The Drinking Manís History of West Haddon.

A part of village life.

With agricultural depression at the end of the century the population of the village fell, and the move to town living continued well into this century. But on the whole the pubs thrived. Between the wars Mr Keylock of the CROWN was one of the first villagers to own a motor car. The CROWN was used for a variety of social gatherings, including all the square dances organised by Nurse Muncaster to raise funds for the village hall. When old Mrs Atterbury, of Manor Farm, died a funeral dinner was laid on at THE SHEAF, for the Manor Farm workers. When the Second World War came THE COMPASS was used as a meeting place for the Home Guard. After the war Westfield House became the WESTFIELD HOTEL, and later THE PYTCHLEY HOTEL.

The Pytchley, Sheaf and Crown have survived, but the outdoor beerhouses have gone (though West End Stores is licensed): the SPREAD EAGLE closed its doors for the last time after the Great War, but many villagers remember sitting on its old wooden settle, waiting for the doctor when the house was used as a temporary surgery. The COMPAS continued in business until the 1960ís. The GRAZIERSARMS was sadly destroyed by fire during the course of extensive refurbishment in the 70ís. The Dun Cow, the Red Lion and the Bell are long gone, and there must be others whose very names have failed to survive.

Now the village population is growing again, but the patterns of social life have changed. We now have much more leisure time than our ancestors, but we also have a far wider choice of ways to spend it. At the beginning of the nineteenth century West Haddon could support four pubs Ė The Crown, The Sheaf, The Dunn Cow and the Spread Eagle. Twenty years ago it could support four, Will it ever support so many again?