I WAS delighted to see that
The Talbot pub in Oat Market had dropped its modern name of The Frog
and Ferret and reverted to its original title.
I have never liked the
breweries' trend for strange names, especially when they don't seem to
make sense. Fox and Hounds, yes. But Frog and Ferret? Do ferrets have as
link with frogs - or feast on them?
Or had I missed some literary
I suppose that if
they want to keep business the public houses sometimes have to go with the trend.
Fortunately, none of the other
Nantwich hostelries felt the need to follow suit - although we have
other establishments where drink is sold that don't have pub-style
The Cheshire Cat in Welsh Row
had a series of other names, including Curshaw's at the Cat. Thankfully it changed back to The Cheshire Cat
in early 2010 and (in 2015) it is still
At Nakatcha - converted from the Three Pigeons
pub (not just a rename) you can eat, drink and dance. This is also in
On the other side of the River Weaver bridge is
Harrison's Bar which does food as well as drink - a restaurant as well as a pub. It's complete with
a terrace on the riverside corner - an outdoor area
Other familiar names remain. The
Black Lion, The Oddfellows, The Union Vaults, The
White Horse, The Railway, The Red Cow and the Leopard are just some of the pubs in
town with their original names. [Ye Olde
Vaults is now a clothing shop]
Of course, we lost The Lamb in
Hospital Street when it became the apartments and shops complex, Chatterton House.
The Talbot sign in
2015 - more pictorial than the 2007 version (right)
Talbot has a fine open forecourt where customers sit at tables to drink
but just after the change of name I saw two
of the tables were covered presumably for the use of smokers in rougher weather
after the new law on no smoking in public places came in.
the view has not always been so open. Many years ago there was a cottage or two built on the street line with the
pub situated behind them, presumably up an
Did you know that name
Talbot comes from a breed of dog first put on their coat of
arms by a family called Talbot? The dogs were used for hunting (like a fox hound) or
for running alongside stage coaches. That makes sense as we were a
coaching halt in the old days. There are a number of pubs
throughout the country with the name. In some signs, the dogs are
spotted, as here - in others "plain", as we had in 2007.
was a Talbot's shoe shop in Beam Street, on the corner of Pepper Street
- named after the owner.
So congratulations to all
concerned for bringing a piece of
history back to the town.
Gone is the peach-and-black
decor of The Frog and Ferret. Back is the black-and-white exterior. I
won't go into the changes made in a £60,000 renovation. I will leave
customers to find out about the locally sourced food, the car park at
the rear, the planned dining terrace, and the "family-friendly"
I noticed from before
and after pictures that a feature of the gables had been removed. But I
don't know when this happened. In the renovation, possibly.
are now minus an embellishment The pub in
its former mode (below) was pictured by Andrew Lamberton and Robin Gray
(of "Lost Houses in Nantwich"
fame) for an exhibition on local public houses at
Nantwich Museum some years ago. (They are used
here with Andrew's kind permission.)
Andrew Lamberton tells me:
you look at the stained glass in an upper window you can see a dog's
head (a Talbot).
Talbot was the arms of the Earl of Shrewsbury although, says Andrew, he
has yet to see any evidence of links with the family and the town.
one time there were two Talbot pubs, the other one being in Beam Street
more or less where Johnson's the Printers' shop now fronts the street. (See
the local book "Lost Houses in Nantwich".)
The gable embellishment, now removed
The second of the pub's signs