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A Little Bit of Christmas.

Updated: Dec 25, 2023

Ever since I started writing this rubbish and some of you, at least, started reading it, there seems to have been a post with a little bit of a seasonal connection which has appeared around this time of year. Melbourne's King's Head, Bangor's King's Arms and Ripley's King William IV all made an appearance in We Three Kings; the Lord Nelson in Great Yarmouth featured in Midwinter Musings and the Fisherman's Arms, also lost from Great Yarmouth, starred in A Yuletide Tale. There should be links to these posts at the bottom of the page, and this year I offer another.

The germ for this offering started well over a year ago when Mrs Bygone Boozer and I were spending a week on the bikes back in Norfolk. A trip which resulted in this post featuring five forgotten watering holes. Whilst researching that post my attention wandered and one of the many rabbit holes that I disappeared into threw up this in a Kelly's directory.

Extract from Kelly's 1912 directory.

Could this name be real? If so, it could make a nice Christmas post. Well, in 1911, at the Anchor and Hope in Buxton with Lamas (sometimes just Buxton, sometime just Lamas and sometime Lammas) in north Norfolk, was to be found Mr Christmas Francis.

Entry in the 1911 census.

The Norfolk Pubs website tells us that Christmas was there from at least 1911 until 1927 and so was probably praying that the River Bure wouldn't rise any further during the floods of 1912.

The Anchor of Hope during the 1912 floods.

Running a pub was only a little bit of Christmas. Earlier census records show him as having been a brewery's carter – possibly how he found his way behind a bar – and before that a labourer.

The Anchor of Hope, a bit like Buxton, Buxton Lamars, Lammars and what have you, also seems to have had a morphing name. The aforementioned Norfolk Pubs site suggests that in the early licensing registers it is recorded as the Hope and Anchor, but in 1864, when in the care of Anthony Goodwin, it was simply the Anchor...

Extract from White's 1864 directory. 1879, when it was being run by Anthony's widow, it was the Anchor of Hope.

Extract from Kelly's 1879 directory.

It seems that the Goodwin family had run the place from at least 1845, when it was an unnamed beerhouse...

Extract from White's 1845 directory.

...until at least1891...

Extract from the 1891 census.

...and after Anthony's second wife Sarah had retired it was taken on by grandson, Arthur, although Sarah continued to live there.

Extract from the 1901 census.

Sarah died in 1905 and that may have been the catalyst for the Goodwin(s) family to move out to allow Christmas to eventually move in.

After Christmas's time the pub continued to operate as a Morgan's house until the brewery went into liquidation and was acquired by Bullard's and Steward & Patteson.

The Anchor and Hope in its Morgan's days in the 1930s.

Brewery takeovers meant that the Anchor and Hope became a Watney Mann house in 1967 who, as a result of the subsequent review of its estate, closed it in October 1969. It's now in residential use.

The former Anchor of Hope in August 2021. © Google 2023

August 2021. © Google 2023

© Google 2023

And with that, having had a little bit of Christmas, all that's left for me to do is wish you all the best for the midwinterfest.

If you've read this far, then thank you. Possibly, like me, you may have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. Clicking here will take you to a searchable/sortable index which you can use to see if I've already featured any lost locals from your locality. You can also subscribe to ensure that you don't miss any future posts. Simply click here to return to the home page (opens in a new tab), follow the 'Subscribe' link and complete the form to receive an email notification of any future post. Or you could simply follow the link at the top of this page.


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Another fascinating article and what a fantastic pub name! Coincidentally I was standing outside the Kings Head at Melbourne yesterday making a tiny video clip for a YouTube channel about Melbourne pubs for the book I co-authored on Melbourne's pubs. I guess you have a copy already:

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I bought two 😀. One went to Brian Evans on Ashby Road.

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