Whittington History Society




  • 1832 The last Will and Testament of Mary Pass, a spinster of Whittington, was dated 4th of August 1832. Miss Pass left her property described as a “Dwelling House”, to her great nephew, Abraham Pass. The executors of her will, were William Walter Shuker, Gentleman, and Abraham Robinson, a Blacksmith, both were of Whittington. Deeds in the possession of Ind Coope breweries, do not show how Mary Pass acquired the property, or show the date of her death, but Mary was buried on 1st Oct 1832, at St Giles Church, Whittington, Staffordshire.
  • 1833 The Will of Mary Pass was proved at Lichfield on the 13th of May 1833 and probate was granted to William Walter Shuker, and Abraham Robinson, the executors.
  • 1834 Trade directories show that John Pass was a “Shopkeeper and Beer-house”, keeper.
  • 1844 John’s son, Abraham Pass on the 1st of May purchased two houses adjoining the one he owned, from Nathaniel Pass, a Yeoman, of Rugeley, Staffs. Abraham Pass and Nathaniel Pass were 2nd cousins.
  • 1851 White’s trade directory shows John Pass as the landlord and shopkeeper.
  • 1854 The properties had now been joined together, and were now first known as “The Bell Inn”. This was the first mention of the premises being licensed.
  • 1860 The “Bell Inn” is still in the hands of John Pass.
  • 1869 Abraham Pass, married Miss Jane Brookes of Tixall near Stafford on the 7th of April 1869.
  • 1870 Trade directories now show John Bridgen as the Landlord, of “The Bell Inn”, and also grocer, bricklayer, and Victualler.
  • 1871 Census shows John Bridgen, head of household, Licensed Victualler, age 62, Mary E Bridgen Wife, age 52,Jane Synenswas, 12 yr old servant from Longdon.
  • 1872 The “Bell Inn” is still in the hands of John Bridgen.
  • 1874 Abraham Pass, now living in another pub, “The Prince of Wales”, in Rugeley, by his Will dated 14th September 1874 appointed his son Henry John Pass, and his friend, William Alfred Thomas, a Bricklayer of Whittington, as his executors. Abraham left his wife Jane, an annuity of £10 per annum for the remainder of her life, and directed that his property in Whittington, be sold after her death, and the proceeds shared equally between his four sons. His eldest son, John, was to have the opportunity to purchase the property, at a fair price, (if he wished to do so), and the money shared between the four sons.
  • 1880 Abraham Pass is shown as the landlord.
  • 1881 In the census for this year, Abraham Pass, aged 64, lived with his wife Jane, aged 69, and son “Dennis” whom we believe to be a mistranscription of “Hennis Arms Pass” age 21, an “Inn Servant” at “The Bell Inn”, also there were Charlotte Brown, a servant and Arthur Hunt also a servant.
  • 1885 Hennis Arms pass and Isabella baptised their daughter Cicely Louisa on 23rd Sep 1885 at St Giles, Whittington, he did not state his occupation at that time.
  • 1888 Abraham Pass died on the 29th March 1888, and his personal estate and rents and profits from the real estate would not cover the debts he had, a further sum of £625 being required, so the property was mortgaged to Lichfield Brewery for that amount.
  • 1897 Hennis Arms Pass married Isabella Wheelton, of Fisherwick, date of the marriage is not known but probably before 1885, but her father, Thomas Wheelton gave to Hennis Arms Pass, two cottages near to, “The Bell Inn”, Whittington. The deed of gift is dated 12th of February 1897.
  • 1897 Hennis Arms Pass and his wife Isabella baptised Elsie May Pass, 22nd Mar 1897 and Hennis gave his occupation as Publican, and his abode, Whittington.




























Hennis Arms Pass, his wife Isabella, their daughter Elsie May, and Labrador “Dragon”.


  • 1898 The property was sold to Lichfield Brewery Co Ltd by Abraham’s four sons on the 9th of February 1898, His four sons are described in the conveyance as, Henry John, a butcher of  Fazeley, Herbert Charles, a Coal-merchant, of Bridgenorth, Horace Alfred, a Barber, of Rochester State, New York, U.S.A. and Hennis Arms Pass, an Innkeeper of Whittington.
  • 1900 Trade directories now show Hennis Arms Pass, as the landlord of “The Bell Inn”, he also baptised another child Ronald Baden on 8th April 1900.
  • 1904 Trade directories now show Hennis Arms Pass, as the landlord of “The Bell Inn”.
  • 1912 Directories show Hennis Arms Pass, is still the landlord of “The Bell Inn”.




























The Bell Inn with pony and trap. Hennis A. Pass is sitting on the wall far right. Circa 1900.



  • 1916 Hennis Arms Pass died on the 2nd July 1916 and left the two cottages to his wife Isabella Pass.
  • 1920 Isabella Pass, sold her cottages to Lichfield Brewery Co Ltd, on the 18th of August 1920.
  • 1921   Trade directories show William George Burgess as the landlord of “The Bell Inn”.
  • 1924 Electoral rolls show the “Bell Inn” had William Fairfax Russell as a resident, he and his wife Georgina Sarah, baptised their daughter “Faxina Sarah Christabel”, her first name is a composite of the last letters of her father’s middle name and the last letters of her mothers’ first name.
  • 1932 Mrs Sarah Ann Burgess is shown in 1932 Kelly’s as being the landlady of the “Bell Inn”.
  • 1936 Trade directories show Captain Samuel Bradbury as the landlord of “The Bell Inn”.
































