The Nag’s Head – Nuneaton

September 16, 2014 Leave a comment

As some of you may have read in my entry to the September photo competition, I originally intended to enter with a ‘then and now’ of the Nag’s Head Pub. I have many fond memories of this particular pub and was quite disappointed when I arrived at the scene last week, during a home visit to see my parents, only to find that it had recently been demolished.

Some people advise never to go back. It is generally good advice as I often feel quite depressed as I see more and more of my old memories destroyed. However not going back is not an option for me as I have my parents, many aunts and uncles (all 90 years old plus or minus a few years), one of my two children and five grandchildren all living there, not to mention the 30 or so cousins and their children and grandchildren. Anyway, this is about the Nag’s, not me.

This is believed to be the Nag’s Head around 1890.

Nags 1890

It is not the immediate predecessor of the one demolished but the one before that! The late local historian Fred Phillips made this picture available with indication that it was the Nags Head of old. A close examination of the lettering on the pub sign over the door reveals the name James ? who is evidently the landlord but the rest is too blurred to read. A quick look in a 1901 street directory revealed the landlord to be James Dewis. Could that be him standing in the doorway replete with bowler hat?    Despite the fact that we can’t be certain whether this was called the Nag’s Head, this is a lovely image of a very old fashioned drinking establishment. One of the many in or close to the Market Place.

The Nags Head was an important place in its day because a horse and cart set out from here for Coventry every week carrying silk ribbons when our ancestors relied on the ribbon trade as the staple form of income. Their week’s work was in that cart, and the money they earned no doubt disappeared into the various landlord’s money bar takings as many an old weaver was very improvident when it came to spending his or her hard earned wages on ale. Very often to the detriment of their families.

This Nags Head was in Coventry Street and would have stood in the middle of what is now the road opposite Barclays Bank and the row of shops alongside.  Coventry Street is much altered from those days. The road was very narrow then before it was opened out to get vehicles through. We forget that before the ring road was built traffic through the town had to come down Coventry Street and through the Market Place. But the old Nags Head seen here was pulled down earlier than that, as the first steps were taken to get a little room for horse and cart traffic which was just as much a problem as the later internal combustion engined vehicles were to become. The site was given free of charge to the town by Salt & Co. for road widening.  It is estimated demolition took place about 1895 and a new pub, also called the Nags Head was erected in its place. This was built on a very confined site, and by 1927 the brewery who owned it, Salt & Co of Burton on Trent, were looking for another location so they could expand. At that time some thought went into potential places around the town, which would benefit from a pub as it had a catchment area of streets insufficiently served by hostelries. A location about half way along Queens Road was chosen.

In 1929 our recently demolished Nags Head was completed and its immediate predecessor taken down. On the 8th March of that year the new Nags Head pub opened in Queens Road, the previous one in Coventry Street had also been an Elizabethan style building built by Geo. Hodges, Builders of Burton on Trent.

WG298-46    WED     19-7-06THE NAGS HEAD

The pub was Nuneatons premier live spot for gigs and was owned by an ex-Showaddywaddy bass guitarist who was an avid fan of live music, although he only seemed to have tribute bands play there. When he died in 2005, his wife tried to carry it on, but it soon went downhill and live acts started playing at the nearby Crew, who got some great acts to play there, not just tribute bands. She quit in 2008, and it was boarded up overnight. The end of an era. Developers brought the derelict Kwik-Save and its car park which was next door to The Nags Head, and demolished them. They then bought the empty Nags Head for that extra land, for development.


I had been aware that the pub was boarded up and had intended to make this photograph, but instead found only a car park on the site. I took the final photograph as seen below :-(



As I was looking for the exact site I chatted with a couple of passers by, who were looking at me a bit strangely taking pictures of ….well…nothing interesting. When I explained that I had been intending to write a piece about the Nag’s Head, they were very open and explained a few facts. The proprietor of the shop directly opposite and gave me the address of the last Landlord of the pub. Apart from the fact that a favourite pub had been demolished the whole journalistic experience was quite enjoyable and novel.


I hope that it is of interest to some of the Chariot’s members.

Maybe for my next blog I will use the subject Boadicea, as I am sure you know she has some important connections to Nuneaton.



Categories: General

Worth a Read — and a Laugh.

September 16, 2014 3 comments

Some of our readers might find this amusing, especially OZ and CO.

Categories: General

I don’t get it

September 16, 2014 8 comments

Sorry to burden you, cherished reader, with my ignorance but what’s been happening in Scotland since 2010? Summat must’ve, as one says, because at the May general election 2 million Scottish voters supported Labour, LibDem and Tory combined and only half a million plumped for SNP.

