Chequers Inn

WTPC-0197 C1915 

WTPC-0161 C1910 

WTPC-0129 C1930  Chequers Pub Sign

This is probably the site of the oldest alehouse in WT. In 1753 it was called the “Ninepin and Bowl” and changed its name to the “Chequers” in 1768. In 1572 John Nashe is recorded as a beer brewer and in 1577 the inn was run by William Truelove. It was classed as an inn at that time. The current building is not the original having been rebuilt by Thomas Pursell (landlord from 1783 to 1799) on the site of an old brewhouse and barn next door. It was sold to the Aylesbury Brewery Company in 1895. As with many of the alehouses there was a shop in the 1930s.

1753 Called the "Ninepin and Bowl" and held by Thomas Rolfe.[2

1768 Renamed "The Chequers".[2] 

1783 - 1799 Thomas Purssell landlord.[2] Thomas Purssell, rebuilt The Chequers on the site of an old brewhouse and barn next door.[14

1800 Thomas Gore takes over as landlord[2] 

1827 Susannah Gore, Thomas's widow takes on the license.[2] 

1833 (Dec 28) The license is transferred to Thomas Pursell.[6

1840 The license is transferred from Thomas Pursell to Thomas Floyd.[7

1840 (Jul 8) There was an attempted break-in at the Chequers Public House, the same night as the more successful break-in at Mrs. Edmonds' beer retail house. [15] 

1841 Census Thomas Floyd (23) Victualler, his wife Ann (24) and their son George (1).

1847 Joseph Goodson is shown at "Chequers" in Post Office Directory

1851 Census Barrington Fitkin (31) Victualler and carpenter, his wife Mary (29) and their son John (1). Also living there is Sarah Bunce (13), Servant

1856 The Royal Britannia Society was established at The Chequers Inn. By 1877 it had 30 members,asetts of £58 Receipts in 1877 £28

1861 Census Barrington Fitkin (42) builder and publican, his wife Mary (39), their son John (11) and daughter Lucy (9).

1869 (Oct)License transferred from Barrington Fitkin to John Reading

1871 Census shows John Reading (30) a wheelwright with Isabella (25) his wife, and Annie their daughter (2).

1872 The Chequers is a licensed Public House that has had a license for over 50 years. The owner is Barington Fitkin of Weston Turville (as is the Vine) and it is occupied by John Reading. [3] 

1876 John Reading is listed as a grocer and Victualler in the Harrod & Co Directory.

1881 Census shows John Reading a wheelwright with Isabella his wife, and three children.

1888 John Reading publican and wheelwright by trade was thrown from his pony cart and killed.[4

1890 Mrs. Reading purchases a small estate, comprising eleven acres of pasture for £1,040 at auction.[12

1891 The census shows Isabella Reading (46) as Licensed Victualler  living with her sons William (19) Poultry Breeder and Frank (11) student and daughter Sarah (15)

1901 The census shows Isabella Reading (56) as Innkeeper living with her sons William (29) and Frank (21) both Poultry Breeders. 

1903 Isabella Reading (Mrs.) at Chequers P.H. in the 1903 Kelly's Directory

1911  License transferred from Henry Joseph Harley to Robert Mellor of Conisboro.[11

1911 Census Robert Mellor (46) is the publican, His wife Sarah (nee Limer, 46) and daughter Eva (19) both "Assist with business". Their son Robert (16) is a stoker and Norman (13)

1911 (Apr-JunQ) Death of Robert Mellor

1911 Kelly's shows Sarah Mellor for Chequers (PH)

1912 (24 Dec) Sarah marries Francis Thomas Spencer in Weston Turville.

1915 Sarah is next of kin for Frank Spencer when he is enlisted in 1915.

1918 Sarah's son Robert Mellor appears on the absent voters list address "Chequer's Inn", his brother Norman Mellor also appears on the list with an address of Weston Turville.

1923 License transferred from Sarah Spencer to Frank Langston.[10]  

1926 Frank Langstone was a victim of Charles Edward White, a ship's chief steward, who claimed to be an Customs and Excise Officer.[5]  (See Hostelries for full story).

1932 License transferred from Frederick G. Patmore to George Woodley.[9

1939 Kelly's lists George Woodley at The Plough.

1950 The license is transferred from George Woodley to his widow Edith Woodley.[8

1951 The license is transferred from Edith Woodley to Wilfred George Kempster.[13

Historical Society Publications

World War II John Lawton's diaries "Much More than the Village Schoolmaster.." 

there are several mentions of "calling into The Chequers", "had one with George Prince at The Chequers" and chats with the landlord, George Woodley.

1940s School Memories Compiled by Margaret Cox 

‘My cousin and I were on our bikes one day.  We got to The Chequers Pub when a chicken ran out, straight into my cousin’s front wheel cutting its head off.  Mr. Kempster, the Publican, ran out, caught hold of my cousin’s arm and marched him home, whereupon he asked for payment for the hen.  Of course, it was his best laying one’ (1940s).

From the memories of George Stanley Taylor (10 Sep 1933 - 23 Nov 2011)

"As a small boy of 5 or 6,I can remember Saturday night, Mum, Dad, Uncle George P. .. . and me used to go round the Chequers for a drink. I had to sit in the little sweet shop to the left as you went in. Mrs. Hall used to read Rupert to me. She and her husband George, used to keep the Paper Shop which was where the shops are now. The landlord was Mr. George Woodley, known as 'Lardy'. He used to be a groom to Lord Rosebury, hence 'Lardy'. I remember one night everyone left a bit rapid.

It seems Tim Kempster put the clock back an hour - as you can appreciate in those days time was time. Mr. Woodley kept the outside of the pub like a show ground, not a weed in sight, stones painted white. Opposite the pub was the local blacksmith, Mr. Tim Kempster, and his family. Tim, as everyone called him, only had one eye, but regardless he could still throw a good dart, as I found out in later years when he was landlord of the Chequers."