About Wm Cole, a former Landlord in Wivenhoe (1865 - 1953)

A former Landlord of the Yachter’s Arms, The Bull and The Flag public houses in Wivenhoe

Nick Sheen

The Yachters Arms in the High Street c. 1900. It is the middle building of this row.
Bottom of the High Street between the former pub, The Bull, and the delicatessen.
Photo: Wivenhoe Memories Collection
The Flag Inn in the early 1900s
From a postcard

William Cole lived a long life, dying in 1953, aged 88. He started his working life as an agricultural labourer, was at one time recorded as a Market Gardener and, more notably, held the licences for three Wivenhoe pubs: The first one was the Yachter’s Arms in the High Street, then The Bull in Anchor Hill and finally the The Flag Inn at Wivenhoe Cross.

Born 1865

William Cole was born in St Osyth on 8 February 1865. He was one of seven children born to George Cole and Elizabeth Trayler between 1856 and 1876. The Cole family lived in Frowick Lane in the 1880s, which is a rural location between St Osyth and Weeley Heath, and Willian initially followed into the traditional family line of work as an Agricultural Labourer.

William married Caroline Hardwick in 1886, who lived with her family in West Bergholt Road, Mile End, Colchester. After their marriage William uprooted and moved to Colchester where he lived with Caroline in a house also in Bergholt Road. They had five children between 1888 and 1904.

William found work as a ‘Maltster’, probably at Thomas Daniell & Sons, the West Bergholt brewery. This was labour intensive but skilled work,[1] and it was to lead William on a work pathway into the brewery/tavern business.

Wm Cole became Landlord of the Yachter’s Arms by 1896 and then The Bull

The Essex Almanac of 1896, records William as the landlord of the ‘Yachter’s Arms’ in Wivenhoe.

By 1901 William and his family had moved to the ‘Bull Inn, which was located at the bottom end of the High Street in Wivenhoe. His occupation is described on the 1901 census as ‘Market Gardener & Licensed Victualler (own account)’.

William took on The Flag Inn in the early 1900s

William remained at The Bull Inn until 1904, when he commenced as landlord at the ‘Flag Inn’ at The Cross in Wivenhoe. William was still at The Flag Inn when the 1911 census was taken, which describes his occupation as ‘Licensed Victualler’. William ceased to be the landlord of the Flag Inn in 1912.

William and Caroline moved back to Colchester, where William retired in an area known as Blackheath. William died at 88 years old in 1953 and Caroline died six years later, aged 90.


[1] Brewery History Society, Malting in the Twenties by Mr EJ Sizeland, http://www.breweryhistory.com/journal/archive/112/bh-112-043.html – accessed 16 May 2020

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This page was added on 14/09/2020.

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