Stories Behind Pub Names

There was a timely Royal theme to this month’s edition of ‘In The Ballroom’ on 14th September, on the day the coffin of The Queen was being taken to Westminster Hall for the Lying in State. 

The social gathering began with a few moments of silent reflection on the remarkable life of Elizabeth II; then some of the guests recounted their personal experiences of seeing the Queen, from a garden party at Buckingham Palace to the opening of a shopping centre in Solihull.

Then the guest speaker, Anthony Poulton-Smith, lightened the mood with an amusing presentation about the origins of pub signs. Many have royal connections, including the commonest pub name in Britain – ‘The Red Lion’. This was the coat of arms of James VI of Scotland who became James I of England in 1603.  The name ‘The White Hart’ goes back further, to the 14th century. It was the emblem of King Richard II.

After tea, coffee and cake, the guests were given the answers to Helen Fellows’ picture quiz – this time about pubs and beer. There were some high scores!

‘In The Ballroom’ takes place in the Jury Street Court House at 2pm every second Wednesday of the month. The next social gathering will be on October 12th, when Steve Garrison will be relating some strange Warwick Ghost Stories. It is essential to reserve your place in advance so that we can avoid overcrowding. Drop in to the Warwick Visitor Centre or call them on 01926 492212.