The Museum Collection: Public Houses & Publicans

Inn tokens or checks

Tokens came into use in this area in the 1840s, when there was not much small change about. Workers would purchase the tokens when they were paid and use them to buy beer at a later time.

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Lamb Inn tokenA brass token, worth three pence, that was issued by Thomas Holloway at the Lamb Inn, Bradford. The inn stood next to the Town Bridge and had a large carved stone lamb above its entrance, but was purchased by the Spencer Moulton Rubber Co and replaced by a factory in 1917.

The token is no longer in the Museum, as the person who had lent it wished to have it returned.

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Cross Guns tokenA bronze inn token issued by the Cross Guns public house at Avoncliff, Westwood. We do not know the significance of the large letter S.

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Old Bear tokenA token for a penny-halfpenny (1½d) issued by John H. Matthews, publican of the Old Bear Inn in Silver Street, Bradford. Matthews was listed at the Old Bear in 1903.

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New Inn, Holt tokenThe New Inn, Holt was new in the 1770s and continued to go under that name until late in the 19th century. At that time it changed to be the Old Ham Tree, named after the huge ancient elm tree that had to be cut down in 1884.

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Three Lions tokenAnother public house in Holt that issued tokens was the Three Lions. This penny-halfpenny brass token uses the lions of its name instead of words. They probably derive from the lions on the arms of the De Lisle  family who held the manor of Holt.

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Queen's Arms stoneware bottleA stoneware bottle impressed with the name L. Weaver and the Queen’s Arms, which was a public house on the corner of Bridge Street and St Margaret’s Street. It closed at the opening of the Great War c1914 and is now the Three Gables restaurant.

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Cecil Banks, landlord of The CastleA caricature portrait of Cecil Banks, who was the publican of The Castle in the 1950s, listing the qualities of the perfect landlord.

George Robey (Sir George Edward Wade) was a music hall comedian, who was known as “The Prime Minister of Mirth”.

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