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Hen and Chickens, 1-2 Butts Lane

Alternative Addresses:Butts, Hertford Terrace, Summerland Place
These premises have been known by different names during their history:FROMTONAME
18351993HEN AND CHICKENS
19932001FOWL AND FIRKIN
2001presentAARDVARK
Hen Chickens In slang 'chickens' were small pewter pots mixed with larger pots (known as 'hens') and this looks a tempting source for the pub names. Before the seventeenth century however, a hen and chickens were symbolic in Christian art of God's providence and that is probably the original reason for their use in street signs of various kinds, including taverns. In the seventeenth century the expression was also used to describe the pleiads, the group of stars in the constellation taurus. However, the most likely explanation in this case is from the first licensees occupation as a farmer. In 1862 we have a record of a meeting taking place at the Hen and Chickens. In 1898 there is the report of the sudden death of W. J. Podbury, the Hen and Chickens landlord and long time harrier after a twenty four hour illness. 'The sudden nature of his decease will come as a shock to the athletes of the Midlands (Times Nov 16th)'. In 1982 Ansells spent £20,000 on renovating the lounge. In 1994 it became the FOWL AND FIRKIN, one of David Bruce's Firkin chain of pubs and a brewery was installed.

LICENSEES:

1835 - 1861 Joseph Ward victualler, maltster and farming 50 - 60 acres of land 1868 Mrs Martha Ward 1871 - 1874 George Hollock 1879 - 1891 William Podbury 1893 Walter Podbury 1894 - 1896 Susan Podbury (1898 Walter Podbury dies) 1903 - 1906 Mrs M. E. Whittem 1909 Walter Mason 1911 - 1912 Mrs Marsh 1912 - 1913 Mrs Mason 1919 - 1927 Alfred James Tilt 1929 M. W. Blackford 1931 - 1932 W. S. Rose 1933 - 1938 W. H. Powell 1939 - 1940 C. H. Phillips 1960 R. Weston 1982 - 1985 Mick Anthill
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