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Rue Britannia!

In my last post I promised that the next post would be a return to a bygone boozer. A bygone, British boozer. Now, what could be more British than Britannia?

Britannia Inn, Kegworth. January 2009. © 2019 Google

The Britannia Inn in Kegworth stood at 37 London Road, almost opposite the junction with Whatton Road. I used to pass it regularly in the early 1980s when I lived in Derby and the good lady was in Essex and, later, Cambridgeshire. Those were the days of the 'all the sixes' drive - A6, A6006 and then the A606 before hitting the A1. Quite a few Friday evenings and Monday mornings saw me passing this bygone boozer, accompanied by the sweet, smooth sound of the straight-six under the bonnet of my Triumph 2.5PI. Like a sewing machine according to my boss of the time. Later that sweet, smooth sound was replaced by the gentle pop, pop, pop of the two cylinders of a Citroën or even the death rattle from my 1966 diesel Land Rover. That's when it could be bothered to start for me.

Anyhow, I digress.

The 1849 Post Office Directory has John Haywood as a beer retailer on London Road and later censuses give him at the Britannia Inn. The business remains with his family after his death, firstly in the hands of his widow, Sarah, and then with their daughter, also called Sarah, and finally with her sister Betsy.

When the Haywoods relinquished their hold on the place, in around 1910, it was run by John (Jack) Newham through until the early 1940s. It was during his tenure that the original building was demolished and the current structure built on the same site, the new pub opening in the 1930s. Originally offering wares from Sydney Well's brewery in the village it later sold Worthington and then Bass brews as merger followed takeover. When it closed its doors in 2011 it was dispensing Hardy & Hanson's Kimberley Ale.

After its closure it was converted into residential use and is now called Britannia House. According to Ian Calderwood, whose 2015 photograph is below, the original planning application for the conversion said, "... to form two residential units in multiple occupation along with the erection of a new building in the car park to form two residential units in multiple occupation".

The former Britannia Inn, Kegworth in September 2015.

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