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Eccleston - Rose & Crown Inn

Name: The Rose & Crown

Address: 220, Southport Road, Eccleston, Chorley

The Rose & Crown Inn is located at the head of New Lane, Eccleston at its junction with Southport Road and is on the boundary of Eccleston, Ulnes Walton and Croston.  It has been an Inn for around 200 years and is still going strong to this day.

Listed landlords were Richard Spiby (pre-1841), Thomas Walton (1841), John Hargreaves (1851), Margaret Hargreaves (1861), George Nightingale (1871), John Martland (1881), Samuel Yates (1891), William Taylor (1901) and Thomas Riding (1911). 

1841 Census

London Gazette 13th December 1847
Before the Judge of the County Court of Lancashire, holden at Lancaster, on Monday, at Ten o'Clock in the Forenoon.
Richard Spiby, formerly of the Roebuck, Whittle-le-Woods, near Chorley, then of the Rose and Crown, New Lane Head, Ulnes Walton, near Chorley aforesaid, then of the Swan Inn, New-street, Preston, then of the RcWal Oak, Poulton-le-Fylde, and also a part of the time occupying the Railway Hotel, Poulton-le-Fylde aforesaid, all in the county of Lancaster, Licenced Victualler andj Farmer, carrying on business at the said Railway, in the name of Ann Spiby, and late in Lodgings at Runshaw-moor, Chorley aforesaid, out of business or employment.

1851 Census

1861 Census

1871 Census

1881 Census

1891 Census

1901 Census

Lancashire Evening Post Thursday 22 May 2014
Maybe in need of a little TLC, but room to roam and good to drink.
A strange pub to be sure, is the Rose & Crown at Ulnes Walton – the sort of place that few bar the immediate locals are ever likely to find themselves in more than once.
Set back from the road as one passes through the small village between Leyland and Croston, the pub is just that side of scruffy likely to offend as many punters as it delights (and which the laid back middle will be neither irked nor grabbed by). The interior is a bit murky, even on the bright summer evening I nipped in, the beer garden errs on the shambolic, with healthy wilderness patches and wonky bench-tables and the food – to be candid – would have been given a hearty thumbs-up from this quarter only if it had been £1.50-£2 cheaper per plate.
All of which aside, however, there is much to praise. Staff smile and are welcoming, the saloon crowd in situ Sunday 5pm too, and the ale is clearly a well-kept labour of love, the pint of Ringwood Brewery’s Boon Doggle with which I wet my whistle being a case in point.
Bright clear golden beer with a creamy white head, malty biscuit whiff and sweet light hoppy taste, pure easy drinking refreshment. The need for refreshment led me to Marstons Revisionist Craft Lager, a rare keg to me and one the arrival of sun compels all of sound mind to take in on sight.
Polished off on a stroll around the spread, a nipped ginnel came out in a ‘hidden’ beer garden out back the size of a football pitch, ideal for families to unleash their energetic young ‘uns while mum and dad enjoy quiet time. Oh, and it boasts easily the most bizarre single bit of play kit I’ve ever seen in any beer garden.

1911 Census

Lancashire Evening Post 15 October 1930
Childhood memories from rural Lancashire near Preston by Chris Hoban

