A walk around Dresden, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent
Dresden & the Longton Freehold Land Society


location 6 on the map |tour map|

Carlise Street Co-op

photos: June 2001


This typical co-op building located on the corner of Carlise and Villiers Street was built on the location of a public house "The Sutherland Arms"

One of the first beerhouses to open was the Sutherland Arms in Carlisle Street which was in existence by 1860. It was advertised for sale in the Staffordshire Advertiser on 24 October 1868 and the description of the premises illustrates the key role played by beerhouses and public houses in the social life of the community:


To be SOLD, al that new and first-class PREMISES, known as the Sutherland Arms, situate in Carlislestreet, DRESDEN, Longton, now in the occupation of Mr Warrillow, containing bar, bar-parlour, tap-room, smoke-room, two excellent cellars, well stillaged; four large bedrooms, two of which may be opened together by means of folding doors, so as to make a good club or show room. And also a splendid CONCERT ROOM attached, measuring 30 feet by 32 feet, lofty, ornamental, and well lighted, to which there are two means of access — one from the outside, and the other from the interior of the house. There is a large brewhouse, a two-stalled stable, two closets, ash pits, piggery, skittle alley, and commodious yards, approached by double doors from Villier-street. This property has been erected with a view to permanency and stability, regardless of cost; it is well situated, well tenanted, and will be found in all respects worthy of the attention of capitalists. To treat apply to Mr E PALMER, 11 Commerce-street, Longton.

In 1871 the tenant of the Sutherland Arms was Harry Downs who was recorded in the census of that year.

Despite its many facilities and the attraction of the vocalist and pianist this beerhouse struggled to attract a large clientele possibly because despite several attempts the owner could not secure a full license for the premises. Two years later the Sutherland Arms had closed and had been taken over as, of all things, a Temperance Hall! - the 1881 census records this fact.

The location of the Sutherland Arms (and Temperance Hall) is shown as number 21 on the 1878 OS map of Carlise Street


Many of the “respectable” inhabitants, particularly those who attended the Methodist New Connexion Chapel open in Carlisle Street or the Congregational Church in Belgrave Road kept away from beerhouses and public houses. 

They enthusiastically supported the newly formed Working Men's Club which took over the Sutherland Arms and converted it into a temperance hall. This building then became the venue for a variety of activities including the annual flower show  and the science and art classes. 

After an existence of ten years the membership of the temperance hail and working men’s club began to decline and on 19th June 1882 the building was formally reopened as a Liberal Club. Keates’s Directory of 1882 reported that “the building embraces, besides reading, billiard, refreshment, and committee rooms, a large assembly room which can be made available for concerts and public entertainments. The opening of this new facility was of course a good indication of the voting allegiance of many residents on the estate.



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