The Primrose, Meanwood Road

Old, disused, forgotten and converted pubs
mark1978
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Postby mark1978 » Fri 29 Mar, 2013 6:19 pm

Long-time lurker here with belated first post. Hi there.Just wondered, can anyone tell me anything about the history of the Primrose?It's clearly been there on the corner of Meanwood Road and Buslingthorpe Lane for a very, very long time: on Leodis, there is a 1930s aerial view where it's visible, and it's shown on the 1890 and 1910 OS maps on the Tithe Maps site. (The actual 1847 tithe map and the 1850 map that's on old-maps are inconclusive - it looks like there's something there but hard to to say whether it's a pub or what).I suppose I'm just impressed by the place's uncanny ability to survive: most of the area around there that I guess it used to serve was flattened 40+ years ago, and it's just carried on regardless. It looked like the end was nigh 2/3 years ago when the long-standing landlords were forced out and the live music went with them, but somehow it's carried on in what must be a very tough climate. It's a shame (if understandable) that it doesn't benefit from the 3 huge student halls that are nearby - by rights the place should be a goldmine as a result, but I can see why it wouldn't be too attractive to your average 18-year-old from Surrey.So does anyone know how far back this place actually goes? It looks from a search on the Council planning archive that it used to be a John Smith's house until the '80s, but I've not found anything more revealing than that really.
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chemimike
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Postby chemimike » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 12:30 am

It is listed in Whites 1872 directory
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liits
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Postby liits » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 1:32 am

The Primrose, as it stands today, opened its doors on the 25th August 1887, the first licensee being Frederick Rainsford Dawson, who stayed for the next twenty years.A beer house, it replaced another premises of the same name of which Dawson was the last licensee.The original premises had been the part time business of Thomas Hepworth [b.1821 Altofts] who’s day job was Joiner / Carpenter. He obtained a Beer House license - 2 guinneas, sometime in 1860 as the premises appears as a Beer House in the 1861 White’s Directory but not the 1858 Directory. The exact date may never be known as Beer House licenses were not recorded formally until 1872.Thomas had previously had a Beer House, the Black Horse in Carr Square, Woodhouse Carr – basically, the same area [and if anybody can locate Carr Square, I’d be really grateful]. I wonder if he had set up the Black Horse to be in competition to the White Horse and if, in fact, the Black Horse was a previous name for the [original] premises of the Primrose Inn? It was, after all, only a few yards along Meanwood Road, but on the opposite side and the Licensing Register also gives the address of the original Primrose Inn as Woodhouse Carr.At the commencement of the 1872 [Beer House] Licensing Register, the licensee of the premises is Henry Mawson. The license reverts to Thomas Hepworth in July 1874 until December 1880 [in March 1876 he was convicted of permitting drunkenness on the premises and fined a fiver] .It may be at this point [1880] that he retires – although he didn’t move far away, only to Garden Cottage, just behind St Michael’s Church, Buslingthorpe Lane.He sells the freehold of the premises to Alfred Salt. Alfred, while he never became the licensee of the Primrose, had been the licensee [of the first incarnation of the] White House Inn, Dewsbury Road and later [the first incarnation of] the Fish Hut, Ellerby Lane.Alfred leases the premises to a succession of lessees until he sells out to Henry Mawson again, a previous licensee of the premises. Henry had left the premises in 1874 and gone to the Sheepscar Hotel, Sheepscar Street and, in 1879 on to the Chained Bull at Moortown. The date of the sale is unclear but it may have been around 1885 [by that time, Henry had left the Chained Bull [in 1883] moved to the North Tavern, North Street – which he subsequenty left in 1885].Henry, like Alfred Salt, does not take on the license, only the freehold, but lets the premises out to a succession of tenant / licensees.At some point, and again, I’m unsure of the date, the freehold is bought by Elza Dawson. Eliza’s husband, Frederick Rainsford Dawson had become the licensee [of the original premises] in March 1886 and remained so until March 1908 –he died in 1910.It is in March 1908 that Eliza leases the premises to John Smith’s. They then put in a succession of their own managers [three, actually]until 1946 when Eliza dies and John Smith's buy the freehold. [In 1917,Eliza had come into a bit of money in the will of Henry Mawson. I wonder how that came about!]. They then lease the premises to Emma Harker, the widow of their last manager, William Harker]In line with a revamp of the licensing laws - a gradual phasing out of Beer Houses by converting them to "full on" type licenses, the Primrose was granted a full Publicans license in March 1951, but it cost John Smith’s the princely sum of £800 to upgrade the Beer House License.Sorry if that was a bit of a ramble, but without being able to draw a “timeline”, it takes a while to explain!            
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tyke bhoy
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Postby tyke bhoy » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 11:32 am

To be fair Liits, unless I am misunderstanding your timeline, Eliza must already have had "some money" long before 1917 via the will of Mr Mawson.It reads like she bought the freehold sometime around 1886 when she can't have been much more than 30 and was probably less given she survived another 60 years. Alternatively did Eliza perhaps just obtain the freehold (gift?) given the transfer appears to be from someone who later bequeaths her part of his estate?
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chemimike
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Postby chemimike » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 1:44 pm

LiitsThe 1850 OS map shows that Carr Square comprised a lingth of what is now Meanwood Road below the junction with buslingthorpe lane, continuing at almost a right angle to the west . Maybe originally a square was planned but not completed.
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Steve Jones
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Postby Steve Jones » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 2:30 pm

The name of the pub might indicate that the original landlord was an admirer of Disraeli ,or a Conservative.Primrose became asociated with Conservatives as it was Disraeli's favourite flower.The Primrose League was set up in Victorian times to spread the idea of Conservatism.The name of the pub could indicate it was used as a meeting place for local Conservatives.
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mark1978
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Postby mark1978 » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 3:29 pm

Liits - blimey, I didn't expect such an informative reply and so quickly. Thanks.Chemimke - beat me to it there re Carr Square. On your map you've actually missed a third leg - it bends up on itself after the second bit, so it's actually more like Carr Triangle.On the map above and the Tithe map from around the same time, there's clearly a building on the spot where the Primmy now stands - the Black Horse perhaps? There's something written just above there on the 1850 map. Can anyone make it out?Steve - and to think I used to like the place!    
mark1978
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Postby mark1978 » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 3:39 pm

Wait a minute! Scratch that. Just spotted the Black Horse right at the very bottom of that 1850 map. So probably no Primrose pre-1860, unless someone was running a beer house on that site on the QT.

mark1978
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Postby mark1978 » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 3:54 pm

Going off on a bit of a tangent now, but the side of Carr Square where the Black Horse was later became Bulmer Street, which is the street in the background of this 1938 shot from Leodis, taken from Meanwood Road. From the map it looks like the Black Horse may have been part of the terrace you can see beyond the street lamp.
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liits
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Postby liits » Sat 30 Mar, 2013 9:28 pm

tyke bhoy wrote: To be fair Liits, unless I am misunderstanding your timeline, Eliza must already have had "some money" long before 1917 via the will of Mr Mawson.It reads like she bought the freehold sometime around 1886 when she can't have been much more than 30 and was probably less given she survived another 60 years. Alternatively did Eliza perhaps just obtain the freehold (gift?) given the transfer appears to be from someone who later bequeaths her part of his estate? True enough, she may have had money [I've not delved into her family history] or it may just that the husband put the freehold in her name - although I think this is less likely.





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