People in story: Roy Smith
Location of story: Rural areas around Preston
Background to story: Civilian
31 December 2005
Mr Roy Smith’s World War 2 reminiscences of rural Lancashire.
As I was born in 1937 my early formative years are coloured by WWII. We lived at number 1, New Lane, Eccleston (just within the parish boundary!) near the Rose and Crown, Ulnes Walton. This was ‘No Man’s Land’! This was just about at the meeting point of the parishes of Croston, Eccleston and Ulnes Walton on the West Lancashire Plain. It was very, very rural and the full horrors of war therefore passed me by — apart from when my mum took me with her to visit her friend in Manchester, where we were caught up in an air raid and had to go into an underground shelter. I was also taken to Liverpool soon after the war and found it difficult to comprehend all the damage; seeing a bombed out church with a faceless clock is one of those quirky things that sticks in my mind. I remember seeing the Overhead Railway too — ‘The Dockers’ Umbrella’ as it was known.
However, back home in the comfort of the countryside there were still signs that something was going on:-
1. Any large, flattish pasture had lots of posts — perhaps 10 feet high — standing in them. These were to deter glider landings.
2. An octagonal concrete pill-box stood beside Eccleston bridge (over the River Yarrow), and alongside there was a row of cylindrical concrete blocks waiting to be rolled out into the roadway to obstruct traffic. On reflection I don’t suppose either would have been much of a hindrance to a Tiger tank!
3. Some local men were in the Home Guard or the A.F.S. (Auxiliary Fire Service) in the evenings.
4. A searchlight was stationed in a field opposite to what became Auldene Nurseries in modern times — you could perhaps still find the circular hole dug for it. There were wooden huts for the soldiers who manned it and they built a diving platform for swimming in a nearby pit. The platform was still there, in part, well after the war.
5. All the houses had blackout curtains on the inside of their normal curtains.
6. A neighbour, Mr Rupert Dennell, was a test driver at Leyland Motors and it wasn’t uncommon for him to call at home for a cuppa when out testing a tank (only small ones, Bren Gun Carriers I think they were called). We loved touching them and crawling under them!
7. I recall a number of men being described as ‘in reserved occupations’. There was quite a list of them locally, what with men involved in farming, miners at the coal pits in the Coppull area.
8. I also recall a number of businesses being closed down until hostilities were over: the two local brickworks (Crompton’s at Croston and Littlewood at Ulnes Walton) were examples.
9. Men came home on leave from time to time. My dad always seemed to come home at dead of night, bringing with him a tin crammed with chocolate he’d been saving up for me.
10. Our next door neighbour, (Sgt.)Tom Almond, was based up in the Shetlands and I came across his name when reading a book about an undercover operation named ‘The Shetland Bus’, which smuggled men and equipment into Norway by fishing trawler. Next door to them lived Jackie Thompson, who was in the Navy.
11. Our neighbours across the field, on the other side, were Mr and Mrs Newman Eveson. They had come from Liverpool. They had Stanley, roughly the same age as myself, but she had been married before and had half a dozen children (surname Greenhalgh) by her first husband: 2 girls and 4 lads — all the lads were of age for the Services. Tommy went into the Navy and was killed; Freddie was a Paratrooper and was captured; Maurice went into the Navy and was killed; Len went into the Navy and survived. How the poor woman remained sane after that lot I don’t know, and yet she always put on a brave face, was far more lively and cheerful than most other folk, and had a wicked Scouse sense of humour. She eventually moved to Australia with Stanley, but kept in touch with my mother.
12. There was a siren on top of Croston police station.
13. I remember having a Mickey Mouse gas mask, and was mortified when eventually it was deemed too small and I had to exchange it for an adult-type model. I remember us taking them to school from time to time to practise putting them on.
14. Occasionally we also had to take to school a container with a lid — usually it would be a National Dried Milk tin or an Ostermilk tin — and we would receive a ration of a mixture of cocoa powder and sugar. Travelling home on the bus that afternoon we quickly had the tops off the tins and were wetting our fingers to dib them into the heavenly mixture. There were lots of, ”Mmmmmms,” and rolling eyes!
15. I remember tinned bacon from America, and powdered egg — which I loved, although other people only seem to remember it as something unpleasant.
16. The only enemy aircraft we saw were at night — obviously trying to pinpoint Leyland Motors — and being caught up in the beams of searchlights.
17. 3 bombs were dropped at Croston — perhaps aimed at the railway. One fell close to the target: just at the back of Jubilee Mill, where the hole eventually filled with water and someone put in goldfish! Another fell beside the road to Bretherton, and I don’t know the location of the third — somewhere out in the fields I assume.
18. There was the Royal Ordnance Factory at Euxton, where some local people had jobs, and there was ‘The Dump’ at Ulnes Walton (site now occupied by the 2 prisons Wymott and Garth) which was a huge ammunition storage area — a satellite of the ROF. Again, some locals worked there, including Mrs Eveson.
19. Large air raid shelters I only saw when I visited an uncle and aunt at St Gerard’s Road, at Lostock Hall and an aunt at Southport. The first was brick built, with a thick, flat concrete top and stood in the roadway; the second was covered in black sandbags, with grass growing over it, and it stood on a wide part of the pavement.
20. Front gardens as well as back gardens were turned over to growing vegetables and soft fruits. I remember farmers being very protective of their orchards too!
