Hoping for a drink of Vimto on the Eagle steps

Do you remember the Eagle Inn in Althorpe Street, Leamington? It closed down in 1959 but some locals still have fond memories of the old pub.

Three men, Alan Jennings, Tom Lewin and Martin Ellis, have been researching the history of Leamington pubs for over three years with the intention of publishing the information. They have submitted this photograph of the Eagle.

Alan said: “We hope to do publish our pubs history during this year. The photo of the Eagle pub is courtesy of Leamington Library. If anyone has any information on pubs or people in pubs perhaps they can contact me on 771988.”

Tom Lewin remembers the Eagle Inn very well from his childhood, He said: “The picture of the Eagle is just how I remember it; it’s part of my childhood. I would sit on those steps hoping for a Vimto or a packet of crisps while my parents were inside sampling the ale. I spent most of my infant days with my grandparents in Charles Street. My sister was four years older than me and she was the one who would get a jug of beer for my gran and granddad.

“She vividly remembers getting the white enamelled jug of ale for our grandfather. Another of her memories was to see all the ladies sitting outside on chairs sipping their half pints of beer while their men folk were inside.

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“We looked forward to Saturday mornings most, as all us local kids would go to Saturday morning flics. Happy days on that old estate, Althorpe Street, Court Street, White Street, Neilston Street and Charles Street.”

The three men have compiled the following research into the Eagle Inn:

The first directory listing for the Eagle is in 1837, when it was a beer house. It was granted a full on-licence in August 1856 and was owned by Flower and Sons Ltd of Stratford.

At the 1903 licensing session, the chief constable reported that the pub had three entrances: one into Althorpe Street, one into White Street and one into a passage leading from Neilston Street to White Street, and that the residents of 26 cottages had access to the passage.

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He added that, in his opinion, the premises were used by men and women of a very rough class. In reply, it was said that the passage had now been bricked up and also that a number of witnesses had stated that it was frequented by respectable working class people.

In April 1925 the licensing justices approved plans for alterations that included taking in an adjoining cottage for the purpose of domestic accommodation. The Eagle closed on August 31, 1959, when the licence was suspended by the local authority “by reason of compulsory acquisition”, under section 92 (1), Licensing Act 1953; following the Eagle’s closure the licence was transferred to another licensee indicating that the brewery had allocated it to another of its public houses (outside Leamington). The site of the Eagle Inn later became part of the Althorpe Industrial Estate.

On Monday this week Alan Jennings gave a presentation “The Leamington Pubs of 1852” to the Epilepsy charity at Oddfellows Hall. He showed where such pubs as the Paul Pry, Plasterers Arms, Queens Cross Arms and the Wellington Arms were situated.