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great western Inn / hotel

46-7 Camborne Grove

 

A very late 19th century public house, shown pink on the map at right based on the 1901 Ordnance Survey map, clearly built to serve travellers using Pen Mill railway station (better thirty years late than never I suppose) and the local domestic market of Camborne Grove, Camborne Place and Camborne Street.

It was, for its first year or so, known as the Camborne Inn.



 


The first recorded licensee was Nun Watts who was born in 1851 at Holcombe, near Midsomer Norton, Somerset. He was the son of carter Simon William Watts and his wife, Martha née Clarke. In the 1860's the family lived at Kilmersdon, Somerset, but by 1871 Nun, aged 19 and unmarried, was lodging in Holcome, Somerset and was working as a coalminer in the nearby Shepton Mallet coalfields. In 1877 Nun married Sarah Padfield of Holcombe, in the Register Office at Bath, Somerset. By the time of the 1881 census Nun and Sarah, aged 29 and 28 respectively, were living at 4 North Coker Cross in East Coker, three miles southwest of Yeovil, where Nun was employed as a police constable. The situation hadn't changed by 1891 except that they had a 13-year old live-in general domestic servant called Martha.

As an ex-police officer Nun should have known better, since the Western Gazette reported on 7 August 1896 "Nun Watts was summoned for selling beer on the premises at a house having an off-license in Camborne Grove, Yeovil." It appears that Nun was running a shop in the house next door to what is now the Great Western Inn despite the entry of 1897 in Kelly's Directory naming the inn and Nun as its keeper. In any event the report continued "Frank Morrell, Excise officer, said he went to the defendant's shop on 8 July and asked his wife for a pint of beer., which she supplied to him in a pewter pot. He drank the beer out of a glass handed to him in the shop, where he stayed about a quarter of an hour. In cross-examination he said there were 20 or 30 sailors and Marines in the shop at the time. They were drinking 'shandy gaff'." The Bench inflicted a fine of £2 and costs.

In the 1901 census Nun was listed as a beer seller and grocer and he and Sarah were living at the Great Western Hotel with niece Eliza Carter and a servant. The advertisement above left is from the Western Gazette Almanac of 1899. Sarah died in March 1907 and by 1911 Nun Watts was in residence next door at 49 Camborne Grove, listed as a widowed Retired Policemen. He remarried in 1919 at the age of 67 and died in 1929.

Edgar Payne was born about 1865 at Barton in the Clay, Bedfordshire, the son of agricultural labourer George Payne and Sarah née Young, his wife. By 1881 Edgar was an agricultural labourer living with his parents and five younger siblings in Barton le Clay. In 1895 he married Martha and then I lost track of him in the records. He and Martha were next found in the 1911 census at which time he was 46, she was 47 and they had been married for 16 years but had no children. They were living at the Great Western Inn where Edgar was listed as the innkeeper.

At left is an undated, but probably early 20th century, public house 'check' or trade token issued at the Great Western Hotel. It is made of brass, is 26.2mm in diameter and has a milled edge. The reverse is plain but on the obverse it says "G.W. HOTEL" and its value - 3d.


At this time three old pence could buy you a pint of beer. Checks were frequently used in games, such as skittles or quoits where, for instance, players would 'chip in' a check to the 'kitty' which would be won by the winning team to redeem at the bar. By issuing checks a landlord could guarantee they would be spent in his establishment only.

 

gallery

 


Courtesy of Chris Rendell

The Great Western photographed in 1990.

 


From my collection

Carol and Clive Warren, who had previously run the Conservative Club, took over the Great Western. Photograph from the Visitor, November 1990.

 


From my collection

Carol and Clive's advertisement for the Great Western in the same edition of the Visitor.

 

The Great Western Hotel photographed in 2012. New owners in 2013 and now open from 12 noon Thursdays to Sundays. Good range of well-kept ales and most excellent pub grub at very reasonable prices - well worth a visit!!! Also, check out the photos on the walls, especially in the skittle alley if you are a train buff.

 

The front bar looking towards the station. Photographed 2013.

 

Looking across to the pool table. Photographed 2013.

 

The bar area. Photographed 2013.

 

licensees

 

1897 – Nun Watts – Beer Retailer & Shopkeeper (Kelly’s 1897 Directory) as Great Western Inn
1898 – Nun Watts (Whitby's 1898 Yeovil Almanack Advertiser) listed as Camborne Inn
1898 – Nun Watts (Collins 1898 Directory) listed as Camborne Inn
1901 – Nun Watts – Beer Seller and Grocer (1901 census) listed as Great Western Hotel.
1911 – Edgar Payne (Whitby's 1911 Yeovil Almanack Advertiser)
1914 – Edgar Payne – Beer Retailer (Kelly’s 1914 Directory) pub not named
1913 – License transfer from Edgar Pane to William Bull of Taunton (Petty Sessions)
1915 – William Bull (Whitby's 1915 Yeovil Almanack Advertiser)
1916 – William Bull (Whitby's 1916 Yeovil Almanack Advertiser)
1923 – Frederick Witts – Beer Retailer (Kelly’s 1923 Directory) pub not named
1923 – Frederick Witts – Beer Retailer (Kelly’s 1923 Directory) pub not named
1935 – Alfred John Hallett (1935 Yeovil Directory - Beer Retailers)
1938 – AJ Hallett (1938 Yeovil Directory) listed as Great Western Inn
1939 – Alfred Hallett (Kelly’s 1939 Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1947 – Licensee not named (1947 Yeovil Directory) listed as Great Western Inn
1949 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1949 Directory) listed as Great Western Inn
1951 – WJ Ricketts (1951 Yeovil Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1954 – WJ Ricketts (1954 Yeovil Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1957 – Mrs ME Ricketts (1957 Yeovil Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1960 – T Whittle (1960 Yeovil Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1965 – Licensee not named (1965 Yeovil Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1968 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1968 Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1969 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1969 Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1970 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1970 Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1971 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1971 Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1972 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1972 Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1973 – Licensee not named (Kelly’s 1973 Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1974 – Licensee not named (1974 Yeovil Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1987 – Licensee not named (Denton’s 1987 Directory) listed as Great Western Hotel
1990 – Carol and Clive Warren  (Advertisement)