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A Look Back at Perry Hill’s New Inn and a Family That Once Ran It

Published on: 22 Aug, 2021
Updated on: 22 Aug, 2021

Jan Messinger, who writes our Worplesdon Witness column, is also a trustee of the Sidney Sime Gallery at Worplesdon Memorial Hall. Here, she tells the story of William Brewer Buckle, landlord of the New Inn pub (more recently the White Lyon and Dragon) on Perry Hill, and his family.

Perry Hill’s local pub, once called the New Inn, and more recently the White Lyon and Dragon is now closed – and it has certainly had its ups and downs over the years.

The now closed White Lyon and Dragon pub at Perry Hill, Worplesdon.

There has been a pub on the site since the late 18th century, while the most recent building was built post-1939.

The previous New Inn pub at Perry Hill, Worplesdon

The earlier building survived for a few years after the new pub was built and was the headquarters of the local Home Guard during the Second World War.

However, let me tell you a little of what I have learnt from Stephen Cranstone, who has researched the caricatures local artist Sidney Sime drew while sitting in the pub observing them in around 1926.

It is understood Sime sat in the corner of the pub with a glass of whiskey and his trusty sketch book. He viewed the locals in the pub by looking at them in a mirror he carefully angled towards them, so they did not notice he was sketching them.

Artist Sidney Sime.

Sime lived just down the road from the pub at Crown Cottage from 1904 until his death in 1941. A collection of his varied artworks have been displayed at the Sime Gallery since 1956. They include 36 characters, all males.

One is of William Brewer Buckle, landlord of the New Inn and another is of Charles Wadey, William’s son-in-law.

Sidney Sime’s caricature of William Brewer Buckle.

William Brewer Buckle was born in 1873 in Finchley, Middlesex. His father, also called William, was a licensee and ran a number pubs in and around Guildford. They included the Rose and Crown on the corner of Castle Street and Chapel Street from 1881, and the Barley Mow in Mount Street in 1891.

The Rose and Crown pub on the corner of Castle Street and Chapel Street, Guildford.

William married Ellen Davis on September 13, 1893, at St Nicolas Church, Guildford. Both were recorded as living at the Barley Mow pub and William was recorded as a gardener.

Ellen was born in 1857 in Glastonbury, Somerset. Their only child, Florence Matilda, was born in 1896. She went to Perry Hill School in 1900 and left in 1910.

The New Inn pub at Perry Hill, with landlord William Brewer Buckle on the far right. The horse is thought to have been, or was about to be, shod by blacksmiths and wheelwrights Primmer & Terry at its premises on the green opposite the pub.

The 1901 census records William Brewer Buckle as inn keeper on his own account at the New Inn, Worplesdon. Ellen and Florence were there as well as two of Ellen’s sisters, Matilda and Sarah.

By the time of the 1911 census Ellen was helping in the business and Florence was working as an apprentice dress maker.

Ellen’s sister Sarah was listed as a barmaid helping in the business. Also present was Frederick Albert Davis from Glastonbury, assumed to be Ellen’s brother, and his wife Euphemia. Albert’s profession was recorded as butler / domestic.

Ellen Buckle died in 1930 and was buried on September 29 of that year, aged 73. William and daughter Florence carried on with the pub. She had married Charles Wadey in 1920 and they lived in Worplesdon. He ran a timber business.

On October 14, 1935, William Brewer Buckle collapsed and died in the pub while talking with friends. He had been ill for some weeks and died on his 63rd birthday.

His obituary and reports of his funeral were published in the Surrey Advertiser & County Times on October 19 and October 26, 1935. He is buried at St Mary’s Churchyard, Perry Hill.

The reports reveal that he had been a popular man and had been involved in many aspects of the parish, including being vice-chairman of Worplesdon Parish Council. He was also an overseer of the parish and trustee of Worplesdon Memorial Hall from its inception in 1919.

He was also a member of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes. Remains of a clay tobacco pipe from the order, perhaps belonging to him, was found in the grounds of Crown Cottage and given to the Sime gallery and is on display there.

The West Sussex Gazette even reported his death in its edition of October 24, 1935, under the headline “Worplesdon’s loss”. It reported there was a large attendance at his funeral and that he had been licensee the the New Inn for 42 years.

Probate shows that William left £937.18s 5d to his daughter Florence.

In May 1926, the Evening News carried an article written by Sidney Sime, entitled ”Neighbours of London”. In it he describes the New Inn and the nature of its landlord and customers.

