The Bell

The BellBoth pubs were on the same side of the road

see ‘Property location’.

1865 George Minchin owed the pub. His son, George, married Emma Hadley. Emma was from the other side of the Hadleys and, at the present, can only be

chased back to her father Joseph born 1826 in the 1841 census . Although Black Country Connections (Tribalpages) claim that Joseph’s father was William Hadley b about 1791, Oldbury with Sarah as his wife.

At 15 Joe was living with his married sister Nancy Onions (26yrs). To link them we need to go back to Arthur’s Wife (See home page)

money writing

Emma Rathbone. Her mother Elizabeth Hadley was sister to Emma. Their mother’s name was Emma Hipkiss.

How long George Minchin was captain of this building is not known, at present, but eleven years later Thomas Knight had his name over the door.

Thomas Knight has not been researched and therefore it is not known if he is related to the clan or not. Ten year later as described in The Bird in Hand with newspaper clippings Thomas H took over just before his death in 1881. Did Mary, his mother run both pubs before the census of 1891?At the time of this census William’s name was etched on the premises. Was he running the the pub for his mother? What ever the circumstances the building housed his wife, Hannah with Sons and daughters William, Mary Ann, Thomas, Florrie and Alfred all under the age of seventeen.

In Dec 1900 William died leaving Hannah as head all sons and daughters remaining. This was confirmed in the 1901 census.

Census 1891          Hadley, William 10  Rounds Green

Kelly’s 1896           Hadley, William 10 Rounds Green Son to Thomas

Kelly’s 1900           Hadley, William 10 Rounds Green

Census 1901           Hadley, Hannah 10  Rounds Green

money writing2

Kelly’s 1912            Hadley, William 10 Rounds Green

Kelly’s 1921            Hadley, Hannah 10 Rounds Green Wife to William

Kelly’s 1924            Hadley, Hannah 10 Rounds Green

Kelly’s 1928           Hadley, Hannah 10 Rounds Green

Kelly’s 1932           Hadley, Hannah 10 Rounds Green

Kelly’s 1936           Hadley, Hannah 10 Rounds Green

1940 Council Achieves Still standing

1951 Electoral Registers Does not appear

The Beer

What did the beer taste like? As the owner of ‘The Bird’ The last thing Thomas Hadley was not going to do was to compete with himself or to wish thebrothers to compete against each other after his death. It is more likely that the The Bird and Bells’s beer’ was retained and was sold at each other’s house to keep the variety flourishing.


Historically the difference between beer and ale was that one was brewed with hops and the other wasn’t. This went back to the middle ages. The difference between Mild beer and old ale was the amount of time it was stored. Old ale was stored up to about a year giving sharper tastes.

Bitter on the other hand was a term used for Pale Ale. These Pales were dried & roasted malt using Coke in 1642 and thereafter. The term Pale ale catching on in the 1700s.

All areas had different ways of making their beer with the ingredients local to that area.  Soft sweet bitters were common in the midlands with milds being popular in the West Midlands. More fruiter flavours were found north of the midlands Eg. Burton.

Many brew houses were built to use gravity. Therefore the The Bird or the Bell’s brew house may have been a tower housing water tanks in to the roof. With Oldbury being a hard water area meant it was ideal for brewing ale.Coins 1

Underneath these tanks the grain/malt was grounded into course powder called Grist. On leaving this stage it went into Mesh tuns and heated probably with the water from the tanks. Once mashed (called Wort) it would have been mixed with the local hops and boiled.Towards the bottom of the tower the hopped Wort was clarified in vessels and pumped back up the tower into malt stores and passing through heat exchangers. This cools the substance before fermentation commences.

Yeast is then added to the Wort. The yeast converts the malt sugars into alcohol and Carbon dioxide.

Coins 2

Fermentation can then last up to a week then it would have been stored in conditioning tanks before transferring to casks. Depending on the brewer further hops may be added at this stage for a second fermentation.

At the time of the Industrial Revolution, in about 1850, Old Ales were dominating the local area. These would have been stored, along with the mild and bitter in large wooden barrels. The Hadleys may have either rolled/carted these barrels out from the brewhouse and lifted them in position on the bar and probably braced them with timber wedges. The women may have even walked the rooms with large jugs filling the customers containers. Just like today Tabs may have been used and settled later.

william family

The beers were also bottled and sold in shops or a so called off licence. This is evident with the Hadleys owning shops (See Directories).

Whatever the changes the photo proves that at some stage M&B own the house with the family brews being lost.

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