RETRO GALLERY: Sheffield pubs in the past

Chris and Pat Salisbury of the Yorkshireman's Arms, Sheffield - 1987
Chris and Pat Salisbury of the Yorkshireman's Arms, Sheffield - 1987
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Today’s Retro A to Z of jobs concentrates on publicans, who are heading for their busiest time of the year pulling pints.

The Old Queen’s Head on Pond Hill is said to be the oldest domestic building in the city.

John and Linda Hull of the Fox & Duck pub, Broomhill, Sheffield - 1987

John and Linda Hull of the Fox & Duck pub, Broomhill, Sheffield - 1987

The timber-framed building next to the bus station is thought to date from around 1475. However, it didn’t become a beerhouse until the 1840s and the name may only date back to the 1860s.

As part of the Earl of Shrewsbury’s estate, it may have been used as a banqueting hall for parties hunting wildfowl in the nearby ponds, formed in the area where the Porter Brook meets the River Sheaf.

They remain in local place names only, such as Ponds Forge.

Apparently the queen in the name is most likely to be Mary, Queen of Scots, famously imprisoned at Manor Lodge from 1570 to 1584.

Left to right - Licensee June Cottrell, Vaux Inns Managing Director, Russell Wides and Licensee Ken Cottrell of the Old Grindstone pub, Sheffield

Left to right - Licensee June Cottrell, Vaux Inns Managing Director, Russell Wides and Licensee Ken Cottrell of the Old Grindstone pub, Sheffield

According to the estimable Vin Malone. The Nailmakers on Backmoor Road has been a pub since the 1600s but was not brought into the Sheffield boundary until the 1960s. However, it’s undoubtedly the oldest pub in the city, says Vin.

The British pub may have its origins 2,000 years ago in Roman tabernae, that originally sold wine to the soldiers of the legions.

The word was adapted into tavern when they began to sell ale to the natives, originally made without hops.

Their popularity survived after the Romans left, so much so that one Anglo-Saxon king, Edgar, attempted to limit the number of alehouses in any village.

Mike Hensman, left, Chairman of Sheffield CAMRA, making the presentation of the Pub of the Year trophy to Ray and Chris Finlay of the Shakespeare, Gibraltar Street, Sheffield - 27th July 1983

Mike Hensman, left, Chairman of Sheffield CAMRA, making the presentation of the Pub of the Year trophy to Ray and Chris Finlay of the Shakespeare, Gibraltar Street, Sheffield - 27th July 1983

Many alehouses were set up in people’s homes, serving up home brew. Very often women were the brewers.

In medieval times, inns were the resting place of weary travellers, who could also enjoy a pint and a meal.

Later, they catered to the passengers of stagecoaches and were also where the horses were stabled.

By Victorian times, they were being built at or nearby the new railway stations.

Eventually, the alehouses, inns and taverns became known collectively as public houses, later shortened into pubs.

Brewing was also important for safety during times when the water wasn’t fit to drink.

Pub signs date from the times when many people were illiterate, which is why they have pictures on them.