the midst of what in less than twenty-four hours would be the Fair,
was to be seen a strange and piquant sight - namely, a group of three
white-tied, broad-brimmed dissenting ministers in earnest converse
with fat Mr Snaggs, the proprietor of Snaggs's - Snaggs's being the
town theatre, a wooden erection, generally called by patrons the
"Blood Tub," on account of its sanguinary programmes. On this occasion
Mr Snaggs and the dissenting ministers were for once in a way agreed.
They all objected to a certain feature of the Fair.....
Snaggs's objection was professional. He considered that he alone was
authorized to purvey drama to the town; he considered that among all
purveyors of drama he alone was respectable, the rest being upstarts,
poachers, and lewd fellows."
Bennett: Jock-at-a-Venture; The Death of Simon Fuge
"Well," said Big James, when they arrived at the playground, which
lay north of the covered Meat Market or Shambles, "it looks as if they
hadn't been able to make a start yet at the, Blood Tub." His tone was
marked by a calm, grand disdain, as of one entertainer talking about
The Blood Tub, otherwise known as Snaggs's, was the centre of
nocturnal pleasure in Bursley. It stood almost on the very spot where
the jawbone of a whale had once lain, as a supreme natural curiosity.
It represented the softened manners which had developed out of the old
medievalism of the century. It had supplanted the bear-pit and the
cock-pit. It corresponded somewhat with the ideals symbolized by the
new Town Hall. In the tiny odorous beerhouses of all the undulating,
twisting, reddish streets that surrounded the contiguous open spaces
of Duck Bank, the playground, the market-place, and St. Luke's Square,
the folk no longer discussed eagerly what chance on Sunday morning the
municipal bear would have against five dogs. They had progressed as
far as a free library, boxing-gloves, rabbit-coursing, and the Blood
This last was a theatre with wooden sides and a canvas roof, and it
would hold quite a crowd of people. In front of it was a platform, and
an orchestra, lighted by oil flares that, as Big James and Edwin
approached, were gaining strength in the twilight."
Bennett: Clayhanger Book 1 Chapter 9