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Pub Visit - England

Wellington 1Monday 27th January 2014

Bob Thompson

I found researching the history of the Wellington fairly difficult so please forgive me if it is a little short. The pub was built in or around 1850. When it was eventually purchased to become a free house in the 1990s it was Whitbread sold it. They took over the Sheffield brewery of Tennant Brothers in 1962. It was this brewery that made the popular barley wine "Gold Label" that Whitbread then marketed all over the country.

From the above information I conclude that it was a Tennant's pub. It is almost certain that it was built by another brewery as, over the years, Tennant's acquired a lot of the city's smaller breweries. Tennant's story began in 1820 when Proctor's Brewery was established at Market Place, Sheffield. The two brothers Edward and Robert purchased it in 1840. They moved it to the Exchange Brewery in Bridge Street during 1852.

Wellington 2The Exchange Brewery was located just a half mile or so from the Wellington. It has now been demolished and the UK Border Agency has a modern building on the site. It is close to the Harlequin, another good pub in the area; please see a separate article on it. The Exchange Brewery ceased brewing in 1993, a considerable time after the Whitbread take-over.

Back in 1993 the pub was purchased by Neil and Sheila Clarke and they inherited a pub that sold only keg beer.

They then set about transforming its fortunes by making it a cask ale destination pub. To assist in its recognition they renamed it as the Cask & Cutler. They must have been doing something right as the pub was awarded Sheffield CAMRA's Pub of the Year award in 1996, 1999 and 2003. During their tenure they served over 5,200 different beers.

Wellington 3The present owners came on to scene in 2007 and over the years since then have refurbished the pub. The name was changed back to the original. Interestingly the outside sign says it is the "Lower Wellie", so there must have been another higher up Henry Street. An important development was the establishment of the Little Ale Cart Brewery in an outbuilding behind the pub and of course, the Wellington is its official tap.

I was with wife Linda and inside the Wellington we found there is a feeling of timelessness. When I first started going into pubs across the North during the mid and late sixties, they were mostly like this one. Nowadays there are sadly so few. Once inside the door we were in the bar room. Off this there are two "lounges" in separate rooms. One of them has service through a large hatch at the end the bar. There are some nice stained glass windows and there are even some inside the pub.

Wellington 4Not surprising, most of the beers come from the back yard. Our choice from the Little Ale Cart Brewery was: Farmer's Boy (3.9%); Deep Shaft Stout (6.2%); Tornado (4.0%); Flying Scotsman (5.0%) and Alnwick Castle (4.3%). The last three are named after railway locomotives. They also always have a beer from the Millstone Brewery of Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester and on this occasion it was Baby Git (4.0%).

The brewery out the back was installed in 2000 when the pub was the Cask & Cutler. It was known as the Port Mahon Brewery and was of 1 bbl capacity. It brewed beers until the change of ownership in 2006.

It was re-activated in August 2008 and has brewed a vast amount of beers since then as it is used by two "cuckoo" brewers.

These are people that sell their beers under a "Brewery or Brewing" name but use the equipment of others to produce it. The two in question are Steel City Brewing and the White Rose Brewery. I believe the equipment of the Little Ale Cart brewery was renewed at the end of 2013. They have probably increased the capacity.

Considering its proximity to a tram stop there is no excuse for not visiting this excellent little pub.

Important Information:

The Wellington, 1 Henry Street, Sheffield S3 7EQ. Tel: 0114 249 2295

Open: Monday-Saturday 12.00-23.00; Sunday 12.00-15.30, 19.00-22.30

The pub is very convenient. If you have come from the city centre alight at the Shalesmoor tram stop, continue walking in the direction that the tram is going and, around a slight bend, you will find the pub.

The Shalesmoor tram stop is served by two routes. The Blue route runs from Halfway to Malin Bridge via the main railway station and the city centre. The Yellow route runs from Meadowhall Interchange station to Middlewood via the city centre. Normally each line operates every ten minutes, giving a tram every five minutes from the city centre.

There are also several bus routes that stop here.