Tameside Pub Names and Meanings: Top Beer

A selection of pub names throughout the Tameside area

The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn, Stalybridge
Stalybridge is home to both the shortest and the longest pub names in the world. Seen here is The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn on Astley Street.

In an age where ‘For Sale’ or ‘To Let’ is fast becoming the UK’s most popular pub name, there is still a number of public houses named after local names. For every Red Lion, The Railway and The Albion, there’s a Tollemache or a Dysarts Arms in our borough. Persons new to Tameside may be less familiar with our borough’s more esoteric names. Not only the distinct, but also where the generic refers to a distinct part of the area.

As stated at the top, this is not a complete list. Pubs that are open at present are given preference.

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The Britannia Inn (Manchester Road, Mossley):
Whereas the name Britannia suggests patriotic leanings, it takes its name from the neighbouring former cotton mill which the pub is next to.

New Bridge Inn (Waggon Road, Micklehurst):
The pub takes its name from a railway bridge that led to Micklehurst railway station. It is so-called owing to the Diggle loop line built by the LNWR, distinguishing itself from the older line that is still in use today. The pub outlived the line which closed to goods in 1966, apart from a section up to Millbrook sidings for Hartshead Power Station (both closing in 1979).

The Stamford (Huddersfield Road, Heyheads)/The Lord Stamford (Grosvenor Street, Stalybridge)
Both public houses are named after The Earl of Stamford, who owned a substantial portion of Dukinfield, Stalybridge, Mossley and Longdendale. Their main family seat was at Dunham Massey near Altrincham, in the care of the National Trust since 1976.

The Tollemache Arms (Manchester Road, Roaches)
Close to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, The Tollemache Arms takes its name from Baron Tollemache, a title created in 1876 for John Tollemache, one time Conservative M.P. for Cheshire South and Cheshire West. The present Baron Tollemache title is held by Timothy John Edward Tollemache, director of Fortis, Old Etonian and present Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk.

The Dysarts Arms (Huddersfield Road, Hey Farm)
We continue the Tollemache connection with another Robinsons pub off the 343 bus route. In 1708, Lionel Tollemache was the 4th Earl of Dysart. The Earl of Dysart is a title in the Peerage of Scotland created in 1643. The present Earl of Dysart is John Peter Grant, who owns the Rothiemurchus estate in the Scottish Highlands.

The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn (Astley Street, Stalybridge)
For many people it’s referred to as The Rifleman, but the pub’s present name ensured its inclusion in The Guinness Book of World Records in 1995. It takes its name from the 13th Cheshire Rifle Volunteer Corps Drill Hall between Walmsley Street and Spring Bank Road. It was originally known as the New Inn and adopted the moniker as The Thirteenth Mounted Cheshire Rifleman Inn.

The Society Rooms (Grosvenor Street, Stalybridge)
One of two J.D. Wetherspoon houses with the above namesake (the second is in Macclesfield). It refers to the Stalybridge Industrial Cooperative Society whose forerunners (United Norwest Cooperatives) were the previous occupants.

The Broadoak (Broadoak Road, Ashton-under-Lyne)
Elegant 1930s pub named after the area much expanded in 1950s by municipal housing. First episode of Gardeners’ Question Time was recorded there.

The Ladysmith (Wellington Road, Ashton-under-Lyne)
Originally, The Railway, it takes its name from the former barracks, a short 350 bus ride away.

The Heroes of Waterloo (Mossley Road, Ashton-under-Lyne)
Often referred to as ‘Heroes’, the name in full commemorates the Battle of Waterloo. At one time, it was opposite the Ladysmith Barracks; the name itself coming from The Siege of Ladysmith in the Second Boer War.

The Prince of Orange (Warrington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne)
Refers to the title of nobility originally associated with the Principality of Orange. More specifically, it refers to King William III, whose victory over James II at the Battle of the Boyne is commemorated as a public holiday in Northern Ireland, and by members of the Protestant Orange Order. The public house is in the Charlestown part of Ashton-under-Lyne, which was popular with people of Irish descent.

Beau Geste (Katherine Street, Ashton-under-Lyne)
Opened in 1966, the Beau Geste takes its name from a 1924 adventure novel by P.C. Wren involving Michael ‘Beau’ Geste’s decision to join the French Foreign Legion.

The Sheldon Arms (Lord Sheldon Way, Ashton-under-Lyne)
A recent arrival to the Tameside pub scene. It is named after Robert Sheldon, Labour M.P. for the Ashton-under-Lyne constituency from 1964 to 2001.

The Snipe Inn (Manchester Road, Audenshaw)
Named after the Snipe Pit opposite (officially titled Ashton Moss colliery) which was Tameside’s last working colliery, closing in 1959. The retail park, opening 30 years after the pit’s closure, stands on the site.

The Lodge Hotel (Lodge Lane/Cheetham Hill Road, Dukinfield)
Refers to the road (Lodge Lane) which led to Dukinfield Lodge’s easterly entrance. The lodge itself being home to the Dukinfield Astley family which inspired…

The Astley Arms (Tame Street, Stalybridge; Old Road, Dukinfield; Astley Street, Dukinfield)
All three Astleys are named after Francis Dukinfield Astley, colliery owner and descendent of Colonel Robert Dukinfield. All three houses were within walking distance of Dukinfield Lodge, where most of the grounds form part of Dukinfield Crematorium. The largest Astley Arms (Old Road, next to Old Chapel) is the ‘Top Astley’, whereas the one on his own street is the ‘Bottom Astley’ (owned by the same people as The Angel on King Street). The smallest one, within Stalybridge is the ‘Little Astley’.

The Victoria (Victoria Road, Dukinfield)
The pub takes its name from the Victoria Mill which was adjacently behind the public house off Wood Street.

The Cheshire Ring (Manchester Road, Hyde)
Named after ‘The Cheshire Ring’ of canals, which includes the Peak Forest Canal next to the public house. Part of The Cheshire Ring includes the Manchester and Ashton-under-Lyne, Macclesfield, Trent and Mersey and Shropshire Union canals.

The Beehive (Market Street, Droylsden)
A short distance away from this pub was the Cooperative Wholesale Society’s Bee Hive works on Greenside Lane. This was the CWS’ pharmaceutical works from 1930 with the pub probably gaining its present name from there. The bee hive is a popular symbol used by the Cooperative Movement to demonstrate cooperation and collective effort.

The Pig on the Wall (Greenside Lane, Droylsden)
It is stated that The Pig on the Wall comes from a local tradition where a number of Droylsdonians watched a carnival. He or she would bring a pig and sit it on a wall, with he or she and adopted pig watching with interest. The pub was converted from a farmhouse and opened in 1978.

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Your Round

As always, there is scope for a follow up to this gazetteer, but feel free to add or amend to the 20 detailed above.

S.V., 31 October 2014.

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