Did half of those North British souls only vote non-SNP because SNP had no chance of influencing Westminster affairs with 6 seats? If so, that sounds to me like chickens and eggs. So what’s changed to satisfy them that SNP can do the business for them?

If any undecided Scottish voter chances to join you in reading this, may I point out that the descent from the cliff-top is a rush for extreme sporting types but for the rest of us it’s painful and perhaps fatal. My advice: don’t jump.

Living With Huns II: Trains and Buttered Brötchen

September 14, 2014 9 comments

One of the more pleasant aspects of living in the Trier region is the architecture. Trier, as I have not been remiss in informing you, was at one time the second city of the Roman Empire. St Helena was born in Trier and Constantine the Great much preferred his mother’s hometown over Rome. Most days, when returning from grocers, I walk past St Nikolaus Church. A dreadful miscreation of the 1970s, it was built over a beautiful, if decrepit, Baroque church which in turn was built on the ruins of Constantine’s summer villa. The foundation stones can still be seen in the crypt, remnants of the bath can be seen – and touched – just beyond the church, nearer the cemetery.

From the church one can also see the former Konz train station. At one time a villa for military leaders of some standing in the region, this Renaissance structure has tragically seen better days. While structurally sound, years of neglect and oiks have conspired to the worst. The sandstone walls are covered with spray-paint and many windows are broken. Inside, graffiti is scrawled on the walls and the ceiling. Some oiks, it seems, have at least that much ambition.

Read more…

Categories: General

Hole in one(‘s pocket)

September 13, 2014 4 comments

For JM:

I was watching the Tour Championship live on t’telly last evening – lulled almost to sleep by the drama – when wor Rory drove off at the 14th and appeared to miss the fairway to the right into some trees. There were the usual inane cries of ‘in the hole’ which always accompany players in America, but a red-shirted spectator pointed out that Rory’s pill had dropped from a tree into the gaping right-hand pocket of his shorts.

Rory shared the crowd’s amusement and recounted a similar happening at this year’s Scottish Championship, when his ball found its way up the trouser leg of a spectator ‘into the groin area’.

No, cherished reader, he did not attempt to play the ball in situ! Sorry to disappoint.

Over and over and over again

September 12, 2014 22 comments

“That which is repeated has been, otherwise it could not be repeated, but the very fact that it has been makes the repetition into something new,” Kierkegaard

I am positive that this is the first time Kierkegaard has been quoted on The Chariot. It’s always good to bring something new to the table.

Read more…

Categories: General

Mrs M Forever

September 12, 2014 13 comments

There I was manning the barricades of sanity against the gibbering hordes of the SNP and attempting to counter their deranged rantings with carefully selected barbs of calm wit and reason. And, to be scrupulously fair and honest, shouting at the odd one of the traitorous bastards just a tad every so often.

Then Mrs M suggested that I should unman said barricades for a long weekend and go for a wee trip just to allow me to calm down and to recharge my batteries of reasoned, totally understandable and justified invective. I humoured her and we drove off at lunchtime on the Thursday after I had set the Sky box to record the opening NFL game of the season on Thursday night, the England v India ODI on Friday and Germany v Scotland on the Sunday. Read more…

View from a leader

September 11, 2014 6 comments

The Scotsman has declared itself.

Worth reading, in my opinion. ;-)

The bagpipes…

September 11, 2014 18 comments

… are thought by many to be the worst ‘musical’ instrument ever invented.As a soldier, though, I can tell you on the best of authority that when you’re cold, wet, hungry, down to your last magazine and in the deep, deep do-do, the faint sound of the pipes floating in through the freezing fog is the most beautiful sound you’ll ever hear. The Jocks are coming…

In the wider social matrix, the contribution of Scottish engineers, scientists, mathematicians and canny businessmen, as well as artists, writers, musicians, historians…. is well known and widely documented in our history books.

If you’re ever wandering through the malls and street markets in Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong for example, you may notice this:




and I’m sure the charioteers, spread as we are over a significant portion of the globe, could add many more examples Read more…

Categories: General

Accident in the Afternoon

September 11, 2014 3 comments

“EEEVVVEEE-ning Chronicle!”

The newspaper vendors tried their best to be heard over the multitude of buskers, great and small, that carnivalised the pedestrian precinct. To help sell their wares at their mobile kiosks the street traders had special extras to entice Mr and Mrs Public into buying their news. Free Mars Bar with today‘s paper, screamed the headline emblazoned over the front of their wheeled booth. As offers you can’t refuse go this one was a fence-splitting four faulter: small size of bar, the chocolate will melt in the afternoon heat, probably out of date and it is not fried. The declining newspaper industry will have to try better than that. Who wants to pay for inky fingers when you can strain your eyes online for free? Read more…

Categories: General

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 354 other followers