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Friday, 10 February 2017

OLD SHIP INN, 89, Swansea Terrace, Water Lane

89, Swansea Terrace, Water Lane, Preston.

James McCarter applied for a provisional licence for premises about to be reconstructed, and at present known as the Old Ship Inn, 89, Swansea Terrace, Water Lane, Preston, owned by Messrs. Benjamin Sykes, Alexander Tullis, and Alfred Edward Ashcroft. Mr. Blackhurst appeared on the applicant's behalf, and he was opposed by Mr. Smith, Mr. Oakey, Mr. Edelston, and Mr. MacDonald, Barrister, of Liverpool.
The last named appeared for the Church of England Band of Hope, Ashton, and some residents, Mr. Oakey and Mr. Edelston for ratepayers, and Mr. Smith on behalf of all the Captain's in the dock on Monday and some of the ratepayers of Ashton.
Mr. Blackhurst said that the premises were not yet ready to receive a license, but it was intended to allow the license of Lea's Virgin's Inn to drop if this was obtained, as that property would shortly have to be pulled down for town improvement. They proposed to pay a consideration for this arrangement.
The Corporation of Preston had spent about £1,000,000 on the dock, and he must say that it had exceeded his experience ration, but there was no port in England so badly off for accommodation for seafaring men. The nearest place where lodging could be obtained was the Victoria Hotel in Fishergate. There was no house they could get refreshments within one mile.
There was the New Ship Inn about 220 yards from the Old Ship Inn, but they had no sleeping accommodation.
Mr. Benjamin Sykes said, replying to Mr. MacDonald, that he did not know that the applicant was a catspaw, although he was his clerk. He had been asked many times whether there was any accommodation at the dock. Only the previous day, two Captain's had spoken to him. They told him that the port was the worst they knew for sleeping or eating accommodation. He did not know that there were six beds at the Ribble Harbour Mission.
Cross-examined by Mr. Smith, he did not know that the Captain's in dock had signed a petition against the granting of the license. They had been mis-informed. He has asked Mr. Cochrane. To get some opinions on the matter.
The house was in the township of Ashton and the borough of Preston. James Cochrane, harbour master, said it would be a convenience for persons coming to the dock if a license were granted. People went to meet the ship's, and if a fog delayed a vessel, there was no accommodation. Complaints, chiefly for want of sleeping and eating rooms, were principally from agents. He had no connection with Mr. Sykes, who had asked him to get some of the Captain's to give evidence in his case.
He  (the witness) had spoken to two Captain's the previous day, and they had signed a petition against it, in the belief that the place was to be a common drink shop. When told it was to be a hotel, they supported the scheme. Cross-examined by Mr. Oakey, he thought it would be more satisfactory. If the place had been a first-class temperance hotel.
Mr. Smith said that he thought that there had only been one case of drowning g which had been caused by drink, and Mr. Charles Martine, ship Chandler, Strand Road, said when asked to find people accommodation , he had to take them to the North Western, Victoria, or Shelley Arms Hotels. Scores of people had complained. Replying to the Bench, he did not know whether there were any bedrooms at the Wheat Sheaf on Watery Lane, and Mr. Frederick L. Livesey said he had heard many complaints of the lack of better class accommodation.
The Captain of the Norwegian barque Mentor, said he had had his boat in the bog-hole for twelve days. It had been inconvenient that there was no hotel accommodation, Kally when his wife was down. They did not want drink-houses; "they had sufficient of them down there." During 21 years at sea, he had never been to a port so badly provided with hotels as the dock at Preston. He did not think that a public-house near the dock would affect the sailors. If they wanted drink they would get it somehow.
Gabriel Ulsen, Captain of the Liberte, said they wanted a good hotel instead of the dirty ones they had now. He objected to a drinking license.
Mr. Maddon characterised the application as bolstered up with absurd evidence. The object T was to get a license for property built near the dock by Mr. Sykes. A license would double or treble the value of the property. It was not required by the neighbourhood and those frequenting it.
No Preston gentleman who had been inconvenienced had been called as a witness. Who did require the hotel? Some captain belated by a fog - some lady visitor whose husband's ship was delayed. It was a public scandal to think the Corporation of a town like Preston, for the sake of a half pence in the pound in the rates, instead of allowing a rotten license to lapse would bargain with a man like Mr. Sykes and come into court and unblushingly declare their bargain.
Mr. Blackhurst objected to this. The licenses were not rotten.
Mr. Maddon said the places were tumbling down, with Mr. Blackhurst replying that they were being taken down for town improvements.
Mr. Maddon retorted, "Well good licenses attached to rotten houses."
Mr. Oakey maintained that there was no demand for hotel accommodation at the dock, and Mr. Smith said that whatever had been asked for by either sailors or Captain's it was immediately found. The occasional visitors could not keep going an hotel of the size suggested.
The Rev. A. W. Wiseman, vicar of Ashton, objected to the establishment because there were sufficient public-house in the parish already. Another would do harm to the people. He would like one or two to be done away with.
Mr. Curwen, timber importer, said the Norwegian Captain's, with whom he was connected, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred remained on board when in dock, and their wives stayed with them. It was most dangerous to have public-house near the dock, especially to importers. There were enough drinking places there already.
John Smith, of the New Ship Inn, said he was very seldom asked for sleeping accommodation. He could put up ten beds if necessary. He was always ready to supply eatables. He had been asked about five times.
Mr. G. Phillips, missioner at the dock, said he had been at the dock for thirteen months, and sailors and Captain's generally slept on board. He had never heard any complaints about the accommodation. Before long he would have twenty rooms at the Rest.
Peter Peterson, Captain of the Veronica, did not consider the house necessary.
The application of James McCarter for a provisional grant for premises near the dock was refused.
Preston Chronicle  2nd September 1893

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