Retro: Sheffield pub crawl along old West Street

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Dus Tha Fancy a Pint: on West Street

“Weer’s tha been, as been stood here for yonks, nah thart ere weer off to crawl up West Street.”

Retro Dus Tha Fancy a Pint? feature on West Street: The Wharncliffe Arms

Retro Dus Tha Fancy a Pint? feature on West Street: The Wharncliffe Arms

The following drinking places start off at the junction of Holly Street with West Street, first one we see is on the right hand side of the beginning of West Street and it’s the Wharncliffe Arms named after the Earls of Wharncliffe. It opened in 1787 and I don’t know when it closed unfortunately but it was originally called The Manchester.

The Wharncliffe Arms can just be seen on the left of the picture.

The next one we see is on the left is The Pheasant, opened in the early 1800s it closed in 1893. I can’t find a photo of this, more’s the pity. Take note of the closing year of some of the pubs, the explanation will be at the end of our saunter.

Just further on, still on the left, just past Backfields stood the Odd Fellows Rest. This pub was built in 1835 and was closed and demolished in 1893.

Its name came from 18th-century England – it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and of pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. Those who belonged to such an organization were called Odd Fellows.

Staying on the left, as we leave the Odd Fellows Rest just a few yards further on before Carver Street we come upon the Old Raven, opened in 1854 and closed in 1903.

Here we cross the West Street to The Royal, it’s nearly opposite the Odd Fellows. This old pub was opened in 1833 and closed in 1893.

Having tasted the amber nectar in The Royal, we keep on the right and the next one we see is The Saddle, opened in 1825 and finally closed in 1992 after being refurbished to a terrible state.

For our next pub we cross over West Street to the left-hand side and just past Rockingham Lane stands The Salutation, which opened in 1852 and closed its doors in 1893.

Its name derives from the old English word for the Annunciation and represents the Archangel Gabriel saluting the blessed Virgin with the words “Ave Maria”.

We now cross over the street again taking care to avoid the numerous plies of “Horse Apples” that cover the length of the street, the next watering hole is the West Street Vaults, opened in 1852, it closed in 1893.

A few staggered steps further on, we find the Barton Vaults, sometimes called the Dream Shop. This pub was opened in 1879 and closed in the 1900s.

Just further on, crossing Rockingham Street, keeping on the right-hand side, we come upon the West Street Hotel.

This pub was opened in 1852 and looks totally different today to when it first opened. It’s much bigger today, as the photo shows. This pub also was known as the Bull & Bush and it’s still open today.

This saw maker’s shop became part of the West Street Hotel in the 1890s and you can just see the doorway of the hotel on the left.

As we leave the West Street Hotel we turn right and walk to the Rising Sun. This pub was opened in 1849 and ceased trading in 1903.

It stood roughly where the tram stop now sits. If you look just across the street, just to your right is Westfield Terrace.

We continue up West Street, keeping on the right, and eventually we find the Hallamshire Hotel. This stands just opposite Eldon Street.

This pub was opened in 1859 and it’s still open but it’s a restaurant, a sad end to a good pub.

The picture shows the Hallamshire Hotel circa 1890. It proudly boasts ‘Foreign Wines’ and it looks far different to what we see today.

We leave the Hallamshire and cross over onto the left-hand side and just past Broomhall Street we enter the Royal Mail. This pub was opened in 1828 and closed in 1893.

Just a few yards further on we come to the Mail Coach. This pub was opened in 1800, it’s still open but under another new name, The Wick At Both Ends – what’s that all about?

It was named the Mail Coach because that was the only mode of transport that took mail and passengers around the country. The sooner it reverts to its original name the better.

I used to enjoy a pint in here with a pickled egg. They were displayed in a large jar at the back of the bar.

Finally we cross the road again, but without caring about the ‘apples’ in the road, and we see our last port of call, the Beehive Hotel.

The image of a beehive can be seen on the name board. If you go past today you can just see the name that was painted on the brickwork above the pub.

Now this pub is one of the oldest on West Street, along with the Wharncliffe Arms. It gives 1825 as its opening year and it was built by a shoemaker named Robert Rose.

He kept beehives in an adjoining garden which suggested the sign of the public house when he later obtained a licence. In those days it was a country inn with very few houses beyond it.

What is now Glossop Road was merely a footpath running between gardens. Hanover Street was a narrow country lane with fields on both sides, while Broomhall Street, then Black Lambs Lane, and Convent Walk were both pleasant rural lanes flanked by fields and gardens.

In 1817 the Town Trustees agreed to lend money towards the making of a turnpike road from Glossop to Sheffield, “providing the said road enters the town through West Street”.

As the Beehive was built earlier than Glossop Road, we can fix the date of its erection somewhere in the opening years of the 19th century. This old pub also suffered the stupid name syndrome but thankfully it’s back to its given name.

All the pub names relate to something – they honour the dead, the living, animals, royal connections etc. They are a reminder of our past.

The reason 1893 keeps appearing as a closing year of five of the pubs was because of a road-widening scheme, mainly because horse-drawn trams had great difficulty in passing each other.

n If anyone has any pictures or postcards of the old pubs of Sheffield, I would love to see them by e-mail or post. Any sent by post would be returned.