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Mark’s History: The publisher landlady of The Beech pub

Where the New Wortley Community Centre now stands there was Beech Grove, just over the road from Wortley Lodge on Back Lane (now Tong Road), writes Mark Stevenson.

It could be from Beech Grove that the Beech Hotel takes its name.

It is thought that there has been a pub here since the mid-1800’s facing onto Tong Road, with the back being housing until the pub was bought by Melbourne Ales in 1931 and completely altered. 

Art Deco style: The Beech Pub in New Wortley, Photo: Mark Stevenson

It is the building we see today with its Art Deco styling and Marmo cladding that is Grade ll Listed.

However, it is a landlady of the Beech Hotel in 1901 that I find more interesting.

Her name was Lizzie Smith, who was born in 1854 in Knottingley.

Side view of the Beech Hotel on Tong Road. Photo: Mark Stevenson

She ran the pub with the help of her sons Arthur and Harold both of whom were waiters.

Business must have been good as they also had a servant called Charlotte Bulmer.

Lizzie was not only a landlady but also a publisher (maybe a forerunner of the West Leeds Dispatch). Being a publisher and landlady must have been a good living as it says she lived on her “own account at home”. 

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