Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Historical Tour along the Stratford Road 6

The Craufurd Arms

The Craufurd Arms has a curious history. It was built by an organization known as The People's Refreshment Association, founded by the Bishop of Chester and one Colonel Craufurd, after whom this house was named. The motivation behind the PRA was to encourage teetolalism but theey took a more enlightened and liberal approach. Rather than strict bans they built hotels such as this which would serve alcohol but also provide non-alcoholic beverages nd food. They hoped thereby to wean drinkers off their alcoholic habit.

Their original intention apparently was to built their house on Green lane, but this met with objections from the owner of the Victoria Hotel Tarry, who had designs of his own on a Green Lane site. Applications were made in 1903 and 1905 and both were unsuccessful. However a deal was struck whereby Tarry was allowed to go ahead with his Green Lane development and the PRA were given a licence for the new premises, now to be located on the Stratford Road. The licence was approved in 1906 and the Craufurd Arms opened in 1907.

So with the building of the Craufurd Arms Wolverton's development moves into the 20th century. It was at this time that the Radcliffe Trust, bowing to the inevitable, decided to open up more land for development. This time, however, they decided to do the develoment themselves rather than sell the land to the railway company. Windsor Street marks the end of LNWR development of housing.

A block of land had already been taken at the back of Windsor Street for the Boys School in 1896 and the Girls School was added on Aylesbury Street in 1906. In the first decade of the 20th century Wolverton entered a new building phase.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My maternal grandparents (Jack and Ellen Grime) were landlords of the Craufurd Arms in the 1940s. Not sure of the exact dates. They moved to the Plough in Loughton (between the Talbot and the Fountain) after the Craufurd but again, I don't know the dates
Dave Ellis (formerly of Moon Street and Marina Drive, Wolverton)