CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2022 launched on 12 November and as ever features the best real ale pubs in each area of the UK as selected by local CAMRA members that drink in them along with brewery listings, therefore it seemed a good time to kick off a series looking back over the last couple of decades or so and highlight some pubs and breweries that have been lost as well as the long lasting stalwarts!
This time we’re looking back at the Good Beer Guide 1995.
There were certainly less breweries back then – in the whole of South Yorkshire there were seven – Concertina, Frog & Parrot brew pub, Kelham Island, South Yorkshire Brewing Co, Stocks, Stones, Wards and Wortley. Of these only Kelham Island are still brewing today, however Sheffield alone now boasts around 25 brewing companies!
East Sheffield has lost a lot of pubs since the 1995 edition of the guide such as Carbrook Hall (now a coffee shop), Cocked Hat in Attercliffe (was sold off by Marstons and is no longer a pub), Enfield Arms (demolished, although the Noose & Gibbet next door still stands!) and the Red Lion on Duke Street (no longer a pub).
One East Sheffield pub from the 1995 guide still trading is the Alma Inn at Mosborough, described in the guide as a two-roomed traditional and friendly local with a central bar that is a worthy find off the beaten track. It had a small play area for children and served Wards Best Bitter and Thorne Best Bitter. These days its still a nice community pub and investment in the outdoor area has been made prior to post-COVID reopening. According to WhatPub, one real ale is available, usually from Greene King.
At Chapeltown the long run in the guide enjoyed by the Commercial was yet to begin, however the area boasted two guide entries – the Norfolk Arms and Prince of Wales, both Wards pubs. The Prince of Wales is still going with a busy programme of entertainment although real ale is no longer available; the Norfolk Arms is also still with us, serves food, offers overnight accommodation and has a couple of ales on the bar (Doom Bar and a guest).
In the North of the city the Robin Hood at Little Matlock (Stannington) and Staffordshire Arms in Burngreave both served Stones Bitter and are both lost pubs although still standing. The former was a good pub to the end when it was converted to residential use while the latter had its licence removed by the local authority!
Another lost pub from the 1995 guide in the area was Morrisey’s East House on Spital Hill, fondly remembered for the days you bought jugs of Abbeydale Moonshine to take to the curry house over the road, however in 1995 the beer range was listed as Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, Whitbread Boddington Bitter and changing guest ales with the pub also featuring acoustic music sessions and vegetarian food.
One pub listed under North Sheffield in the 1995 guide still going strong today is the Cask & Cutler at Shalesmoor – now back to its original name of the Wellington – which featured an ever changing range of up to six beers from independent breweries. Now it is associated with Neepsend Brewery featuring their beers plus guests but the pub itself has changed very little other than a minor refurbishment inside and improvements to the outdoor drinking area so retains its classic character.
To the South of the city now and the first entry is the Dore Junction pub at Dore & Totley railway station. The bar served beers from Marstons, Theakston and guests and some readers may recall a young James Birkett behind the bar (who now owns the Sheaf View, Wellington and Blake). Sadly the time the converted station building spent as a pub was relatively short lived, it is now the Rajdhani restaurant.
Not far away, in Totley, another lost pub is the Fleur de Lys. This was a fairly large pub with two oak panelled rooms with the larger hosting a dining area. The bar served Stones Best Bitter and Bass Worthington Best Bitter. In more recent times as an Enterprise Inns pub it struggled for custom, not helped by Hallam University closing their Totley campus as well as competition from other pubs in the area and it has now been converted to flats.
The final lost pub of the South listed was the Earl of Arundel & Surrey on Queens Road, which was famed for its historical requirement to host stables for stray livestock! The premises is now a cycle shop.
Also in the Good Beer Guide 1995 was the Old Mother Redcap in Bradway, a Samuel Smiths brewery pub conveniently situated by the bus terminus. The pub has been closed a few years now however it not a lost pub yet – the brewery is struggling to recruit a live in management couple to run it for them but is still advertising the job!
The Shakespeare at Heeley was in the guide, this is now known as the Brothers Arms, back then the beer choice included Stones Best Bitter, Tetley Imperial plus guest ales.
Finally in South Sheffield was the Small Beer Real Ale Off-Licence on Archer Road in Millhouses. On the handpumps to take home in plastic bottles were Batemans XXXB, Exmoor Gold, Timothy Taylors Landlord and a guest while the shelves were packed with continental bottled beers. The shop has changed ownership a couple of times since 1995 but is still going strong as the Archer Road Beer Stop with handpulled ale to go although the breweries featured tend to be more local these days and the range of packaged beers has expanded to include the modern British craft beer scene more.
Out West many of the Good Beer Guide 1995 listed pubs are still trading today – these being the Banner Cross, Cherry Tree, Fox & Duck, Lescar and Old Grindstone. Two of the listed pubs are gone though – the Old Heavygate and Royal Hotel, both in Walkley, which were converted to residential use with the pub companies that owned them claiming insufficient demand (although the new micropubs in the area opened since then seem to be doing OK!)
Into Sheffield City Centre and a number of pubs listed in the guide are still going today, these include the Bath Hotel, Brown Bear, Fagans, Fat Cat, Lord Nelson, Red Deer, Rutland Arms and the Washington. Lost pubs include the Harlequin on Johnson Street (not the current one which used to be known as the Manchester), Moseleys Arms at West Bar and Red House on Solly Street.
The Tap & Spile on Waingate was also in the 1995 guide and back then featured a changing range of ten real ales and two real ciders, it has had something of a fall in grace in the years since, changed its name to the Tap & Barrel and is currently closed.
We’ll take a closer look at those City Centre pubs next time.