Monday, 13 March 2017

So what did the Royal Oak in Chorlton look like in 1935?

Now this is an appeal for pictures of the Royal Oak in Chorlton.

The Royal Oak, 2011
There will be a fair few of the pub today but I am interested in ones that go back a couple of decades.

And the real find will be any of the inside before it became one large room and better still any around the time it opened in the late 1920s.

I say the 1920s but I can’t be exactly sure and it might just date from the early part of the next decade.

There had been attempts as early as the beginning of the 20th century to convert the small beer house which carried the name of the Royal Oak into a grander pub but these all fell in the face of opposition from the Temperance lobby.*

And it has to be said that the Old Royal Oak did have its dodgy moments.
Chris, the landlady on the right and Shelly,  2017

In the middle of the 1830s two men were convicted of robbing a carter after having got him drunk in the pub, and a little over twenty years later the Manchester Guardian reported on drunken gangs from Manchester assembling at the pub and causing a serious nuisance.**

There are a few pictures of this Royal Oak which stood just a little to the left of the present pub.

It was a small property in the shadow of Renshaw’s Buildings which occupied the site of the present Royal Oak.

Renshaw’s Buildings date from around 1832 and were a set of twelve one up one down houses stretching back from Barlow Moor Road into the present car park, and the old kerb stone which fronted the eastern side is still visible today.

The book on Chorlton's pubs and bars due out in mid 2017
The Buildings were still there in the early 1920s but were demolished sometime during that decade or just a little later..

The new pub which stood on the site was until the late 1950s the last to be built in Chorlton and with the closure of the Feather’s has again become the last purpose built public house in the township.

Its interior reflected that recognition that this bit of Chorlton was well heeled and more than a little up market compared to Old Chorlton which occupied the area around the village green and Beech Road.

And a bit of that grandeur is still there to see in the upstairs function room which retains its period panelling and fixtures.

So the hunt is on to find pictures of the new Royal Oak and along the way fix the date of its opening.

All of which will feature in the new book on Chorlton pubs.  And before anyone mutters that I have revealed all there is to know about the Royal Oak be rest assured Chris the landlady offered up a walk round the bits of the pub unseen by the customers and adding more than a few tales to keep me going.

The book will follow the same format as Manchester Pubs, City Centre which came out at Christmas, and as you do we took a picture of Chris and her daughter Shelly reading a copy.

Painting; the Royal Oak © 2011 Peter Topping, Paintings from Pictures,

Pictures; interior of Royal Oak, 2017, © 2016 Peter Topping

Location; Chorlton

*The Royal Oak,

**The Story of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Andrew Simpson, 2012

***A new book on Manchester Pubs,

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