New book 'The Lost Liquor Licences of Longton' recalls glory days of pub trade
AUTHOR Alan Mansell has raised a glass to some of the region's forgotten pubs in his latest book.
The Lost Liquor Licences of Longton features more than 230 boozers which operated in the town and surrounding area from the 19th century.
While some of the venues are still running, others have been demolished or transformed into businesses or houses.
The grandfather-of-three began his research by using ordinance survey maps from 1856 and 1878 which detailed where the pubs were based.
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Alan, aged 71, of Park Hall, said: "I had started doing some research on the original Longton Cottage Hospital looking at the period between 1868 and 1890. A friend gave me a collection of computer discs which had census files from that time and I came across old street names and pub names so decided to work on that."
The book – which costs £19.95 – contains information about pubs from areas including Adderley Green, Dresden, Blurton, Lightwood, Meir and Weston Coyney, which were all part of the district of Longton.
Photographs of the pubs along with past owners are detailed from the Victorian era to the present day.
Alan said: "I also used to work in Longton during the 1960s so I know the area well and combining that with the maps I was able to track them down.
"My intention was to restrict myself to pubs of the Victorian period but I discovered there was continuity though to present day with some of the oldest buildings, so I decided to include all of them."
The large number of venues included in the book suggest the pub trade was in its heyday from the Victorian era but Alan's research revealed it was just as tough then as it is now.
He said: "It was still hard to make a living from pubs in the 1800s. There were some on Uttoxeter Road where there would be a new licensee every 12 months. Looking at the censuses most of them would have another occupation."
But some pubs did thrive during a time where ale houses acted as meeting places which supplied drink free from illness. "At one time there were very high levels of diphtheria in the area and the only thing really safe to drink was beer, wine or spirits," said Alan.
"In the last 50 years we have lost a hell of a lot of pubs and hopefully this book will bring back some happy memories."
Copies of the book have already started to sell with pub fans snapping them up.
Retired funeral director Jim Goodwin's grandmother Eliza Hibbert ran Uncle Tom's Cabin in Normacot Road during the 1930s. The 74-year-old from Blythe Bridge said: "I think it's a smashing book and it's nice to see all these pubs from the past. It is sad to see some have now been demolished."
Nick Williams, aged 65, of Stone, grew up in Longton.
The retired plumber said: "I used to work for a company called Battasson Bridgett on Clayton Street and we did a lot of work on pubs, so it has been really good to see the pictures.
"Most of the pubs have gone now but at one time it seemed there was a pub on every corner."
The book is available at Bevan's Music on The Strand, Longton.