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Leyland - Ship Inn

Name: The Ship Inn

Address: 2, Towngate, Leyland

Bannister's Ship Inn c.1905

Whilst the building itself is still standing the Ship Inn closed its doors for business as a public house in 2014 and is now an electrical retailer outlet, Chorley Electrical Traders Ltd. What's unusual is that Chorley Electrical have a branch in Chorley which is also housed in an old pub, the Green Man Still on Lyons Lane.

1824 Baine's Directory - William Barnes

Background history on the Ship Inn can be found on the informative Leyland Historical Society website, which gives previous names of the pub as the Sun and Cordwainer's Arms at some time in the early 1800s though we know it was the Ship Inn as early as the 1824 directory above. In 1799 it was known as "The Sun" with an Edward Beardsworth as the licensee. By 1819 it had changed to "The Cordwainer's Arms" and had been either extended or rebuilt to include a stables, garden, bowling green, malt room and brew house.

Listed landlords at the pub were William Barnes (1824), John Bradshaw (1834-48), Ann Bradshaw (1848-54), Henry Bradshaw (1855), Nancy Settle Bradshaw (1858). William Hunter (1861), Thomas Robinson (1863), James Bennett (1871-74), John Hayes (1874-76), Margaret Wilkins (1881-84), James P Bowling (1891-93), Roger Riding (1901), James Bannister (-1909) and John Booth (1909-17).

1844 Map

1834 Directory - John Brandshaw (Bradshaw)

1841 Census
Marriage: 18 Sep 1842 St Andrew, Leyland, Lancs.
Hugh Mawdsley - of full age, Shoemaker, Bachelor, Leyland
Mary Bradshaw - of full age, Spinster, Leyland
    Groom's Father: John Mawdsley, Warper
    Bride's Father: John Bradshaw, Publican
    Witness: Thomas Bradshaw; Ann Eccles
    Married by Certificate by: Gardner Baldwin, Vicar
    Register: Marriages 1837 - 1843, Page 202, Entry 403
    Source: Original register at Lancashire Archives

1846 Slater's Directory - John Bradshaw "Royal George"

The above directory is the only reference I've found to the actual ship the Inn was named after, the landlord John Bradshaw being the common link confirming the "Ship Inn" was named after the "Royal George".

HMS Royal George was a 100-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Woolwich Dockyard and launched on 18 February 1756. The largest warship in the world at the time of launching, she saw service during the Seven Years' War including being Admiral Sir Edward Hawke's flagship at the Battle of Quiberon Bay and later taking part in the Battle of Cape St Vincent. She sank undergoing routine maintenance work whilst anchored off Portsmouth on 29 August 1782 with the loss of more than 800 lives, one of the most serious maritime losses to occur in British waters.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sinking of the Royal George 1782

Death Notices
On Saturday last, after a protracted illness, Mr. John Bradshaw, of the Ship Inn, Leyland. 
17 June 1848 - Preston Chronicle

1851 Census

1853 was a busy year for Ann Bradshaw as the marriage records of her son and daughter below attest. By this time she had been running the Inn alone for five years after John's death.

Marriage: 25 Aug 1853 St Andrew, Leyland, Lancs.
Henry Bradshaw - Full, Innkeeper, Bachelor, Leyland
Nancy Settle Davis - Full, Spinster, Leyland
    Groom's Father: John Bradshaw, Innkeeper
    Bride's Father: Frederick Davis, Innkeeper
    Witness: Thos. Burdett; James Bradshaw; Elizabeth Davis
    Married by Licence by: Peter Fox, Curate
    Register: Marriages 1850 - 1856, Page 151, Entry 302
    Source: Original register at Lancashire Archives

Marriage Announcements
On the ult. at Leyland, near Preston, Mr. Bradshaw, of the Ship Inn, Leyland, to Miss Nancy S. Davis, daughter of the late Mr. Frederick Davis, 
of the Red Cross Inn, Bolton-le- Moors.  
03 September 1853 - Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser

Both Henry Bradshaw and his wife Nancy Settle Bradshaw were to run the Inn in the years following John's death. Nancy was also born and brought up in the pub trade.

