The Wagon and Horses was originally a simple cottage style pub with whitewashed walls and a tiled roof. An undated photograph shows the licensee was Sarah Buck. Ind Coope & Co of Burton on Trent bought the property and immediately demolished it to make way for a brand new pub.
The construction must have been complete by 1903 as the licensing book of that year gives the annual rateable value of the Wagon and Horses at £90 –about ten times the rate of a typical village pub. An advertisement at the time read: ‘Wagon and Horses Family Hotel. Teas and luncheons, a first class bowling green, every accommodation, cyclists catered for. Ind Coope and Co’s ales, wines and spirits of the best quality, good stabling.’
In the First World War (1918) it was described by flyer Lieutenant Malcolm Cotton Brown to his parents living in America: “The ordinary run of wayside inns are attractive in appearance; but this one is exceptional, with its bowling green, its rose garden with hidden canvas bowler, and its ivy-protected retreats equipped with comfortable rustic furniture.” The Wagon and Horses had etched windows. During the 1930’s Arthur Saxby took over as landlord and converted the pub’s outbuildings into stables for race horses. A horse called Green Wheat from the pub stables was a winner at Cheltenham, but on another occasion at Prestbury Park, disaster ensued when Green Wheat fell awkwardly and killed the poor jockey whose name was Speck. The stable block was later converted into the pub skittle alley.
On Friday 5th August 1988 the Wagon & Horses was rebranded as the Venue.
The red bricked Edwardian building with its elegant lines and high chimneys with its well maintained gardens has changed beyond recognition in the last decade or so. A children’s indoor play area – ‘Wacky Warehouse’ – was built in the ornamental rose gardens in 1996 necessitating the felling of a mature tree and the front of the building was knocked out for the addition of a long conservatory. In the summer of 2001 most of the original red bricked building was covered in white cladding and the name Wagon & Horses disappeared as it became rebranded as the Hucclecote Harvester after a £1.5 million refit. An intrigued local resident wrote to the ‘Citizen’ and exclaimed: ‘What is it going to be – a large beach hut. A Swedish style sauna house!’ The Wacky Warehouse was also demolished and a 14 bedroom extension was built on the site of the once rustic rose garden.
In October 2007 the Sizzling Pub Co took over the Hucclecote Harvester and it reopened as the Wagon and Horses once again on 20th November 2007. The press release stated that ‘the inside has been totally re-vamped with big bucket chairs and comfy sofas, to create a new interior with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.’
This page will be updated with additional information.
Map Reference: SO 871176
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1891: Henry Lea (free from brewery tie)
Rateable Value in 1903: £90.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Ind Coope & Co., Burton on Trent
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Owner in 1999: Allied Domecq
Owner in 2001: Bass Taverns
Owners in 2005,2007: Mitchell & Butlers Leisure Retail Ltd
Landlords at the Wagon & Horses include:
1885 ,1891 Henry Lea
c.1900 Sarah Buck
1902 Thomas Harry Eyles
1906 Frederick Warren
1919 Frederick Bannister
1927 John Hy. Drew
1936 R. Newton
1930’s Arthur Saxby
2001 James O’Hara (manager, Hucclecote Harvester)
2005 Penny Adams (manager, Hucclecote Harvester)
2007 Claire Gibson (Harvester Grill and Restaurant manager)
2007,2008 James O’Hara (manager, Wagon & Horses Sizzling Pub Co)