Monday, 31 October 2011

The Clone Roses

Rose & Crown, Baldock
With this being one of the most common pub names in the country, you can’t blame people for wanting to do something a bit different with it. And this is certainly not like your usual depiction – for one thing, no one else has ever chosen a dog rose that I can think of. It's a decent enough painting, but what’s wrong with a good old Tudor rose, that's what I'd like to know.
However, in these cost-conscious times, just because it’s a bit different doesn’t mean that it can’t then be replicated, it seems: the same design is also used in Hundon, Suffolk; Bury St Edmunds; Feckenham, Worcester; Bocking, Essex, as well as recently on the now deceased Rose and Crown, Cambridge. Here, however, it has been flipped. Which is one easy way of differentiating it, I suppose.

Out with the New (Inn). . .

The very lovely sign that used to hang outside this pub when it was called the New Inn was replaced in the October 2100 refurbishment and rebranding with this.
It’s very much in line with GK’s current corporate look, and I spent the rest of the day cursing their philistinism in ditching something interesting for something so bland. However, unlike some of their recent efforts, in itself it’s not all bad as a sign for this establishment.
You see, the chap depicted here actually has a connection with the building. He is Henry Rich, 1st Earl of Holland (this image based on a portrait by Van Dyke). On 10 July 1648 he was leader of a small Royalist force that was camped in the market square. They were surprised and defeated by a group of Roundheads crossing the bridge, Henry himself being captured in this very inn where he had spent the night. His ghost is said to haunt the building.
So, although I lament the loss of a particularly interesting sign (I hope it found a good home, and was not just tossed carelessly into a skip), at least its replacement shows a little research and relevance to the building from which it hangs.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Arms and the name

Burke’s General Armory of England, Scotland and Wales has ten entries for Pemberton, mostly from the north east of England, all of which comprise an argent field charged with a chevron and three buckets (or in one case, three gryphon heads) of various colours, except for one, which has a single bucket and no chevron.
The quartered arms depicted here aren’t listed by Burke, but they are the arms of the Pembertons of the nearby Trumpingon Estate (as far as I can gather, the last vestige of the old manor). It seems that they derive from one Robert Pemberton of St Albans (d. 1578), whose crest was a dragon’s head couped sable.
The estate has been in Pemberton hands since it was sold to Sir Francis Pemberton, serjeant-at-law, in 1676.[1] There are two interesting notes about this inheritance: it is entailed, which means that it cannot be sold or disposed of; and it passes ‘name and arms’, which means that if a daughter inherits (as has happened frequently in this case over the generations), her husband must take her surname for himself and his issue if he wishes the right to bear the arms.
(With thanks to Jackson D Pemberton, of The Pemberton Family World Wide, for his generous help with my investigations.)
[1] From: 'Parishes: Trumpington', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 8 (1982), pp. 248-267. URL:  Date accessed: 08 September 2011.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

It's just not cricket!

For many years, possibly since about 1840 (although the earliest reference in a directory that I have found is in 1852), the pub on the corner of Melbourne Place and Prospect Row has been known as The Cricketers (Inn), the name obviously relating to nearby Parker’s Piece, a 25-acre green famous in the mid 19th century as, amongst other things, a cricket ground.[1]
Most recently it had nice, colourful, eye-catching sign:

Those who remember the old ‘Charles Dickens’ £10 note (in circulation from 1992 until 2003) might recognise it: the cricket match between the Dingley Dellers and All Muggleton in Chapter 7 of The Pickwick Papers.
However, before it was known as The Cricketers, it was known as The First and Last – certainly a pub of that name on Prospect Row is listed in Robson’s Commercial Directory of 1839 (it is said that the pub was built in 1838), but not in any subsequent directories. At the time, that would not be an unreasonable name, as the eastward expansion of Cambridge had not reached much further than that, aside from a small development where the Grafton Centre now sits, and it would be the first or last public house arrived at in that direction.[2]
It seems a rather less apt name now, in 2011, when it’s right in the middle of a web of streets forming part of the ‘Kite’ and there are other pubs close by in all directions, but that is what it has just been renamed as in its recent refurbishment. The minds of branding consultants move in mysterious ways. . .
Of course, with a refurbishment and a new name comes a new sign. This ‘thing’:
Now, that may look nice on a wall with beers, food menu or forthcoming attractions noted on it in chalk, or even as a place mat, given the new emphasis on the dining experience; but it’s hardly eye-catching from a distance – not so much a pub signboard as an empty blackboard on a pole. The only thing it's likely to be first in is a competition to find Cambridge’s Boringest Pub Sign.
Sorry Greene King, but that’s another great big FAIL.
[1] Gardner’s History, Gazetteer & Directory of Cambridgeshire, 1851, p. 182. As well as cricket, it is worth noting, undergraduates of the university were also playing ‘football’ on the Piece at about this time, the Cambridge Rules of 1848 forming the basis of what later became Association Football.
[2] See Baker’s Map of the University and Town of Cambridge, 1830.