The Market Tavern

The Market Tavern is now demolished, but was situated at 64 Beam Street in Nantwich.

In “Inns and Innkeepers of Nantwich”, Dr A J Macgregor gives a fascinating account of this pub:

The Market Tavern was a beerhouse formerly owned by Lord Tollemache. It stood on the west corner of the junction of Market Street with Beam Street. Its stables, which could accommodate up to 15 horses, stood in Market Street, and its back door opened onto the same thoroughfare. It was referred for closure in 1923. The report into the condition of the property stated that the premises were structurally deficient and unsuitable for a licensed house. Because of it’s being open to the rear, it was difficult for police supervision. When the house was full of customers, the atmosphere was unpleasant because of the low ceilings. This may have contributed to the deaths recently of two of the licensees. Moreover, there had been two transfers of licence in 1919, one in 1921, and one in 1922. Trade was declining so much that on 8 February of that year [1923], which was Cheese Market day, only one person was in the public bar at lunch-time. On the compulsory closure of the tavern the same year, Woolf’s Brewery, who were now the owners, received £1,528 in compensation, and George Sylvester £140. In September 1924 a Compulsory Purchase Order was placed on the property as part of a street improvement scheme. Woolf’s received an additional £810. 66 Beam Street was also demolished at the same time.

The publicans of this house were:

Year Landlord
1871 Thomas Sanders*
1881-83 Joseph Walker
1890-1914 Edward Tomkinson
1920 Edwin Brereton
1922 Peter Smith
1922-23 George Sylvester

Dorothy Vaughan, in her book “Nantwich it was like this”, tell us that Edward Tomkinson was known as ’Cetch ‘em Tomkinson’ because, when short of customers, he would rattle the dominoes and say “This’ll cetch ‘em.”

Not every licensee died because of the bad atmosphere, as this report from the Lancashire Evening Post (25 August, 1920) tells us:

BACK FIRING TRAGEDY.
Mr. Edwin Brereton (26), landlord of the Market Tavern. Nantwich, has died in the Cottage Hospital as a result of injuries caused by his motor car back-firing. He was starting the car when it back-fired and the lever broke his wrist. Blood-poisoning followed and the arm was amputated.

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