Pubs of Royal Leamington Spa.
Leamington Spa has always had a good selection of pubs with a variety of breweries involved in the trade in the town. Old established names such as Phipps, Ansells, Phillips and Marriotts, Mitchells and Butlers, Hunt Edmunds, Flowers, Watneys, Atkinsons and the two local firms of Thornley and Kelsey at Radford Semele and Lucas in Lillington Avenue have all had a presence in the town at some time. Mergers and takeovers led to some changes in the 1950s and 1960s as the conglomerates of Allied Breweries, Bass Charrington, Watneys and Whitbread Flowers came into being. However, in the 1960s there remained a nominal choice of Ansells, M & B, TK, Marstons, Watneys, Whitbread and Flowers spread throughout the town. With the takeover of TK by Davenports, a new name was added to the variety of beer available. The later infiltration of Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries was to add the Banks's name to some of the local pubs.
The old pattern of pubs tied to breweries was changing in the 1980s as new chains developed and the separation of pubs and breweries began. The photographs shown here were mainly taken in 1987 by Bill Bigley, at a time that the changes in the Leamington pub scene were starting to take effect and, sadly, some of the old pub names were being altered. Leamington could boast a range of interesting and evocative pub names to accompany the variety of beers on sale. Names such as the Chair and Rocket, the Jet and Whittle (since disastrously renamed before returning as the Jet) and the Fox and Vivian are part of the uniqueness of Leamington.
There are more then 50 photographs in the original collection. Not all the photographs are displayed here and the page will be changed from time to time to show different pubs. This is not a comprehensive history of Leamington's pubs, more a glimpse of the situation in 1987. It is known that pubs changed use over time and some of these shown here have since had a change of use or been altered in some way. Also there are other buildings around the town that have been used as pubs in the past. At one time it seemed that there was a pub on every corner and certainly in the Clemens Street/High Street area, a pub crawl could have been exactly that!