Boy & Barrel Public House
HISTORY OF THE BOY AND BARREL
by PAUL JENNINGS
Text taken from:
The story of the Boy and Barrel
It dates back to the early 1770’s, when one Richard Mortimer was both landlord and owner. At that time in the town’s population was under four thousand. Westgate was its commercial heart with the old market regularly held at the junction with Ivegate and Kirkgate, and the Boy and Barrel one of many inns along it, catering to tradesman and customers.
With industrialisation and the huge growth of Bradford’s population slum districts developed around the town centre and Westgate was on the edge of one of the worst – around Silsbridge Lane (present Gratton Road). The public houses were pretty rough and the Boy and Barrel was prominant among them. In January 1834 landlady Jane Waters was fined for keeping a disorderly house, a futher blow to her coming just three month after her husband Walter commited suicide – cutting his throat while suffering from scarltet fever. Twice during the following decade the house had its licence suspended for a year ; in 1844 for disorderly company and prostitutes and in 1848 after landlady Elizabeth Jowett had been fined for having nine drunken men at the premises at two o’clock Sunday morning. And, as at other neighbouring pubs, there was always the the possibility of violence, vividly illustrated in the columns of the local paper.
Overall, later in the centary drunkenness declined but Westgate and it’s continuation into White Abbey Road retained a certain noteriety. In 1900 a landlord of the Boy and Barrel was again fined for allowing prostitutess.Then in 1918 objection was taken to it’s licence on the ground that it was no longer necessary and its sanitary provision was inadequate – that is no separate toilets for men and women. However, subject to required alterations being made, the licence was renewed and one of Bradfords oldest and historically more colourful pubs survives into its third century.