Note:  George originally sent this as a posting of interest via the Black Country mailing list and it appears here with his kind permission.  It should be noted that the piece was not written as a paper but rather as an email.


The New Navigation Inn

My father Herbert Wallace John Jukes did his apprenticeship as a carpenter with Messrs Bridgewater Bros Ltd, Builders of Cradley Heath, Staffordshire and at the age of 20-21years worked on the building of the New Navigation Inn at Jarvis Bridge, New Wolverhampton Road, Langley.  It was opened for business on Thursday 30th July 1931 and the following is a report at that time.  For information, the Old Navigation Inn was built 1845 and demolished 1930.

The New Navigation Inn, adjoining Jarvis Bridge, at the junction of Titford Road and the new arterial road from Birmingham to Wolverhampton, is the latest type of "Model Inn" to be erected by Showells Brewery Company Ltd, - "the pioneers in the Midlands of the improved Licensed Inn." 

The deeds relating to the property reveal interesting information that the old "Navigation Inn," which stood upon the present site and which was entirely demolished in the re-construction, was erected by one "Joseph Heywood, farmer of Titford, in the hamlet of Warley Wigorn in the County of Worcester," shortly prior to 1845 upon land, which, in the year 1812 formed part of the County of Shropshire.

The old inn for many years catered for the requirements of the members of the waterway navigation craft on the adjacent inland canal, but with the advent and development of the motor vehicle as a means of transport, merchandise which was once carried leisurely along the canal is now borne on the highway, and this change has gradually seen, to a great extent, the passing of the picturesque waterman and those things associated with his craft.

In order to meet these altered circumstances and to provide adequate accommodation for both the growing local population and the prospective users of the great new Road opened by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales on 2 November 1927, this new Inn, with the approval of the Licensing Justices and Local Authority Oldbury, has been designed, erected and equipped.

Whilst retaining those delightful characteristics associated with the Hostelry of bygone coaching and navigation days; the New Navigation Inn, with its half-timbered gables and casement windows, its panelled rooms, oak-beamed passages and ceilings, coupled with good lighting, heating, ventilation and tiled floors, combines the best features of the old English Inn with the most up-to-date ideas of hygienic construction, comfort and service.

The cellarage is large, dry and lofty, and the latest types of beer engines have been installed whereby patrons may see the beer being drawn glass pipes, whilst in the servery of the public Bar a continuous supply of hot and cold water to an automatic glass-cleaning machine ensures customers being supplied with sound beer under up-to-date conditions.

A Smoking Room is provided, decorated in period style and the dining and Assembly Room is tastefully arranged where meals can be served and meetings and parties accommodated. A lift from the Kitchen to the Servery will facilitate the supply of hot food to those desiring solid refreshment.

The sanitary arrangements are ample and fitted in first-class manner throughout.

The accommodation for the Licensee is situated on the first floor and is on a generous scale

The well-known Burton Ales and Milk Stout brewed by Messrs. Samuel Allsopp & Sons, Ltd., will be on draught and in bottle, together with the finest quality Wines and Spirits, including that famed old-matured "Meynell Hunt" Whiskey, one of the choicest blends of old Scotch Whiskey available today.

Proprietors: Showells Brewery Co., Ltd, Langley, Worcestershire.
Architects: Messrs. Scott & Clark, Wednesbury.
Builders: Messrs. Bridgewater Bros., Ltd., Cradley Heath, Staffs.
Internal Furnishings: Messrs. Gaskell & Chambers Ltd, Birmingham

George Jukes