By Brian Stott
My recent article about some of the now forgotten pubs of Skipton sparked a considerable amount of interest amongst followers of The Skipton Press. So I have been digging around in my memory bank and come up with some more nostalgia for the “locals” of our town.
On Water Street at its junction with Coach Street most people will remember this one. It became a Chinese restaurant around five or six years ago now. The restaurant has now closed and it is only a takeaway outlet now.
This is The Commercial in 2007
The Chinese Restaurant looks exactly the same as the pub
The Joiners Arms
In my recent article on The Skipton Press in which I included a poem about many of the old pubs of Skipton (if you haven’t seen it it is still available on The Skipton Press so have a look for it) I said that although The Joiners Arms was quoted I didn’t know where it was. I have now discovered it was just around the corner from The Commercial in the buildings which were demolished to make way for the homes known as St Stephen’s Close. This was Upper Commercial Street (and Lower Commercial Street was where the car park across from The Commercial is now). The Joiners Arms was the fourth property up on the right-hand side walking upwards from Water Street. There was also a pub on the other side of the street call The Oddfellows Arms but I don’t have a photo of this yet
This is The Joiners Arms on Skipton Gala Day in 1914 just before the First World War.
This is the Allotment Gardener’s Association float.
Pictured above Upper Commercial Street was demolished in 1964. I was seven years old then and can just remember it. This photograph shows The Commercial Inn was actually joined on to the street but survived the demolition gang. It sold Massey’s Beers which came over the border from Burnley in Lancashire!! Here is a link to a BBC page about them
The Rose and Crown
On Coach Street still a pub today but now reinvented in 2014 as The Yorkshire Rose.
It was a Tetley’s Ales Pub for many years.
Here it is in 2007 and then in its new identity.
The Midland Hotel
Another of our pubs that has had a change of identity.
There were Midland Hotels all over Yorkshire as they were built to accompany the arrival of The Midland Railway in the towns the railway was reaching. Skipton Station opened in 1847 and the hotel would have been built around then. In the photo Dewhurst’s Mill and the now-demolished mill chimney are looming over the pub.
When I was young the Skipton Auction mart for cattle and sheep was just across the road. Regular sales of the animals took place each Monday and Wednesday. Older drinkers will recall that pubs pre 24 hour licences had to close in an afternoon from 3pm to 5.30 but to allow farmers and stockmen to quench their thirsts pubs in Skipton were allowed to open during the afternoon on auction days. Hence the term in Skipton of “Farmers’ Mondays” when all day drinking took place. The Midland being the nearest pub to the auction Mart was the one that benefitted most however pubs in the town centre could open too.
This is the building as it is now.
The New Ship
My previous walk down memory lane to visit the pubs of Skipton had a lot of readers commenting that their favourite pub was The New Ship.
This was a Tetley’s Pub and was where David Hill’s Estate agents is now right across the road from Stanforth’s Pie Shop. Interesting that it was now more than 20 yards from The Royal Oak and The Castle (which was a Tetley Pub too)
This photograph of The New Ship is in 1972. The people in the photo are a Civil War Re-enactment group who were in town. Skipton Castle was a Royalist stronghold besieged by Cromwell’s Roundheads in the English Civil War. A three year siege took place before they finally surrendered in 1645. No doubt they were re-enacting part of this and working up a thirst for the Tetley’s.
The pub closed shortly after this photo was taken around 1975.
This is the view of the area today.
I hope you have enjoyed this second look at our Pub Past. There are still lots more to look at so keep an eye out for more updates on The Skipton Press.