We have written here about the various licensees of the pub, now known as Hawkes House, and their families. Click here to read about the history of the pub and its owners
It is noticeable that, although all the licensees of the Porters Stores were male, most of them had other occupations. This was presumably because the business of selling beer and cider was not a full time occupation and did not bring in much income to the family. The men therefore had to take on other occupations and leave their wives to run the Porter Stores, at least during the day.
William was the first licensee of the Ale and Porter Stores as the place was then called when it was opened in 1859 under the ownership of Thomas Arnold of Wickwar. The 1861 Census shows William as an ale and porters stores keeper aged 30 born in Thornbury. He was living there with his wife, Ann who was aged 44 born in Burnham in Somerset and two lodgers, Harriett Greenham a widow aged 55 from Bristol and Mary Ann Lewis aged uncertain from Lydney.
William had a very varied career including periods as a journeyman shoemaker, and a butcher and grocer in addition to his time running The Porter Stores. He didn’t stay there long. He was listed as the tenant in 1862 Rate Book but had moved away by the 1867 Rate Book. Click here to read more
The 1867 Rate Book shows Thomas Pointing as the tenant of Arnold and Co. The 1871 Census describes Thomas as an inn keeper aged 58 from Compton Dando. The inn was still being described as The Ale and Porters Stores. Thomas was living there with his wife, Sarah Ann aged 56 from Worle in Somerset and their daughter, Laura, who was assisting in the inn aged 18. She was born in Wickwar. There was one servant, Elizabeth Barton, aged 12 from Tytherington.
The 1881 Census shows Thomas and Sarah Ann still living there. We know from the licensing records that Thomas transferred the licence at the Porter Stores to Joseph Honeyborne in 1882, but Thomas became the licensee again in 1884 and continued there until 1887 when the licence was transferred to Thomas Brown. The rate books indicate that, although Joseph Honeyborne was running the pub in 1882 to 1884, Thomas Pointing was still being listed as the tenant of Arnold & Co so it seems likely he was still living there throughout the period. We have some confirmation of this arrangement in the records of Arnold’s Brewery which indicate that Thomas Brown became licensee on December 25th 1888, taking over the pub from Laura Pointing. It would appear that Laura was considered the person to be actually running the pub at that time. However Laura married Edward James in 1888 and was presumably unable to run the pub from that point. Click here to read about the Pointings
The licensee records shows Joseph was granted the licence temporarily in 1882 to 1884. We suspect that Joseph was the son of Henry and Ann Honeyborne. He was born about 1859 but not baptised until 25th July 1877 when he was aged 18.
In 1880 Joseph married Lavinia Marinda Screen in the Bristol area. Lavinia was born in 1854, the daughter of Arthur Screen, a farmer of Morton and his wife, Caroline. She was baptised in Thornbury on 25th January 1860 when she was aged 6.
Joseph was described as a butcher when their son, Henry Joseph, was baptised on 3rd November 1880 and when their second son, Arthur was baptised in Thornbury on 2nd August 1882. However the 1881 Census shows Joseph was a beerseller living in Frampton Cotterell with Lavinia, their son, Henry aged 8 months and Lavinia’s sister, Georgina Screen aged 18. We suspect that Joseph was combining his work as a butcher with that of a beerseller and it may be that Lavinia was taking care of the beer trade.
We know that Joseph didn’t stay in Frampton Cotterell long. The Bristol Mercury of 2nd March 1882 shows that the licence for the Porter Stores was temporarily transferred to him at that time. Around 1884 they moved to Midsomer Norton. The 1891 Census shows the family were living in Welton near Midsomer Norton. Joseph was still working as a butcher. They had four children: Henry Joseph aged 10 born in Thornbury, Arthur aged 9 born in Frampton Cotterll, Edwin aged 6 and Annie aged 3, both born in Midsomer Norton.
The 1901 Census shows that the family still lived in the Midsomer Norton area. Joseph was a butcher but their 16 year old son Edwin had become a grocer. The only other child still living at home was 14 year old Annie who was a dressmaker. Joseph’s wife Lavinia died in 1903 aged 49. In 1907 Joseph married Florence Lucretia Prangley Rowden. She was a lot younger than Joseph having been born in 1883. They had a daughter, Rachel Mary born in 1909. The 1911 Census shows them living at 92 High Street, Midsomer Norton. Florence’s sister, Dorothy Rowden aged 15 was living them and working as a nurse maid. Joseph died on 13th April 1920 in Midsomer Norton. Probate was granted to his son Edwin who had become a butcher.
The petty sessional court records show Thomas Brown became licensee from December 1888. The 1891 Census shows Thomas Brown as a blacksmith so we assume that his wife ran the Porter Stores. The census shows Thomas was aged 42 born in Thornbury. He was living at the Porter Stores with his wife, Sarah Louisa aged 39 born in Didmarton with their twin sons, John a carpenter and Henry a postman, both aged 17 and born in Sopworth, Wiltshire.
