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How did they get their names?

Derrick K Hartley

Felldweller
Hello Everyone
I'm a new member venturing my first post so be gentle!
My Great Grandfather lived on Hockley Hill and probably frequented either The Grand Turk or the Benyon Arms which were not far away. Does anyone know how they got their names?
There are many Saracen's and Turk's Heads and these probably refer to the Crusades and seem improbable, and Hockley is a bit far away from the Caribbean Grand Turk!
As for the Benyon, that's just as much of a puzzle because I've noted the Benyon Estates are in and around London.
I've looked at the various websites that deal with pub names but drawn a blank so far, so if you have any ideas fire away!
 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
Hi Derrick, Welcome to the forum. I can't help with your pub names but I'm sure someone will be able to. I'm fascinated by unusual pub names so I'll be watching this thread with interest. Good Luck with your quest.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
hello derrick and welcome...cant assist you with the names of pubs and why but hopefully someone can...i can however post a photo of the benyon arms..corner of hockley hill and farm st just in case you dont have it..this one is dated 1964

lynHockley Hill Benyon Arms Ansells 31-7-1964.jpg
 

Derrick K Hartley

Felldweller
hello derrick and welcome...cant assist you with the names of pubs and why but hopefully someone can...i can however post a photo of the benyon arms..corner of hockley hill and farm st just in case you dont have it..this one is dated 1964

lynView attachment 143589
Thanks a lot Lyn! I had found some rather blurry ones but this one of the Benyon shows its sign as an Ansells pub clearly, so that's great. Cheers!
 

Derrick K Hartley

Felldweller
Hi Derrick, Welcome to the forum. I can't help with your pub names but I'm sure someone will be able to. I'm fascinated by unusual pub names so I'll be watching this thread with interest. Good Luck with your quest.
Hi Lady P. Thanks for the welcome. I have some ideas but I'll wait for suggestions from those who may know better!
 

Derrick K Hartley

Felldweller
Hi there
If anyone has a picture of the Grand Turk looking at the Icknield Street frontage it might show the pub sign? If it was a stern looking guy with a fez or even a turban it might spark off some ideas! Maybe there's a picture in one of the many books on old Brum which I don;'t get to see up here . . .
 

Derrick K Hartley

Felldweller
Hi Everyone
Here's another pub name to get your teeth into! I went to Handsworth Grammar School in the 1950s and remember a little old pub next to it on Grove Lane called the "Woodbine Tavern". I don't suppose it has survived but why did a little pub in Victorian Handsworth get a name like this?
 

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
Hi Everyone
Here's another pub name to get your teeth into! I went to Handsworth Grammar School in the 1950s and remember a little old pub next to it on Grove Lane called the "Woodbine Tavern". I don't suppose it has survived but why did a little pub in Victorian Handsworth get a name like this?
Historic pub
According to www.realalerambles.co.uk, the pub took its name from the English national flowers and the woodbine, a climbing plant.
 

Derrick K Hartley

Felldweller
Historic pub
According to www.realalerambles.co.uk, the pub took its name from the English national flowers and the woodbine, a climbing plant.
Could be but Woodbine seems to cover several plants of different species! Which one do Brummies think it is Virginia Creeper, Honeysuckle, Jessamin ??? My money is on Honeysuckle. . .
If the pub was built (or changed to one) after about 1890 it could have been named after the cigarette?
If there was a picture showing the pub sign this may give a clue!
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Towards the end of the 19th. century and early part of the 20th. native flowers were often used, it seems, as place or street names. I suspect Handsworth was not so densely populated at the time and maybe there was woodbine/honeysuckle growing on the land where the pub was built. I know the plant grows easily and vigorously in hedgerows. I have two small areas in my garden where it grows - the scent is lovely, during the summer evenings when in flower. I doubt the pub smelled so fragrant with the beer and baccy aromas. :D
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmy
"Woodbine" is general name applied to climbers (e.g. honeysuckle and bindweed). The dry winter stems have also been used for smoking, hence old names such as "boy's bacca” and "shepherd's delight" (and can this custom have been the origin of Woodbine cigarette brand?)

Flora Britannica, Richard Mabey.
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmy
hello derrick and welcome...cant assist you with the names of pubs and why but hopefully someone can...i can however post a photo of the benyon arms..corner of hockley hill and farm st just in case you dont have it..this one is dated 1964

lynView attachment 143589

Benyon Arms Hockley Hill mentioned from at least 1866, with an "elegant" Club Room, and selling nice fresh Barm.
Also may have had a resident pianist?
 

Derrick K Hartley

Felldweller
I agree superdad3 - a fine sentiment! Especially when we had a rare pub name in the Woodbine Tavern!

After my research I have found it was boarded up since the 1980s and then demolished after 2013 to help accommodate a new building for the next door Grammar School. (My old school.) Here are two photos for comparison. The first, I think, is a slightly better one than Mike kindly posted. The second shows the old tavern all boarded up. I also found an interesting account online of its history, so I thought I would post it as a tribute to the pub I went into as a school boy.

So, sad to say, my quest for the origin of its name has not turned up anything definitive. Did it take over the name of the house (perhaps Woodbine Cottage?), or was a wistful fancy of one if its early publicans. In the 1840s Handsworth was a large scattered parish with farms and large houses such as Grove House which gave its name to the Lane on which the Tavern stood. However the galloping pace of development meant that by the 1890s it had been swallowed up into the city.

On we go! I've just found there was another Grand Turk - in Handsworth of all places not just in Hockley Hill!! More research . . .
 

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