However, Sime did not reveal their real names. Landlord William Brewer Buckle is referred to as Bottel. In mentioning him, Sime wrote: “….he had an athletic swagger of Bottel the landlord, who after a cure by osteopathic mauling, now strides through the village like Milo the Cretan”.

The caption Sime wrote above his caricature of William reads: “Who said osteopath?”. Sime also described William as “a man of few words, generally only one, roaring with the voice of a drill sergeant ‘TIME’ at 20 minutes to 10 and turning off the gas (lights) at 5 minutes to 10, with no word at all”.

Sidney Sime’s caricature of Charles Wadey.

William’s son-in-law, Charles Wadey (1894-1960), was born in Northchapel, West Sussex, to parents Thomas and Fanny. He had an older sister Fanny, born 1889, and a brother, Thomas, born 1892. His mother died in 1895 and by 1901 his father and siblings were living with his grandparents, Charles and Sarah Wadey, in Northchapel. His father was working as a hire carter.

Charles and Florence (nee Buckle) were married in Petworth, West Sussex, in the first quarter of 1920. It is possible they met at a drapers and grocers shop in Northchapel, owned by two women by the name of Brown and Durrant. Florence was an apprentice dressmaker in 1911 and may have worked for them.

Charles and Florence had two sons, Leslie Arthur, born February 19, 1920, and Douglas William, born March 1, 1922.

Both sons went to school at Perry Hill. Douglas also attended Guildford Technical College.

In 1923 Charles and Florence were living at the New Inn. Florence ran the pub after her father’s death in 1935 until 1938, when the licence was transferred and the pub condemned to be closed.

The house Deepdene on the A322 Worplesdon Road at Rickford Hill, where the Wadey family lived. The names of the two women standing outside are unknown.

On the 1939 UK register, the family were now listed as living living at Deepdene, Rickford, and it records Charles as a timber yard foreman. Florence as carrying out un-paid domestic duties, Leslie is listed as an electrician and Douglas as an electrician’s mate.

Both Charles and Florence were active in social and political life in Worplesdon. Charles was quite adept playing card games. A report in the Surrey Advertiser of November 18, 1939, tells us Charles was a prize winner at the wardens’ ARP weekly whist drive.

He also won a prize at the Worplesdon Rovers (Rover Scouts) dance. His fancy footwork could also be seen on Worplesdon’s football pitch.

Worplesdon FC 1924-25 season, Charles Wadey is in the centre. Directly below him is Sir James Lewis Walker holding a walking stick and to the right of him is Sir Laurence Halsey.

He is featured in a Worplesdon FC team photo from the 1924-25 season, as winners of the Woking & District League, which hangs in Worplesdon Memorial Hall. Charles was the team’s vice-captain and his caricature makes him easily recognisable in the photograph.

Also in photo is Sir James Lewis Walker, one time owner of Worplesdon Place (now the hotel and restaurant), and Sir Laurence Halsey, who gave the money for Worplesdon Memorial Hall to be built.

Worplesdon Memorial Hall that is also home to the Sime Gallery.

With the Perry Hill pub now empty, with orange bollards and a metal gate, is a new chapter in its long history about to begin?

The former White Lyon and Dragon pub awaits a new chapter in Perry Hill’s history.

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Responses to A Look Back at Perry Hill’s New Inn and a Family That Once Ran It

  1. Mary Broughton Reply

    August 23, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    A brilliant rendition of a fascinating aspect of Worplesdon’s heritage and still only a ‘taster’ of the many other carcatures to be found in the Sime Gallery.

  2. Chris Venables Reply

    August 27, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    A very interesting article.
    The two ladies outside Deepdene were Lillian Criddle the shorter of the two who lived next door at No1 Kelvin Cottages. Lillian never married but had nieces and nephews in Woodstreet. She died in the early 90’s. The taller of the two was Florence Wadey.
    Regards, Chris and Lindsay Venables (Deepdene 1985-2019)

  3. Jan Messinger Reply

    August 28, 2021 at 10:26 am

    I response to Chris Venables, Chris that is wonderful thank you very much. Worplesdon misses you and Lindsay. So pleased that you enjoyed it. As you know. I love a bit of history.

  4. Jane Tickner Reply

    April 2, 2022 at 10:44 pm

    Just found this wonderful article, in which I find some of my own family. RG Tickner in the football picture was my dad’s uncle. In fact, dad was named after him. He died young so my Dad never knew him. Then another name, Lillian Criddle, who was a friend of my gran’s.

    My family lived at The Green and Hillcot, which were on the green. My gran was (Burch) before she married.

    Many thanks for the article.

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