History of Alexandra Arms (22 Gwydir Street)

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Alexandra Arms

Click here for the current pub's website. It is now called the Alex. It includes the old 24 Gwydir St.

James Ellwood was publican in the Alexandra Arms in 1879 (see Post Office directory).

Josiah Clark was publican in the Alexandra Arms in 1883 (see Kelly directory).

James Cutmore was publican in the Alexandra Arms in 1892 (see Kelly directory).

This record was made by the great great grandson of Alma Sanders in 2004:

Alma Sanders kept the Alexandra Arms circa 1900-1901 (from the 1901 Census). She was born in 1855/56 in Birmingham. She was a widow and lived there with her 5 children. )

P.F.Erden was publican in the Alexandra Arms in 1904 (see Spaldings directory).

Joseph A. Shaw was publican in the Alexandra Arms in 1913 (see Spaldings directory).

This record was made by the grandson of Joseph Shaw in 2004/2005. )

Joseph Shaw was born in Brenchley, Kent in 1880 and was a coachman before becoming a publican. He became landlord of the Alexandra Arms circa 1912. Previously, he was the landlord of the 'Blackbirds Inn' in Lavenham, where his oldest son and daughter were born. His wife, Kate May Turner, came from Lavenham. Two more daughters were born in the Alex, Kathleen in 1913 and Molly in 1914. The family then moved to the Crown, where two more daughters were born. The Crown no longer exists. In about 1930, they left Cambridge for Brighton on the south coast.

George Samuel Johnson was publican in the Alexandra Arms in 1916 (see Kelly directory).

(Graham Norman emailed me in 2005. )

As a baby / young child Graham Norman lived with his grandparents in the Alexander Arms. This was 1941-1951 approx. His grandparents were tenants of the pub for 34 yrs approx. His name was William John Russell. They then retired to live in Abbey Road. Graham's recollection of the area is that there were 2 other pubs in the street i.e Gwydir Arms and Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales on the corner of Norfolk Street and the Alexander Arms were Wells & Winches of Biggleswade public houses.

Albert Biggs who lived at 29 Gwydir Street says "In the mid 30s and 40's the publican was named Mr Russell and his son Gordon was with me in the 23rd (St Matthews) scout troop."

Pubs History says
"Residents at this address
1871/John Hanslip/Publican/51/Gumistree, Norfolk/Census
1871/Mary Hanslip/Wife/46/Gumistree, Norfolk/Census
1871/Alice Hanslip/Daughter/12/Gumistree, Norfolk/Census
1871/Caroline Hanslip/Lodger, Formerly Publican/42/Hilgay, Norfolk/Census
1871/Walter Hanslip/Lodgers Son, Moulder/19/Cambridge, Cambridgeshire/Census
1871/Caroline Hanslip/Lodgers Daughter/12/Cambridge, Cambridgeshire/Census
1879/Francis Forster/../../../Kellys Directory
1881/Francis Forster / Publican/../../Spalding’s Directory of Cambridge
1881/Francis Forster/Licensed Victualler/30/Bromham Market, Norfolk/Census
1881/Emma Forster/Wife/28/Steeple Mordon, Cambridge/Census
1881/Beatrice Forster/Daughter/3/Cambridge/Census
1883/Josiah Clark/../../../Kellys Directory
1888/James Crook/../../../Kellys Directory
1892/James Cutmore/../../../Kellys Directory
1896/Millin Binder/../../../Kellys Directory
1901/Alma Sanders/../../../Census
1904/Philip Francis Earden/../../../Kellys Directory
1913/Frederick Frampton/../../../Spalding Directory
1916/Geo Sl Johnson/../../../Kellys Directory
1933/Wm. Jn. Russell/../../../Kelly’s Directory
1935/W J Russell/../../../Kellys Directory"

From Cambridge News 25 April 1963:

On the opposite side of the street is the Alexander Arms, which the Licensee Mr Owen Lloyd estimates to have been in existence forr at least 70 years. It used to have a famous skittle club but this was dissolved some years ago. Mr Lloyd's comment on the demolition in the area is that in spite of the fact of many of his customers have had to move elsewhere, they have returned their loyalty to the Alexander Arms, especially at the weekend, when business was very good. He also thinks that people are choosing many expensive drinks nowadays even to the extent that they tend to select the dearest of two light ales.

From Capturing Cambridge:



1871: Alexandra Arms
John Hanslip, 51, publican, b Norfolk
Mary, 46, b Norfolk
Alice, 12, b Norfolk
Caroline Hanslip, lodger, 47, former publican, b Norfolk
Walter Hanslip, lodger’s son, 19, moulder [?], b Cambridge
Caroline Hanslip, lodger’s daughter, 12, b Cambridge

1881: Alexandra Arms (22)
Francis Forster, head, 30, licensed victualler, b Norfolk
Emma, wife, 28, b Cambs
Beatrice, daughter, 3, b Cambridge

1883: Josiah Clark (Kellys)

CIP 6.1.1883
: Josiah Clark, licensed victualler of the Alexandra Arms, Gwydir Street, was charged with keeping his house open at unlawful hours at half past eleven o’clock on Sunday night last. The evidence of PC George Simmons was given to prove the case. Mr J E L Whitehead appeared for defendant. The defendant was convicted and fine 20s and costs.

