The Hero of Aliwal – Pub that was…!

  Tonight’s picture – Car Park complete

We should all know the history of our local ‘Hero’  Sir Harry Smith.
I am only going to cover recent history and that is of the public house not that of Sir Harry…..

The picture here was taken in the early 1990’s
and comes from Mr Graham Martin
(a Whittlesey resident) who painted the
‘Pub Sign’
Graham spent some considerable time in order to copy as best as possible the previous signage.

This picture shows ‘The Hero’ in the 1970’s and it is probably this sign that Graham managed to re-create.

At this time there was no extension and the ‘Pub’ did take in the occasional traveller on a B&B basis.

Food was somewhat  limited to a bag of crisps if your were lucky.


 The ‘Pub’ was modernised and an accommodation block built, for a short time the restaurant became popular – this fizzed out as time passed.
The B&B sort of worked but the reviews on ‘TripAdvisor’® were not very complimentary to say the least.
After the Landlord’s wife passed away it was only a matter of time for the place to close.

In 1952 there was 52 Pubs in/around Whittlesey (A list can be found at Whittlesey Library)
Fridays and Saturdays would see many trying to visit as many as they could before falling over.
Here is a comparison of one of the orginals that Graham had to work on.

I am not sure but one of my school friends of the 1960’s was ‘Ann Burgess’ who was a very good artist, after schooldays she would paint enamel Pub Signs for many establishments in and around the Peterborough area, maybe the original here is one of pieces of artwork.


©Graham Martin


Here is a picture of ‘The Old Hero’ – The Hero of Aliwal on Station Road Whittlesey near the junction with – Aliwal Road.
The arm from which the sign hung is still visible today.
‘The Hero’ on Aliwal Road was built around 1837 and the brewery ‘Watney Ales’ owned the establishment until the min-60’s when it closed.
The present owners have a ‘stone sign in the window to the right of the front door – ‘The Old Hero’

Here we have ‘The White Lion’ situated at Briggate, this was knocked down to make way for ‘The Hero of Aliwal’ on Church Street during the 1960’s

Just imagine 52 Public Houses in/around Whittlesey – all serving warm beer.

©Roy Gerstner 2017

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