Marriage: 22 Sep 1853 St Andrew, Leyland, Lancs.
Thomas Dawber - Of full age, Farmer, Bachelor, Leyland
Ellen Bradshaw - Of full age, Spinster, Leyland
    Groom's Father: Henry Dawber, Farmer
    Bride's Father: John Bradshaw, Innkeeper
    Witness: Ellen Whittle; James Bradshaw
    Married by Licence by: T. Rigbye Baldwin, Vicar
    Register: Marriages 1850 - 1856, Page 154, Entry 307
    Source: Original register at Lancashire Archives

1854 Mannex Directory - Ann Bradshaw

1855 Slater's Directory - Henry Bradshaw

Towngate looking towards the Ship Inn

Advertisements & Notices
Freehold and well-established PUBLIC-HOUSE, known by the name of the "SHIP INN," situated in Leyland. It comprises stabling and brew-house together with an excellent bowling-green, and about one acre of land.
27 December 1856 - Preston Chronicle

1858 Post Office Directory - Nancy Settle Bradshaw

1861 Census

Thos. Robinson, late of Earlstown, and now of the Ship Inn, Leyland, 
appealed against the decision of John Eccles and other magistrates at Chorley, in refusing to grant him a license.
04 July 1863 - Preston Herald

1869 Slater's Directory - James Bennett

1871 Census

Sell by Auction
Mr. James Bennett’s, the Ship Inn, Leyland, on Wednesday, the day of March, 1874, at seven o’clock in the evening prompt, one or more lots, shall be agreed upon 
28 February 1874 - Preston Herald 

Later that year the pub had changed hands and was now being run by a Mr John Hayes.

Auction, on Friday, the 18th day of December, 1874, at Seven o'clock in the evening, at the house of Mr. John Hayes, the Ship Inn, Leyland, subject to conditions of sale to be then produced, all those Five Dwelling-houses and Shop, situate in... 
12 December 1874 - Preston Chronicle 

...has received instructions to offer for Sale Auction, Wednesday. March 22nd, 1976, the house of Mr. John Hayes, the Ship Inn, Leyland. Half past Six o’clock the Evening, subject conditions be then produced, all those Two Freehold Dwelling houses.
18 March 1876 - Preston Herald 

1881 Census

Curious Breach of License —Margaret Wilkins, landlady of the Ship Inn, Leyland, was summoned for having her house open during prohibited hours on the 20th August, and the following persons were summoned... 
15 September 1883 - Chorley Standard and District Advertiser


Marriage: 16 Jun 1888 St Andrew, Leyland, Lancs.
Peter Coulton - 22, Dyer, Bachelor, Spring Gardens Leyland
Jane Alice Dobie - 27, Spinster, Ship Inn Leyland
    Groom's Father: James Coulton, Deceased, Platelayer
    Bride's Father: Samuel Dobie, Butcher
    Witness: Francis M Dade; Annie Eliza Lowe
    Married by Banns by: Benjamin Davies Curate
    Register: Marriages 1875 - 1895, Page 159, Entry 317

    Source: LDS Film 1470827

An Inquest was held the coroner, Dr. Gilbertson, on Wednesday last, the Ship Inn, Leyland, on the body of William Warning, a rag dealer, of 28, Bradshaw Street, Leyland, whose dead body was found on a footpath.
03 November 1888 - Preston Herald


Drunk and Disorderly
James Berry was fined 6d and costs for being drunk and disorderly near the Ship Inn, Leyland, on the ult. The defendant had already been convicted 49 different charges.
16 January 1889 - Preston Herald 

1891 Census

Alleged Unlawful Wounding Leyland
At the Leyland Police-court, on Monday, before Mr- Norris Bretherton, William Finch, weaver, was charged with unlawfully wounding Henry Turner, also a weaver, by striking him on the head with a pint pot at the Ship Inn, Leyland, on the 27th ult. Turner lost a considerable quantity of blood, and was rather injured, Prisoner was remanded for week. 
11 July 1891 - Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 

On Saturday afternoon a bowling match took place on the green attached to the Ship Inn, Leyland, between Richard Brown, of Euxton, and James Green, of Blackburn for stake of £3O. Considerable interest was taken. 
07 June 1899 - Preston Herald - Preston, Lancashire, England

1901 Census

A meeting of the members of the Leyland Rubber Workers’ Union was held Monday evening in the Ship Inn, Leyland, for the purpose of considering the situation in connection with the labour difficulty which has arisen.
22 October 1901 - Lancashire Evening Post 

