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This One Did Meet its Waterloo. #2

Updated: Mar 27

In the post which featured the General Wyndham I explained that that post had resulted from some research that I had been doing for one about the Waterloo Inn at Taddington. This is that post, and it's been quite a while in the making.

Way back in June last year I had an early morning ride around my favourite time trial course in lieu of competing in it. That resulted in this post on the Rawson's Arms in Ashford-in-the-Water. In so doing I passed the Waterloo in Taddington. When racing, my arrival at this point always suggested to me that the race was almost over, that the hard stuff was behind me. However, if we look at the course profile we can see that that was by no means the case.

The course profile showing the Waterloo's location.

With barely a third of the distance covered, and with just as much total climbing to come, reaching the Waterloo was much more of a psychological boost than an indication that my efforts would soon be over.

Waterloo Inn Taddington
That's it! Race over!

It wasn't even 7a.m. that Saturday morning so there were no punters' cars in the car park and even if it were 7p.m. the car park would still have been empty, for the pub had closed.

No sign at Waterloo inn taddington
A sign of the times.

I remember it as a Robinson's boozer, but they divested themselves of the place in 2017 and the Waterloo became a Free House, as evidenced by a sign which was still hanging from the front wall.

Sign Waterloo Taddington
From a Robinson's house, to Free House, now a closed house.

The road I'd pedalled from Ashford, apart form the short length of dual carriageway built to bypass Taddington village, follows the turnpike road to Buxton which was approved by Act of Parliament in 1810. It obviously took a year or so to construct but had been finished by 1817 as John Farey indicates so in his book, General View of the Agriculture and Minerals of Derbyshire, which was published in that year.

Wellington sorted out Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815 and the road had been completed by 1817, so when did the inn first make an appearance? With its name and its position alongside a newly completed road it feels as if it ought to date from the same time but the earliest reference to it that I've been able to find so far is from the 1840s. There's no mention of it in earlier directories, not even in Glover's from 1829 which manages to list all of the others in the village, so I'm assuming that it was built a bit later.

The Waterloo Inn was marked on the Ordnance Survey's first one-inch map of 1842...

...and I'm assuming that its occupier at the time was Anthony Mason as he is shown to be a publican in the previous year's census...

Extract from the 1841 census.

...and whilst the pub wasn't named in the census return, the Post Office directory of 1849 does show him to be at the Waterloo.

Extract from the 1849 Post Office directory.

Unlike a lot of inns of this nature, which passed through the hands of a number of generations of the same family, the Waterloo seemed to change hands quite regularly. Each decade's census and each new directory seems to throw up a new surname. One of those which is a little different from the rest is Kohli.

Extract from Kelly's 1925 directory.

Eugene Köhli – yes, that's how Eugene spelt his name, with an umlaut – came from Neuchâtel in Switzerland and had run hotels in Ireland, as well as Buxton's now demolished Shakespeare Hotel, before finding himself in Taddington in the mid 1920s .

Waterloo taddington
The Waterloo Hotel as it looked in Eugene Köhli's time, with petol pump, c1920s.

Waterloo taddington
The Waterloo, as it looked in June 2023, looking from the north.

In 1939, John and Gertrude Paulger were mine hosts and the pub's appearance seems to be little changed...

Waterloo Taddington
The hunt at the Waterloo in 1939.

...but today its exterior has lost its blocky look.

Waterloo inn taddington
No horses or beagles and no beer, in 2023

Quite when this happened I'm not sure, but I do have a clue. This postcard depicts the pub in its original clothes...

...and 16th April 1995 was PhONEday, when the digit '1' was added to all of the UK's STD codes. The significance of this little piece of trivia becomes clear when we see the postcard's reverse.

Both telephone numbers have the additional '1', so the card must've been produced since 1995. That doesn't necessarily mean that the images on it weren't taken earlier, but it does give us an indication of when Margaret and Norman Whitelaw were in residence.

The last occupants whilst it was owned by Robinson were Mark 'Corky' Ryan and his wife Tina who arrived there in 2013 and remained to take on the place when the brewery decided to offload it four years later. They developed it as a popular music venue, but possibly it wasn't popular enough for the pub closed in the late summer/autumn of 2022 and was for sale by auction at the end of the year. If you wish to have a look around the interior, at the time of writing the details are still visible by clicking here. Whether or not a sale went through I don't know, but it looks very much as if this pub has met its Waterloo. Much as my racing has!

The Ordnance Survey First Series map extract is copyright Great Britain Historical GIS Project/University of Portsmouth and is reused under this 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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I don't think 'Corky' and wife arrived (will arrive?) in 2103, not unless they have a Tardis!

As an aside, The Waterloo was the venue for a motorcycle rally around 2010 called The Pheasant Plucker rally. A friend of mine used to go to it.

A pub I missed sampling unfortunately.

Tim in Belper

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Why is it that no matter how many times that I read through something there'll always be an error in it somewhere? 😀

I never made it in either. Must try harder with some of the others that are still on my list and still serving.

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