HEADLINE from the Oxford Mail,

25th March 1954


Home of “cultured, flippant and witty conversation


A UNIVERSITY professor, a composer, a company director and a retired schoolmaster were among those who successfully supported the licensee of the Rose and Crown public house, at 14, North Parade Avenue, Oxford in opposition testerday to having the premises closed.

This was at the adjourned annual Oxford licensing sessions1  and after an adjournment of an hour and a quarter, the chairman of the magistrates, Mr. G. H. Chew, said that, subject to undertakings given to the magistrates regarding the living accommodation being carried out, including the lavatory accommodation for the licensee, the licence would be renewed.

Sir Frank Soskice, QC, appeared for Halls brewery.

The Deputy Chief Constable, Supt. L. Quelch, said that the house had a full licence. The accommodation consisted of a lounge hall, a bar parlour and a bar. The supervision of the “Rose and Crown” of the rooms was good.

There was a thrift club with 52 members, a slate club with 49 members, and a bar billiards team playing in an Oxford league.

Within an area of a quarter of a mile, there were six fully licensed house and two full off licenses.

{The Rose and Crown, The Gardiner Arms (North Parade), The Gardener Arms (Plantation Road), The Horse and Jockey, The Lord Napier (Observatory Street), The Victoria (St. Bernards Road) + North Parade off license (maybe the grocers shop) and maybe the parade?}


In answer to Sir Frank Soskice, Supt. Quelch said that Mr. Woodward had been licensee of the “Rose and Crown” for about 20 years.

It was the sort of house that attracted a local trade. He agreed that, generally speaking, the house had police approval.

Henry James Parr, chief building inspector in the City Engineers Department, said that the property was very old.

The living accommodation was partly in the licensed premises and partly in the cottage at the rear of the garden.

There was nothing to suggest structural defects.

The property if old in character, was perfectly sound.


The licensee, Arthur Woodward, said that he did carpentry and building work on a part-time basis for his brother. He never went out in licensing hours.

In 1925, the previous licensee, Mrs, Stokes, had a new roof put on the cottage.

His customers were respectful and decent. No complaints had been made against him.

He handed in a petition signed by 113, including a Fellow of All Souls College, and said discussion of a serious nature took place at the bar.

Of the living accommodation, he said he could see no reason to alter it. It was an advantage to have the kitchen away from the licensed premises.

He got a good living from the public house. He paid £26 rent a year to the brewery and £68 year rates,

Mrs. Woodward said she had always been satisfied with the living accommodation.


Mr. Bartlet, a master shoemaker, who lives opposite, said he had been a customer for 12 years and he liked the atmosphere.

A retired schoolmaster, Mr. Arnold Selby, of Norham Road, a customer of six years, described the house as homely and said he would feel most strongly about it being closed.

Mr. John Veale, the Oxford composer of 16, Rawlinson Road, said he had been a fairly regular customer for five or six years. The conversation which took place there was of an exceptionally high level. It was sometimes cultured, sometimes flippant and witty. The house had the traditional qualities which had alwys been associated with English public houses. He thought it would be a great pity if the “Rose and Crown” closed.


A company director, Mr. Peter Frankenburg of 8, Park Town, described the “Rose and Crown” as “a friendly and pleasant little place with a congenial atmosphere.”

His wife said she met many of her women friend thee. It was bright cheerful and clean.

The secretary of the thrift and slate club, Mr. George Green of 73, Ferry Road, Marston, said he had been a customer for 20 years. All classes of people used the public house.

William L. Walker, managing director of Halls Oxford Brewery Ltd., said nearly £1400 had been spent on alteration in 1950. (The year Andrew Hall was born!)

For the last complete year sales amounted to 576 pints of beer a week and about nine bottles or wines and spirits.

He estimated this to represent 50 customers a day.


Replying to the chairman, Mr, Walker said that it would be difficult to prepare a plan to include the private part into the man block of the premises.

He did not see how the tenant would be better off if such large-scale alterations was made

The tenant preferred the quarters as they were.

John E. Lee, architect to the business premises, commenting on passages in a report read by Sir Frank Soskice, said it was “very untrue” to say the premises were “very ramshackle generally”.

It was true to term the kitchen as “appaling” and a “disgrace”.

The living quarters were not “dreadfully damp” and there was a hot water supply.


Sir Frank Soskice submitted that the report, by the licensing justices who visited the premises, was “completely inaccurate” and the root cause of the present opposition to the licence was “the incautious language” of the report.

“It is now proposed on the basis of that woefully inaccurate report to turn this man out of his house” he said.

The evidence had shown that the premises were not redundant or structually deficient or unsound.


1 Brewster Sessions:The annual meetings of licensing justices to deal with the grant, renewal, and transfer of licences to sell intoxicating liquor.


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