21. A lot of people kept a few hens; some had a pig cote and were able to keep a pig or two.
22. We also ‘lived off the land’: rabbits were snared, hunted with ferrets or shot with a catapult (my dad taught me how to make my own catapult); there were blackberries and mushrooms to be picked in season, and birds eggs — especially peewit (tewit, to us) and waterhen — were a tasty addition to the menu. I suppose the Squire’s estate at Croston mysteriously lost pheasant and partridge! There were fish and eels (snigs we called them) in pits in the farmers’ fields, and watercress in certain ditches— if you knew where to look.
23. It was incredible what could be bottled in jars or turned into pies or put into stews! Home-made everything was the order of the day.
24. There was much trading of goods between neighbouring housewives and, of course, they became great hoarders of foodstuffs. My mother never lost the habit! When she died in the year 2000 it was incredible how much sugar, for instance, she had stored away — and tinned foods.
25. My Great Aunt Alice lived in Croston and I remember seeing the Victorian iron railings being cut off the top of her front wall, to be taken away and used for the war effort.
26. I remember fund-raising efforts to buy a Spitfire: one method I saw used at Eccleston was to try to get a Mile of Pennies on an allotted day. People were stationed at intervals along the route, begging passers-by to part with a few coppers, which were then placed along the tops of the kerbstones — each coin touching the next. Maybe they never did actually get a mile of them, but every little would help.
27. Recycling was part and parcel of everyday living.
28. When we went to see relatives at Southport, all along the ‘New Road’ i.e. the dual carriageway from Tarleton to Banks (A.565 these days) we saw huge stacks of timber and piles of wooden crates containing machinery and engines and aircraft parts. Safer than being stored in Liverpool, or any other urban area, I guess.
29. I recall refugee children from Liverpool coming to live at Croston. Many were accommodated in the Rector’s Dower House, close by the church. They attended the local schools but didn’t seem to be amongst us too long before they returned home to take their chances with the bombs.
30. I also remember Italian prisoner-of-war working on hedging and ditching at the neighbouring Platt’s farm, and helping to fell a string of poplar trees which lined Highfield Road, Croston. These men were from a camp at Moss Side, Leyland. Their uniforms were a deep rich brown in colour and, as prisoners, they had large yellow patches of material sewn onto them here and there.
31. I also recall the arrival of the Yanks. They were based at Washington Hall, near Chorley (the Fire Training Centre nowadays). We saw them out exploring the neighbourhood on bicycles and, yes!, we learnt to call out, “Got any gum, chum?” to them. Often they’d respond by throwing a handful of gum, or sweets, to us. I also remember them putting on an exhibition of baseball on Croston cricket field one sunny afternoon — and smashing someone’s window in the process!
32. The Police, Home Guard and A.F.S. combined to put on displays on Astley Park, Chorley, on occasions.
33. I also recall cutting out cartoon characters from the Daily Express and sticking them into a book: Potato Pete was one. Others included a carrot, and they all had names, but I can’t remember what they were any longer. Perhaps the carrot was Clarence?
34. There were no new toys to give at Christmas — unless some Serviceman had brought something back from abroad. Mothers would often swap children’s books and add a cover of fancy (or brown) paper; Mr Schofield used to ‘do up’ bicycles, and other men specialised in making wooden toys.
35. I also recall that there was very little traffic on the roads and that we walked or cycled a great deal. Bus and train services were limited, no doubt. Even though we were in the age of the internal combustion engine most farms still relied on horses and there were still steam wagons to be seen on the roads. I think that Sumner’s (corn millers) and Horsley Smith’s (timber merchants) - both of Chorley — were running them to and from Liverpool docks.
36. I was on holiday in Blackpool with my uncle and aunt and my two cousins from Lostock Hall when VJ Day was announced. Suddenly there were children and adults dragging timber down to the beach to make bonfires and, that night, there was a long, long row of them blazing away as far as you could see in either direction.
Immediately following on from the war I recall being given my first banana: I didn’t know what to do with it!! I also recall the first cream horn from Christopher’s, the local confectioners in Croston. Imagine too the excitement when it was announced that Mrs Mayor, who had a small shop across the road from us, would be making ice cream on the coming Sunday! Norris’s and Catterall’s at Croston soon followed suit. The first crisps I had were made by the firm Tattis — and I don’t remember being much impressed with them! Smith’s were much tastier when they became available. (And do you remember the little twist of blue paper which contained the salt for you to shake onto your crisps?!)
A local man, Mr Wolstenholme, rented a field (near what is now the Highfield Farm eatery at Croston) and covered it in surplus war materials he was buying up. He made rather a lot of money, I think, out of his wheelings and dealings.
In that same post-war period we kids were paid so much per pound for picking (wild) rosehips — to be turned into rosehip syrup. It was an even more painful task than picking blackberries, but there was money in it and we put up with the pain!
Dorothy- Roy’s wife also was out in the country during the war and here are some of the things that came into her mind when asked about those times.

'WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at'

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