The building that once housed the inn known as the Jolly Sailor still stands, situated at what is now no.32 Whitecross Street, near the junction with Burgate and Beck Hill.
The 1851 census lists John Brocklesby as a grocer at the third property along from Beck Hill, which at that time would have been the site of the Jolly Sailor. Later in the 1850s John is listed as a beer retailer as well as grocer. By the time of the 1861 census John is still listed at the same property just along from Beck Hill, confirming this was the Jolly Sailor. Sadly, beer-houses were infrequently recorded by name in the trade directories, however the 1871 Census did list it as the Jolly Sailor; Charles Canty (aged 55) was the head of household and was listed simply as a ‘shoe maker’. This in no way suggests that he was no longer a beer-house keeper, as it was often the practice of the earlier census enumerator to list only the main occupation of the population. For many small beer-house keepers the selling of beer merely supplemented their main income. The number of people resident at the time of the 1881 census shows it to have held at least three families with 16 persons present at the property on the evening of the census, and was recorded as a beer-house. In 1884 the Hair family conveyed the property to W T Hewitt (Hewitt’s brewery of Grimsby), and the last victualler was Charlie Barraclough, who was remembered fondly by locals as a real character. The pub was closed in 1907 with compensation of £385 paid to the owners Hewitt Brothers of Grimsby under the so-called Balfour Act.Long after the pub had closed, the property transferred from Hewitt’s to Mr F Troop, in 1948.
The building that was once the former Jolly Sailor pub, as seen in 2002.
Some references to the Jolly Sailor:
1851 — John Brocklesby, aged 46 (census)
1855-1856 — John Brocklesby, beer retailer & grocer, Whitecross Street
1861 — John Brocklesby, grocer, 48 Whitecross Street. Note the street was numbered sequentially in the earlier census, and not in odds and evens as we are now familiar.
1871 — Charles Canty, Jolly Sailor, Whitecross Street (census)
1872-1876 — Charles Canty, beer house, Whitecross Street
1876 — Robert Hair (Licensing Sessions report)
1881 — Robert Hair, Jolly Sailor, Whitecross Street (census)
1886 — John Hair (licence transfer)
1886-1901 — John Hair, beer retailer & shopkeeper, Whitecross Street
1891 — John Hair, ‘brick maker’ (census)
1901 — John Hair, ‘cycle works labourer’ aged 47 (census)
1904-1907 — Charles Barraclough, Jolly Sailor
1 Jolly Sailor
2 Whitecross Tavern
3 Cross Keys Inn
4 Blue Bell Inn
5 Volunteer Arms
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