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Royal Oak, 32 Earlsdon Street

Alternative Addresses:Moor Street
Royal Oak Earlsdon This name is second in popularity to the Red Lion. Following the defeat of the Battle of Worcester in 1651, Charles II, together with his aide, Colonel Carless, hid from noon till dusk in the Boscobel Oak near Shifnal, Shropshire, in order to escape from the Roundhead soldiers pursuing them. After the restoration it was declared that May 29th, Charles II's birthday, should be celebrated as Royal Oak Day, an act of thanksgiving. The popularity of the pub sign may be attributed to genuine rejoicing that the monarchy had been restored but it also comments on the appeal of exciting incidents. It may also refer to one of the many ships that bore this name. Opened in 1859 by John Sabin, a young man who came from a family of publicans, he was already familiar with the pub business but unfortunately he didn't live long enough either to enjoy it or to make a go of it; he died at the early age of 31, leaving behind a young widow, Sarah. Moving in to help her run the pub, young Richard Welton was obviously on to a good thing and after a short delay for decency's sake the couple were married and Richard took over the license, which he held until his death. Beer was not the only commodity to be sold at the Oak at this time. Richard was also a butcher, killing beasts in a slaughterhouse at the back of the pub and selling the meat over the bar. In 1879 it had a beerhouse license. Outliving Sarah by 7 years, Richard died in 1895 and the Oak then became the property of Northampton Brewery with William Mayo, a young Earlsdon lad born in Arden Street, as licensee. However, two years later it was taken over by Robinson's Brewery, Burton on Trent, in 1897, and again by Ind Coope in 1929, with Mayo still in charge. Over his 35 years at the Oak, his sturdy figure became a familiar sight to every Earlsdon resident. Royal Oak Earlsdon 2 He was followed for a short period by JF Taylor, whose successor, Leonard Lawless, was again to serve the Oak for over 30 years. He became just as familiar as Mayo to every Earlsdonite as was his daughter's piano playing audible to and enjoyed by passers-by as she practised in an upstairs room. In the 1950s Harry Lawless took over the tenancy from his father and over the years put together an interesting collection of memorabilia and many items were gifts from customers. There were wine bottles hanging from the ceiling, German bayonets and an old pipe about 2 feet long which hung on the wall. There was an unusual styled 'Laughing Cavalier' and a beautiful brass horse mounted on velvet which adorned the fireplace. Royal Oak Earlsdon 2010 In 1961 it was an Ind Coope house and in 1982 was 'a pleasant local, the meeting place of Earlsdon Morris Men and clog dancers'. In August 2006 the pub was forced to close after storm water flooded the cellar following monsoon- like rainfall. There was damage to the cellar, floors, decoration and furniture. Repairs to the cellar alone cost £50,000 and it reopened in February 2007. In 2011 Ray Evetts left the Royal Oak for the Brooklands Grange Hotel, and Howard Grundy took over the lease. On the right, the Royal Oak in March 2010. (Photo courtesy of Cliff Jones.)

LICENSEES:

1859 - 1861 John Sabin 1868 Mrs. Sarah Sabin 1871 - 1895 Richard Welton 1896 Ellen S. Mills 1903 - 1930 William H. Mayo 1931 - 1936 J. F. Taylor 1936 - 1946 Leonard Lawless 1946 - 1961 Harry Lawless (see clipping above) 1985 Mr W. Byrne to 2011 Raymond Uveitis, aka Evitts (see also Earlsdon Cottage, Warwick Street) 2011 to present Howard Grundy

OWNERS:

1859 - 1861 John Sabin 1868 Sarah Sabin, widow of John Sabin 1871 - 1895 Richard Welton, who had married Sarah Sabin 1895 - 1897 Northampton Brewery Co. Ltd 1897 - 1929 Robinsons Brewery, Burton on Trent 1929 - 1961 Ind Coope
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