Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Off Licence in Green Lane

Green Lane, as I have said before, is a very ancient trackway that is at least 1000 years old. It followed a line that was slightly at an angle to the rectangular grid pattern that was the model for Wolverton. Thus when Radcliffe Street, Bedford Street and Oxford Street were built the end houses had yards that were shaped like a quadrilateral than a rectangle.

The house at the end of Oxford Street on the east side ended up with an extra large garden. It was owned by William Tarry who was the licensee of the Victoria Hotel and was given the name "Mount Pleasant."

In 1903 William Longhurst applied for a licence to sell beer to be consumed off the premises. Longhurst was renting the property from Mr Tarry and it is probable that Tarry built this flat-roofed extension around this time. A few years earlier Tarry had tried to get a licence for a new hotel or public house on Green Lane at the corner of Radcliffe Street and had reserved a lot for the purpose. He was unsuccessful and probably determined that an off-licence was the next best thing.

In the 20th century this off licence was on of two in Wolverton; the other was known as the Drum and Monkey in a back alley just off the Stratford Road. Both off licences lasted for many decades in the 20th century until the regular sale of alcohol in supermarkets and convenience stores pushed them out of business.

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