June. Flaming June. Or maybe not. Six degrees is hardly flaming in my book and I'm sure that the subject of Sir Frederic Leighton's 1895 painting wouldn't have been so delicately dressed or in such need of shade at six degrees.
OK, it might only have been six degrees, but then again it was only 4.30am. Just what was I doing up and about at such an ungodly hour that I'd know that the temperature was just six degrees? Well, Mrs Bygone Boozer had had to leave the house an hour earlier and seeing that I was still awake I thought that I'd take advantage of the fact and get out for an early morning ride.
June, flaming or otherwise, is the month when I used to ride the Taddington Circuit time trial. It used to be the highlight of my racing year in the UK. Quite how one can find riding twenty eight and a bit hilly Peak District miles as hard as possible to be enjoyable I don't know, but I did. The only course that I enjoyed riding more was the Formtoppen Hammerdal time trial down, and then back up, the Ammerån valley in Jämtland, Sweden. With no racing for me again this season, and with the Taddington event taking place next week, I thought that I'd ride the course at a more leisurely pace than usual.
Passing the former Piper's Inn on the old Ashbourne to Haddon Turnpike at around 25mph on my summer bike I was mighty glad that I plumped for full-fingered gloves and full length tights. I might well've been on my summer bike, but it was freezing! Once at the A6 I turned left and headed north and stopped briefly at the entrance to Haddon Hall to quickly grab a picture of the former Haddon Inn. I know nothing about this place other that in 1735 John Coates the elder is described as the innholder of Haddon Inn in the papers of the Barker family of Bakewell, whose members seemed inhabit a significant number of the halls and mansions of the area.
If I have the time and inclination at some point in the future I may dig a little deeper into this one, but I have a feeling that it became a bygone boozer quite some time ago. It'll remain in the pending tray for the moment.
Letting the first vehicle that I'd seen so far – a Royal Mail van – pass by I was soon on my way again, through Bakewell, passing the former Crown/Kings Arms and then the also lost Commercial/New Inn before climbing and then descending into Ashford in the Water.
Ashford has had a number of hostelries over the years including the still serving Bulls Head, the certainly closed Miners Arms as well as the Ashford Arms which seems to be somewhere in between having been long term closed, but Star Pubs apparently have plans for its refurbishment. In addition to these there was another.
This establishment, at Bridgefoot or Derby Gate, was originally called the Cock. According to Lillias Bendell, in 1820 a beerhouse at Ashford Bridge was licensed to one Thomas Platts. In 1861 another Thomas Platts would've been mine host.
It's quite likely that they were father and son, for in a later census I've found thatThomas is living with his father, also called Thomas.
In addition to his usual household, Thomas jr. also had a number of lodgers at the Cock. The vast majority of them were Irish railway excavators....
...but with the railway construction being completed in the 1860s they'd moved on by the time of the next head count, and so had Thomas. The Cock's landlord was now Francis Roe.
By the end of the nineteenth century the Cock had been acquired by Sheffield brewers Rawson & Co. whose founder Thomas Rawson, incidentally, had married one of the aforementioned Barkers from one of the aforementioned big houses of the area. It was renamed the Rawson's Arms Hotel and at some point was rebuilt. In 1911 it was occupied by Richard Skidmore and his family.
It was still operating in 1916, but by 1925 it had become a private residence, Rawson's House, occupied by horse slaughterer Joseph Johnson.
Over time, the building fell into a state of disrepair and was eventually demolished in the 1960s. A small copse now grows on the site where it once stood.
Leaving Ashford behind I continued on up through Taddington Dale, bypassing the village which gave it its name, and its three bygone boozers, and finally arrived at the Waterloo Inn. This was always a key point in my race for by this point I felt that the worst of the climbing was behind me.
Closing in the second half of last year and reputedly up for auction in December it's no longer on the market. Whether it's been sold or was withdrawn, whether it's going to reopen or not, I just don't know. It doesn't look very much like it's operating at the moment. At least it still has a sign attached to the building, even though there's not one here. It does provide a convenient bike prop though.
From here it across to Brierlow Bar, stopping only to put my chain back on after some over-zealous shifting to the big ring, and then south along the A515. It was interesting to see a sign at the Bull I' Th' Thorn. I haven't heard that it has reopened as a pub. It was a café on my last acquaintance. This is something that warrants further investigation, I feel.
A few more ups and downs and I was at Newhaven. Now it was just a whizz down (mainly!) the Via Gellia and I was home. Time for a shower, a coffee and a second breakfast before settling down at the keyboard. That task is over too, now.
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.