"There is no such thing as society." So said Margaret Thatcher. Except that she didn't. Not quite. What she did say was "...so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families..."
If there is no such thing as society there are certainly things called societies. Some of them are rather, err, niche in their interest. A short visit to t'interweb will throw up any number very quickly. There's the Pylon Appreciation Society for those who are titillated by those triangulated transmission towers,
...the Corrugated Iron Appreciation Society for those attracted to that architectural material of great versatility,
...the Gasholder Appreciation Society for those stimulated by these storage structures,
...the British Marine Life Study Society for those seduced by those salacious, sea slugs and similar...
...and the Inn Sign Society for those with an interest in the pictorial pointers of pubs, to name just five.
This graduate in marine biology, albeit one from almost half a century ago, is a member of one of the above and was off to its AGM, which was conveniently being held in Chesterfield of all places, attracted by the mere fourteen miles of travel and the bribe of a free buffet lunch.
Having arrived a little prematurely I had a short potter about in the June sunshine. OK, in reality, under the June cloud cover. I hadn't been to Chesterfield since before Covid hit and was wondering just what had changed. The new Saltergate multistorey car park had been finished and was open for one thing, and as I wandered along the thoroughfare from which it took its name I passed this building.
This image, taken a century and a bit earlier, shows that it was once the Yellow Lion and also that since it was taken it has had some architectural embellishment.
The embellishments include panels added above the first floor windows. The left-hand one depicts a lion...
...whilst the one on the right shows a flexed arm and hammer, the symbol of the town's former Brampton Brewery – which is not to be confused with the microbrewery which was established in the town in 2007 and goes by the same name.
Although there are buildings recorded in this area of Saltergate in earlier censuses, the first one which shows the presence of a boozer on this site is that of 1881...
...and the earliest record that I've found that mentions it by name is in the one which took place ten years later.
One time owner Brampton Brewery was acquired by Warwicks & Richardsons of Newark in 1955, who were themselves taken over by John Smith's seven years later and the pub continued to sell John Smith products until the end.
In the early 2000s this sign was removed...
...and the pub altered its name to the Local Heroes. An image of it during this stage of its life can be seen by clicking here, but this identity change was short-lived and by 2009 it was back as the Yellow Lion...
...with a more heraldic form of lion appearing on its sign.
However, a different sign hangs from the property now...
...for in 2013 it served its final pint of John Smith's and since then has been converted for retail use.
Chairman's report, Secretary's report, Treasurer's report,... AoB. AGM over. Fancy a pint? What about going to the Yellow Lion in Saltergate? Sorry, just like Margaret Thatcher's society, there's no such thing.
The images of the Yellow Lion's signs are courtesy of the Inn Sign Society.
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