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A Short Easter Offering.

At Christmas I posted about the Anchor of Hope in Buxton Lamas and its landlord Christmas Francis. Today, being Easter Sunday, here's an offering in a similar vein.

Time flies by, doesn't it? On Friday I'd totally forgotten that it was Easter weekend and

instead of going to shout constructive abuse at my clubmates riding the Buxton Mountain Time Trial I was visiting Great Yarmouth. Not an actual visit, you understand. I haven't found the excuse to return since my father died, which is nearly ten years ago now. As I said, how time flies! No, I was having a virtual visit, courtesy of Mr. Google, to see how things may have changed. I plonked the little yellow man down on Hall Quay and began my travels.

The Grade II* listed Town Hall, which was designed in Queen Anne Revival style by John Bond Pearce and opened in 1882, replaced a Georgian predecessor which had essentially stood on the same site.

Great Yarmouth's Victorian Town Hall in August 2022. © Google 2024

The Town Hall is not the only listed building in the vicinity. If we continue on, keeping it to our right as we pass The Money Shop, we enter Hall Plain...

Town Hall Tavern on Hall Plain Great Yarmouth
Entering Hall Plain, between The Money Shop and the Town Hall, in August 2022. © Google 2024

...where number twenty-nine, currently occupied by M&K Personnel/Healthcare, pulls rank on its much larger neighbour on account of being both early eighteenth century and classified as Grade II. Next door to it, separated from it by Row 70, used to be the Town Hall Tavern.

Town Hall Tavern Great Yarmouth
The former Town Hall Tavern to the left of Row 70. with number 29 to the right, in 2019. © Google 2024

If number twenty-nine is early eighteenth century, when did the Town Hall Tavern appear? Probably a while after the building which used to house it. It's marked simply as the Hall Tavern on the Ordnance Survey's Town Plan which was published in 1885 and it's interesting to note that the home of The Money Shop did used to be a proper bank.

The plan is based on a survey which was carried out two years earlier but it seems that the pub first made its appearance around a quarter of a century before that. Craven's directory of 1856, which looks as if it lists even the smallest pubs of the day, has no mention of it but by 1861 it does exists, with William Easter in residence.

Extract from the 1861 census.

William was short, only about four feet eight inches tall, and when he died in 1867 his widow Sarah rested his coffin on the pub's window cill for a week. Really? No, of course not, but I just wanted to get some reference to a short Easter in somehow. Whatever William's stature, one thing that Sarah did do was to continue to run the pub, and she got her name into the 1869 Post Office directory.

Extract from the 1869 Post Office directory.

Sarah was still there a decade later, with her son, James, residing not a million miles away in Row 74...

Extract from Kelly's 1879 directory.

...and after She retired, son James took over.

Extract from Kelly's 1888 directory.

By 1901 the Easter family's association with the pub had ended...

Extract from the 1901 census.

...but even if William did happen to have been short the Easters' overall tenure of the pub wasn't. With around three decades in the Town Hall Tavern it well exceeds that of any others.

The pub itself wasn't overly long-lived. In 1927 it was referred for closure and compensation under the Licensing (Consolidation) Act 1910 and its licence expired on 25th October that year.

So there you have it, a short Easter offering. No interminably long list of document extracts in this one. Just the five this time. Enjoy, and make the most of, your hollow chocolate ovoids today, for I understand that bad weather and crop disease in the cocoa plants in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana mean that we could well be short of these Easter offerings next year. Perhaps it might be worth buying some heavily discounted ones net week and freezing them, just in case.

The Ordnance Survey map extract is copyright and has been reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland under the terms of this CC BY licence.

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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