Captain Samuel Bradbury seated with his wife Edith and their children, Edgar Rockley Bradbury, and Esme Elvira Bradbury, other family members.


  • 1939 Edith Bradbury  died  on 17 Feb 1939, she was resident  at the Bell Inn at that time, her obituary appeared in The Lichfield Mercury.
  • 1940 Trade directories show Samuel Bradbury was still the landlord of “The Bell Inn”.
  • 1944 Parish magazine of this year shows that “The Bell Inn” was the headquarters of the “Loyal Peel’s Pride Lodge of the Oddfellows M.U.” the secretary was Mr T O’Brien, of Church Street. This was a medical insurance scheme before the National Health scheme came into being.
  • 1949 Or thereabouts Herbert Stanley Boards ”Berty” was the landlord of “The Bell Inn”, with his wife Margaret Mary “Peggy”, and 3 sons, Harold, Eddie, and Arthur. Relatives recall the wedding of Norman Wardle, which used “The Bell Inn as a reception venue, and an upstairs window had to be removed to get a piano into the pub. Eddie recalls being kept awake by the piano and the singing from below his bedroom. Bert used to have his own coach, and an 8 seater Packard car, and would run trips to the Bell for workers from the car factories in Birmingham where he used to work. Sometimes Bert would have a pig roast in the back Garden, and at other occasions, several midland red buses would be chartered for outings.



















Herbert 'Berty' Boards and behind the bar with his wife Margaret 'Peggy' Boards.


  • “Berty” probably had the Bell into the early 1950s and then George Cork took over.
  • 1959 Lichfield Brewery Co Ltd changed its name to Ind Coope (North East) Ltd, on the 6th of August 1959. And the property was conveyed to Ind Coope (East Midlands) Ltd on the 28th of August 1959.
  • Or thereabouts, George Harry Cork was the landlord of “The Bell Inn”, however he died on the 21 Feb 1968 aged 54.
  • 1969 Arthur Stanley Brough and wife Doris were the Hosts for a number of years.
















An advert circa 1970’s.


  • 1976 Ronald and Jill Roostenberg took over for about 3 years; Jill was the daughter of Arthur and Doris Brough.
  • 1980 Paul Knox was landlord for about 2 years.
  • 1982 Edward Butler took over for about 6 years, and installed some central-heating; he left to run a fishing tackle shop in the Tamworth area.
  • 1988 William Stuart Soden became The Licensee on 14th December his wife is named Elizabeth J.
  • 1990 Coventry born Clive Owen, starred as “Chancer” Stephen Crane, in the TV series of the same name, many scenes were shot in “The Bell Inn”, and also Whittington Post Office, signed photos of the cast, and are in the passageway of the pub. The Lichfield Mercury also tells us that some scenes in “Soldier Soldier” were filmed in the Bell, dates unknown.
  • 1994 William Stuart Soden was still the landlord in mid November, according to electoral rolls.
  • 1996 Nigel Melvyn Thomas became the Landlord, on 14th February along with his wife Ann.
  • 1999 Simon Edward Doveston took over the licence on 1st April, along with his partner Charlotte Clewes.
  • 1999 Richard Lindsay Mc Bane and wife Elizabeth took over for a short time on 2nd June.
  • 2000 Trevor Bullement was briefly the licensee from 12th October with his wife Rita
  • 2000 Sue Elizabeth Wheeler had the Bell for a very short time from 1stNovember.
  • 2000 Anthony Birch became the licensee on 23rd November.
  •  From the 7th of Dec 2000, the landlady was Alayne Alexandra Wilson, and Stellios. Alayne ran the Bell Inn single-handed, to Dec 2002.
  • 2002 - on 13 Dec Alayne married Steve Hunt, after a short courtship.
  • 2003 - 20th March “The Bell Inn” has been run by David Arthur Turner, and his wife Joanne nee Turley, who redecorated, began serving meals once more, and provided live music and Quiz nights.
  • 2003 - 31 August, a new patio and children’s play area was opened with an afternoon of fun for all the family.
  • 2004 - in May filming of a new series of the TV drama “Dalziel and Pascoe” began; The Bell Inn was used for a pub setting under the guise of “The Spotted Pig”. The pub was closed for 2 days whilst filming took place, huge screens were erected around the front of the pub to obscure all windows, perhaps to simulate a night-time scene, or to prevent people peering in and spoiling shots. The next day, these large screens were removed and transparent amber screens were fitted to the windows, and huge lights were positioned outside the pub, well known actors were seen arriving and leaving by mini-bus.
  • 2007 - In February, David Davies and wife Ann took over the license of The Bell Inn.
  • 2007 - At the end of the year David Davies has had his wife leave him, due to David having a drink problem. There was a period when no Bitters were available, however after a shaky patch, things returned to normal. Meanwhile Ann took over from David.
  • 2011 - Ann Davies got the Bell Inn back on its feet again however as she was over 70 she retired.



Compiled by Philip James Wood

More information is required, could you add anything? Do you have any stories or old photo’s?

A History of The Bell Inn

© 2016 Whittington History Society