar serving a refurnished Free House, sadly for some, also opening out the corridor to offer widened access into both main rooms.

Fresh layout wasn't sufficient to rid wider renown still favouring younger drug users. Violent outbursts led to at least one serious car park stabbing. That was enough to put off many local folk vowing never to return.

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A decade afterwards presented well worn furniture for landlady Helen taking over quieter era. Here serving regular customers just before a temporary closure to start the most comfortable January 2003 revamp. The photo gallery covers February transformation.

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Tasteful exterior presentation intrigued some interest to invite visitors into making an internal inspection. An agreeably impressive fully open plan layout even managed to eventually coax back a few previously reluctant past patrons, especially after hosting a charitable June 2003 Funday behalf a new church hall. Full breakfast menus were made available utilising a fitted kitchen, assisted by husband and daughter plus staff. Live entertainment was even staged outside dated Sept 2005. Despite making every effort to build up and keep running their family business venture, the fast declining pub trade had become unprofitable for any tenants.

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Eventually, but inevitably sighting the closed premises shuttered up by October 2010, could only realise unhappy loss of one of the last few remaining Huthwaite pubs. The fact it was a centrally located large plot in prominent view on a busy crossroad, soon enticed another business interest when large chain stores were actually taking common advantage of this widespread situation.

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After spanning at least a known 116 years licensed service, alcoholic off license sales were quickly restored through a very quick conversion presenting the opening of a 2011 Tesco Express store, more fully featured in another photo gallery album.

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22 Jul 19     by Gary Elliott       Updated 25 Jul 19