CIP 22.3.1890
THE FAILURE OF CAMBRIDGE BUILDER. This was the day appointed for the public examination of Thomas Twinn, publican, carpenter, and builder, of 22, Gwydir-street, Cambridge. A summary of the debtors statement trail shows liabilities amounting to £224 0s. 11d., assets of £39 15s. 61., leaving a deficiency of £184 5s. 5d.— The Official Receiver made the following observations concerning the bankruptcy :

Receiving order and a judication ware respectively made on the 8th March instant on the debtor’s own application. He is described as a builder and publican, having commenced the former business about two years ago, and the latter in November, 1888. In February last the debtor states that he gave a bill of sale for £80, the amount of an antecedent debt, upon all his effects, to his brother, which security, owing to the want of a proper consideration, and partaking of a preferential character, is of no value, and the property was upon the adjudication realised for the benefit of the estate. The debtor attributes his insolvency. which he states he only became aware of at Christmas late, to bad trade, sickness of family, and loss by contracts, and these are lumped together as accounting for the deficiency. No traces occur in the books of accounts kept by the debtor of any such losses, the same only containing the names of his debtors.

In answer to the Official Receiver, the Bankrupt said he took on the business publican because the premises he entered had a good yard attached. He borrowed £80 from his brother to carry on the business. He gave his brother a bill of sale when he was hopelessly insolvent. He knew he was insolvent at Christmas, because he was unable to settle his accounts. He attributed part of his failure to losses on contracts. He had lost about £50 on contracts. There were no particulars in his books, and he only guessed at the sum. When he took the public house he was not aware that he was insolvent. There had been no property removed from his premises. Mr. Hudson purchased his goods and chattels at a valuation. Everything was included in that valuation. He had never made an arrangement with his creditors. —This examination was also adjourned in consequence of the first meeting of creditors having not been held. The principal creditors are: Mr. A. Twinn, farmer, of Tilbury, Essex £80; Messrs Bates & Son, brickmakers, Cambridge. £17 11s. 3d.; Messrs. Hiscox & Smith, timber merchants, Wisbech, £27 15s. 5d.; Messrs. Watts & Son, timber merchants. Cambridge, £20 3s 8d.; Messrs. Macintosh and Son, ironmongers, Cambridge, £8 16s 6d.: Messrs. Daintree & Smith, ironmonger, London, £ 13s : and Mr. P. L. Hudson, the Brewery. Pampisford, £18 10s.

1891: Alexandra Arms
James Cutmore, head, 58, publican, b Suffolk
Emma, wife, 48, b Suffolk
Ruth Taylor, lodger, 38, living on her own means, b Suffolk
Caroline Taylor, lodger, 35, living on her own means, b Suffolk

CC&J 17.8.1900
: Refusal to quit – Benjamin Gage, bricklayer of 10 Stone Street pleaded guilty to refusing to quit the Alexandra Arms, Gwydir Street on August 4th and was fined 10s and 7s costs.

1901: (20-22)
Alura Sanders, widow, 45, publican, b Birmingham
Percy, 21, publican, b Worcs
James, 17, bricklayer, b Worcs
Gladstone, 13, b Worcs
Sam, 11, b Worcs
Elsie, 8, b Worcs

1904: P F Erden

: In A Public house Bar: Albert Hoye, labourer, of 3, Hanley-terrace, Sturton-street, was charged with stealing 5s or 6s. from a till, the property of Mrs. Annie Elizabeth Leng, wife of the landlord of the "Alexandra Arms," Gwydir-street, on July 1st. Mr. O. Papworth appeared for the defence.

Miss Annie Elizabeth Leng, daughter of the landlord, stated that on July 1st the prisoner went into the bar, and was served with a pint of beer. After drinking the beer he left the bar, and returned again, and asked for another pint of beer, with which he was served. Witnees left the bar and went into the kitchen ; whilst there she noticed the prisoner move from the chair he was sitting on to one nearer the fire place. She heard the bar door shut. After wards she examined the till, and found 5s. or 6s. missing. Prisoner was the only man that went into the bar during that time.

Mrs. Leng said prisoner came into the bar on July 3, and she recognised him the descrip tion her daughter gave the man who was in the bar when the monev was missed from the till on the previous Wednesday. She called out to her daughter, "Good-bye, Annie, I shall be gone about an hour." But she did not go out. She watched defendant through a window on the stairs, and saw him pull the curtains over the window and shut the door. He then walked to the flap in the counter and lifted it up. Witness went in and said, "Now I know you stole my money on Wednesday." He said, "I never did a thing like that. I went to get "Photo Bits from the back of the ledge." He then walked out of the house. Witness followed and gave him into custody.

P.c. Nelson stated that be was called to the publichouse on Friday, but when he got there the prisoner was gone. Mrs. Leng, however, pointed him out in the street, and witness arrested him. Prisoner denied taking the money, and said he was crying to get a paper and the sleeve of his coat caught the flap in the till. Prisoner tried to show him how it happened, but it "did not work that time."

Mr. Papworth submitted that the case hac not been made out completely. If there was any doubt at all the prisoner should have the benefit of it. The Mayor said the Magistrates considered that there was a doubt, and the Bench had decided to give him the benefit of it and dismiss the case.

1911: Alexandra Arms
Frederick Frampton, 42, publican, b Hants
Marion, 36, assisting in the business, b Scotland
George Frederick, 12, b Scotland
Mary Louisa, 14, b Scotland
Isabella May, 9, b Scotland

Joseph A Shaw, publican

William John Russell, b 1891, licensed victualler
Laurie W, b 1891
Edward J, b 1918, radio service engineer (part-time stretcher bearer)
Gordon W, b 1923
Eileen W, b 1920, secretary shorthand typist
Geoffrey J, b 1931
Brian L, b 1933

1962: (24-22)
Alexandra Arms

Modern bicycle parking at the Alex

Alexandra Arms bicycle parking Alexandra Arms bicycle parking Alexandra Arms bicycle parking Alexandra Arms bicycle parking Alexandra Arms bicycle parking Alexandra Arms bicycle parking

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