The storey-ed history of the Hare and Hounds

THE facade of the Hare and Hounds pub in Brentmoor Road, West End has something odd about it.

However, there is good reason for this. It started off as a single-storey building with the second storey being added sometime later.

ORIGINAL: the Hare and Hounds pub before a second-storey was added

The two vintage pictures seen here reveal all. The two sets of windows really are the clue as they are so different in style!

The picture of when it was a single-storey building possibly dates to around the turn of the 20th century. Note the two horse-drawn carts in front of the pub and there is a woman making her way along the road towards the right-hand side wearing what looks like characteristic clothes of the period.

The later picture, with the additional storey, may date to around the early 1930s. There is a small motor-car just past the pub and a lorry to the far right.

ROOM ABOVE: the pub in about 1930 and it looks much the same today

The sign between the upper floor windows proclaims: ‘FRIARY ALES & STOUTS WINES AND SPIRITS’. This would have then been the Friary, Holroyd & Healy’s Brewery, based in Guildford town centre where The Friary shopping centre is today.

Friary was the area’s largest brewery by far, with tied houses throughout Surrey and even into neighbouring counties.

The website of CAMRA, the Campaign For Real Ale, gives further details of the Hare and Hounds’ earlier and later history.

Evidently, before 1850 the pub was known as the Titch Tavern and was said to have been the headquarters of the Titchfield Harriers, an interesting clue to it becoming the Hare and Hounds.

The CAMRA website also recalls local businessman Eddie Harford as the last landlord before the pub was bought by Hall & Woodhouse who “closed it for a few months in spring and summer 1997 for a complete refurbishment”.

It goes without saying that by delving into the history of most pubs interesting facts and stories will come to light. And the Hare and Hounds does, however, have a more recent and somewhat curious story.

In 2006 the pub was, on appeal, granted a few concessions regarding extended opening hours. It was reported at the time that magistrates ruled the pub could open for an extra half-hour on Sundays, up until 11pm. They deemed that windows could now stay open until 11pm when music was being played. However, the magistrates decided spontaneous dancing should remain unlawful.

Thanks again to retired West End barber Stan Martin, who had his shop in Gosden Road for 40 years. He displayed lots of old photos in his shop brought in by his customers, and has gifted copies to be used on the News & Mail’s Peeps page.

If  you have some memories or old pictures relating to the Woking area, call me, David Rose, on 01483 838960, or drop a line to the News & Mail.

David Rose is a local historian and writer who specialises in what he calls “the history within living memory” of people, places and events in the west Surrey area covering towns such as Woking and Guildford. He collects old photos and memorabilia relating to the area and the subject, and regularly gives illustrated local history talks to groups and societies. For enquiries and bookings please phone or email him at: davidrosemedia@gmail.com

For the full story get the 31 October edition of the News & Mail

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