James Bannister was one of Leyland's famous sporting exports, as well as being the landlord at the Ship Inn in the early 1900s shortly after getting married to Eva Jane Bell. His obituary below recounts his sporting achievements: -

James (Jimmy) Bannister
20 September 1880 – 18 December 1953

Clubs played for: Manchester City, Manchester United, Preston North End, Port Vale (1902-1912)
Born: 1880
Birthplace: Leyland, Lancashire
Died: 1953
Position: Inside right
Biography: Moved across Manchester after he was made available for transfer after being banned, following an illegal payments scandal. Won the League title during his first season at United, only missing two games. Bannister played less regularly the next season, before losing his inside right berth altogether. He took a move closer to home by signing for Preston North End in October 1909. He was the landlord of the Ship Inn in his native Leyland for a number of years.

The licence of the Ship Inn, Leyland, was transferred from 
Mr. James Bannister to Mr. John Booth. 
10 March 1909 - Preston Herald 

1911 Census

1917 Barrett's Directory - John Booth

Original Ship Inn to become lighting showroom
Published: 07:00
Tuesday 15 April 2014
One of Leyland’s oldest pubs has closed for good and is set to become a lighting showroom.
The Original Ship Inn on Towngate (above) has been waving its white flag after years of uncertainty and lack of a long-term landlord.
Sadly, the Ship has now sunk and brewery Heineken has sold the 200-year-old building to Chorley Electrical, a firm which sells lighting, heating and cables to tradespeople and the public.
The managing director of the firm says he wants to preserve the history of the site, and hopes the people of Leyland will welcome the chance to keep the building in use rather than it closing down.
But some locals have spoken of their disappointment that the once-thriving pub couldn’t make a go of it in today’s market.
Danny Hindle, landlord of the town’s Railway pub, who also owns the newly-opened Market Ale House, said: “My great-granddad was the landlord at the Ship a long time ago - Jimmy Bannister - so I think it’s sad that Leyland is losing this pub. It’s a great location, I always said it would have made a cracking restaurant, but it’s just market forces unfortunately."
“We’ve lost two pubs in the town in the last month or so - this one and the Waggon and Horses although we’ve gained some as well.
“The Ship has been struggling for a few years though, it was only a matter of time before it went. The brewery was looking for a tenant but nobody was willing to invest in it.
“People get sentimental about pubs; they associate them with good times and happy memories, so it’s a shame when they vanish.”
The Ship, which has been without a long-term landlord since 2012, closed a couple of weeks ago.
Coun Derek Forrest, councillor for Leyland Central, added: “It’s sad that Leyland is losing one of its old places of entertainment; I suppose there is that sorrow that it’s been a pub for so long and now it’s changing.
“But in light of people’s habits these days, you could say that Leyland actually has more pubs than it needs.
“It’s better that the Ship is being taken over by a local business instead of staying empty, so I think people will welcome it being used for something.
“I hope they can make a success of it.”
Chorley Electrical has been operating from Moss Side for 24 years, and managing director, Gerard Gallagher, wants to expand to the bigger premise in the town centre.
“Heineken wanted to sell the pub, and had no interest in it continuing being used as a pub,” he explained. “We’re going to transfer our sales counter and lighting showroom from Moss Side to the Ship building.
“It will be open for tradespeople but also the general public, and it could mean the possibility of employing more staff.
“We have four members of staff at the moment, all from Leyland, so they’ll be moving with us and we may be able to double the number of employees. I foresee it being really busy for us.”
Chorley Electrical also has branches in Chorley, Bolton and Darwen, and Mr Gallagher says the move has been welcomed in the community.
“We’ve had loads of well-wishers,” he said. “We’ve had a great response with people saying they’re glad the pub is not going to stay empty.
“That part of Leyland is a really thriving hub, it’s a great atmosphere. It’s a great location with a prominent road position and it’s more accessible than where we are now.
Our branch in Moss Side has been very successful for the last 24 years, so I’m optimistic about the move.”
He also explained that the firm wants to respect the history of site, and won’t be making an external alterations other than with the signage.
He said: “It’s very old and has great history, so we want to preserve that.
“We actually found an old plaque in the building with information about its history, so we’re going to keep that.
“We want to maintain the heritage of the building, but it is in such a poor state so we’ve got a bit of work to do with redecorating.
“I think we’ll be open in the next three to four months.”

Courtesy of Adrian Smith


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