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Bamber Bridge - Spinners' Arms

Name: The Spinners' Arms

Address: 375, Station Road, Bamber Bridge

The Spinners' Arms was a beerhouse located at the south end of Station Road just up from The Hob Inn and Spinners' Square. It was not a fully licensed public house like the Black Bull or Black Horse (Hob Inn) nearby and was just licensed to sell beer.

A revolution for pubs was brought about by the Beerhouse Act of 1830, which liberalised the regulations enabling anyone to brew and sell beer on payment of a licence costing two guineas and the Spinners' Arms was just one of many examples of the new beerhouses springing up in the industrial north. The intention was to increase competition between brewers, and it resulted in the opening of 56,000 beer houses across the country by 1836; the rapidly expanding industrial centres of the North of England saw their fair share.

It was also hoped that by increasing competition in the brewing and sale of beer, and thus lowering its price, the population might be weaned off their favourite tipple, gin…current trends seem to indicate we are going full circle!

Whilst the act may have been good news for the breweries and increased employment in towns and cities the knock-on effect on public morality was something of much debate in the House of Commons.

'The new beer bill has begun its operations. Everybody is drunk. Those who are not singing are sprawling. The Sovereign people are in a beastly state…indescribable orgies occurred, accompanied by gambling, brutal amusements and licentiousness'.

(Sidney Smith - House of Commons 1833)

1845 Annotated Map

The Inn was originally the home of a William Taylor and his family and the Inn's name derives from William's occupation, a "Spinning Master", as recorded in the 1851 census record below. There was both the Bamber Bridge Mill and Cuerden Cotton Mill within a stone's throw of the Spinners' Arms and therefore plenty of passing trade for this beerhouse.

1851 Census William Taylor "Spinning Master"

Landlords at the Spinner's Arms were William Taylor (1851-54), John Barrow (1855-60), Ellen Barrow (1860-61), James Turner (1870-), James Astley (1875), Thomas Hodson (1881), James Lancaster (1885-89), Elizabeth Sumner (1891), John Sumner (1892) and William Singleton (1899-).

It is not clear whether William Taylor ever ran a beerhouse from his home but the subsequent occupants, John and Ellen Barrow certainly did with John recorded as a retailer of beer as early as the 1855 Slater's Directory of the area. John and Ellen were both locals and were living on Black Lane near Tandy Gate in Walton-le-Dale in 1851 recorded below; John too was a cotton spinner by trade originally. 

1851 Census John Barrow

1855 Slater's Directory - John Barrow

Burial: 7 Aug 1860 St Saviour, Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, England
John Barrow - Age: 41 yrs.
    Abode: Bamber Bridge
    Buried by: Wm. Wignall
    Register: Burials 1838 - 1899, Page 67, Entry 534
    Source: LDS Film 1471151

1861 Census Ellen Barrow

Baptism: 5 Jun 1870 St Saviour, Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, England
Margt. Alice Turner - Child of Jas. Turner & Elizabeth
    Abode: Bamber Bridge
    Occupation: Beer Seller
    Baptised by: Jas. Taylor Vicar
    Register: Baptisms 1837 - 1880, Page 213, Entry 1699
    Source: LDS Film 1471151

1871 Census James Turner

 This morning a sad affair was reported to Mr. Ashcroft, coroner. Late on Saturday evening Mr. James Astley and family, of the Spinners' Arms, Bamber Bridge, near Preston, retired to rest, leaving a number of clothes on the " maiden" in front of the fire for the purpose of drying... 
09 February 1875 - Sheffield Independent - Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Tragedy at the Inn struck in 1875 and between the two press cuttings the circumstances seemed to have varied in the days following the fatality. James Astley, the landlord at the time is not recorded at the property thereafter.

 AT BAMBER BRIDGE. On Sunday morning a boy named William Wareing lost his life in a fire which took place at the Spinner's Arms, Bamber Bridge. It appears that a Mr. Astley and a man named Brown were engaged in brewing until three o'clock on Sunday morning... 
13 February 1875 - Preston Chronicle - Preston, Lancashire, England

1881 Census Thomas Hodson

 Child to Death.— An inquest was held the Spinners’ Arms, Bamber Bridge, on Thursday, on the body of Charlotte Redferne, who was burned to death. It appears that the child was left in the house... 
17 November 1883 - Preston Herald - Preston, Lancashire, England

 James Lancaster, landlord of the Spinner’s Arms, Station Road, Bamber Bridge, also applied through Mr. J. Ingham for a wine license on or off the premises. 
05 September 1885 - Preston Herald - Preston, Lancashire, England

 Mr. Ingham applied for the provisional transfer licence of the Spinners’ Arms, Bamber Bridge, from James Lancaster to ????; also the licence of Mackenzie’s Arms, Bamber Bridge, from executors Thomas Derbyshire... 
31 August 1889 - Preston Herald - Preston, Lancashire, England

1891 Census Elizabeth Sumner

John Sumner, landlord of the Spinners' Arms, Bamber Bridge, was summoned for permitting gaming on his licensed premises on Saturday afternoon, the 21st May.
04 June 1892 - Preston Chronicle - Preston, Lancashire, England

Baptism: 13 Aug 1899 St Saviour, Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, England
Norman Singleton - Child of William Singleton & Margaret
    Born: 8 Jun 1899
    Abode: Bamber Bridge
    Occupation: Publican
    Baptised by: James Taylor Vicar
    Register: Baptisms 1894 – 1900, Page 194
    Source: LDS Film 1471151

1901 Census William Singleton

The SPINNERS’ ARMS. Bamber Bridge, nr Preston.
Apply, Matthew Brown and Co. Ltd
20 December 1902 - Lancashire Evening Post - Preston, Lancashire, England

1909 Map

 The following beerhouses were refused, subject to compensation: Wheatsheaf, Alston; Craven Heifer, Chorley; Waggon and Horses, Shevington; Spinners’ Arms, Bamber Bridge; Prince Wales, Accrington; Bridge Inn, Darwen; Royal Arms, Darwen; Volunteer Arms, Church; Cross Hill Inn, Padiham 
28 May 1909 - Northern Daily Telegraph - Blackburn, Lancashire, England

As the years went by, the Beerhouse Act of 1830 produced a familiar by-product, the “tied-house” system, as landlords had to borrow money from the brewers to make improvements before Magistrates would grant and renew licences. In exchange they promised to buy supplies exclusively from the breweries. In the case of this Inn ownership had already transferred to local brewers, Matthew Brown and Co. Ltd by 1902 and shortly after this, the 1904 Licensing Act was to have a marked effect on the pub scene, reducing the number of licensed premises, in particular the beerhouses over the next few decades.

Supported by a surge in the Temperance movement the Act introduced a national scheme where Licensing Magistrates could refuse to renew a pub’s licence if it was considered there were too many pubs in an area or they were not of sufficient quality and compensation was often paid to breweries on their closure, as was the case here in 1909. 

...Craven Heifer, Chorley, £710; Wagon and Horace. Shevington, £325: Pine Apple, Higher Walton, £1,150; Spinners’ Arms, Bamber Bridge. £1,300: Prince of Wales, Accrington. £1.600: Rose Bud, Darwen. £1,700... 
21 July 1909 - Preston Herald - Preston, Lancashire, England

The location of the Spinners' Arms right next to Spinners' Square is to see a revival in the trade in 2018 with the opening of a new micropub, the Weavers Arms earmarked for the former fishing tackle shop on the entrance to Spinners' Square (see photo above). 

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