Thomas was born in 1846, the son of Robert Brown, an agricultural labourer from Milbury Heath and his wife, Mary. Thomas was baptised at Thornbury on 24th June 1849 when he was aged 3. The 1871 Census shows Thomas was still living with his parents in Buckover. He had become a blacksmith aged 24. In 1872 Thomas married Sarah Louisa Peart. The marriage was registered in the Malmesbury registration area, but we suspect the marriage was nearer Sarah’s home in Didmarton. They lived for a few years in Sopworth near Didmarton. They had twin boys. John and Henry, born there about 1873.
The 1881 Census shows Thomas and the family had moved to live in Crossways Lane just outside Thornbury. Thomas was working as a blacksmith. In 1888 Thomas moved to the Porter Stores and he was still there in 1894 according to the Rate Book. The Bristol Mercury of June 17th 1899 shows that Thomas Brown was leaving the Porter Stores and auctioning his household furniture, a bay mare, (quiet to ride or drive) and other effect on June 20th of that year. The Bristol Mercury of 24th June 1899 shows that the licence of the Porter Stores was temporarily transferred to Frederick Joseph Underhill. The 1899 Rate Book confirms that Frederick Underhill had taken over. The 1901 Census shows Thomas and Mary living at Hunger Hill in Dursley. Thomas was working as a blacksmith.
In the 12 year period between 1898 and 1910 the Porter Stores was run by three different members of the Underhill family.
Initially it was Charles Underhill who took over the running of the pub when he moved from the Horseshoe Inn in 1898. He didn’t stay long and by 1899 Charles’s brother, Frederick Underhill had taken over. Unfortunately Frederick’s time there was cut short by his death in 1902 aged 39. At that time, Frederick’s father, William Underhill, moved to take over the Porters Stores from the Queens Head. William remained there until his death in 1910. Click here to read about the Underhills
In 1911 the Porter Stores was taken over by James Ford. He also took over the carrier business previously undertaken by William Underhill. The 1912 Prewetts Directory shows that he ran a carrier service from Thornbury to The Full Moon in Bristol every day.
James and the family had moved to the Porter Stores from their house at 2 Bath Road. Click here to read about the earlier history of the family
James and his family were living there at the time of the 1911 Census. This shows James was a publican and carrier aged 52. His wife Esther Ford was aged 51 and had been born in Lydney. She was described as ‘assisting in the business’, as was their son, Charles, who was aged 28. At this stage the younger sons had occupations outside the family business, although they were still living with their parents: Albert aged 24 was a tailor and his brother George aged 19 was apprenticed as a carpenter. ‘George Ford’ was actually baptised Frederick George Ford on 7th February 1892 but the records generally describe him as George.
Hester died on 5th February 1913 aged 52. James and Esther’s daughter, Mary Elizabeth was still in service. She was living in Ford in Hampshire where she was an upper house maid.
We understand that James concentrated initially on the carrier side of the business which involved a daily run from the Porters Stores to the Full Moon, Bristol and back. On one day each week his route was extended to include Oldbury. Until they were enlisted into the services, James left his sons to look after the Porter Stores. Charles joined the Army in 1914 having previously for about 8 years from 1901. James made applications for his younger sons, Albert and George, to be exempt from military service in the War. The need to maintain the daily carrier service was mentioned the reason for exemption. The application for George dated January 1916 was refused. Albert’s application was initially granted, but it was later withdrawn and he had to join up by 31st December 1916. James then took over both sides of the business. By 1918 he gave up the carrier business, but he carried on with pub until his death in 1921 aged 63.
James’s eldest son, Charles, had died aged 37 in 1920, thought to be caused from injuries he had suffered in the War. Following James’ death in 1921 the pub was taken over by James’s youngest son, Frederick George Ford who was generally known by the name of ‘George’. His older sister, Mary Elizabeth, who had been working in service moved in to help George. George’s brother, Albert, took over the running of the Wheatsheaf about 1932.
On 8th June 1937 George married Elsie Ball, the daughter of the late Samuel John Ball and his wife Sarah Ann Ball (nee Winmill). Elsie had been living with her mother at the Church Institute. She had been a teacher at the Council School and in recognition of the marriage the school was closed for half a day in order for the children and her colleagues attend the wedding at the parish church. They also presented the couple with a clock inscribed ‘in appreciation of 20 years loyal and efficient service’.
George and Elsie carried on running the Barrel until 1956 when they moved to Patchway. They had one son, George, born in 1938.
The Gloucestershire Pubs Database lists the following people who were licensees of the Barrel:
Fredrick Jones 1956 – 1964
George Price – 1964 – 1969
Laurence Swift – 1969 – 1973
Sydney Harris – 1973 – 1979
Kenneth Ayles – 1979 – 1982
Geoffrey Stevenson – 1983 – 1986
Andrew Bawn – 1986 – 1989
Geoffrey Leonard – 1989 – 1994
Jeffrey Walker – 1994 – 1997
Steven England – 1997 – 1998
Simon Binding – 1998 – 2000
Sally Benham – 2000 – 2001
David Dunne – 2001