Commercial Inn, front view.
Commercial Inn, front view.

Commercial Inn, front view, 1907-1910

Standing back from the road, its sign perched high above the roof. A low, brick wall enclosed the flat brick frontage – a symmetrical design with central doorway.

Above the door is a large sign bearing the name of the licensee, Thomas Saunders Vicarage, and his authority to sell beers and spirits. Mr. Vicarage and his wife are on the doorsteps. On the right is the single-storeyed porch with its Pit Lane entrance, which led into the passage which gave access to other parts of the inn.

Pit Lane 1982

An unmade road. Houses on the left nearer top (hidden by tree) were built in 1914; those in the foreground in the 1930s and the houses on the right in 1953 – this had been a field belonging to, or rented by, the butcher.

Here he kept his cattle overnight after buying them at Whitkirk Market on a Monday, for slaughter on Tuesday. He walked them home from Whitkirk via Astley and over the river and canal. At the rear is the White House, an old property, and the narrow track to the canal.

Pit Lane 1982.
Pit Lane 1982.
Pit Lane 1990.

Pit Lane 1990

The road was surfaced and footpaths made between December 1987 and March 1988. In the background are the St. Aidan’s opencast spoilheaps. There is a clearer view of the houses on the left.

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