Once there were two pubs in this scattered community of Wettenhall; one was the Boot and Slipper.

For some unknown reason, at least for Winsford locals and me, it was first extended providing accommodation but leaving the small black and white building as an excellent much-loved country pub.

Ideal for visits and introducing to friends and relatives who came to stay in the area. Then suddenly, the lot was demolished, leaving a blank space. Work is now in progress to build, well, probably more houses.

The pub dates back to the 17th century, at which time it was a thatched coaching inn, then it was changed to The Royal Oak. The reason for this is due to the oak tree overlooking the car park; like many others in the country, the tree was supposedly grown from an acorn taken from the oak tree that hid King Charles II from the Roundheads.

This was during the English Civil War in 1651, after the Battle of Worcester. The name later reverted back to the Boot and Slipper.

This left just one other pub down Winsford Road, and that was the Little Man. The pub’s history can also be traced back to the 17th century when it was called The Little John Ale House.

In 1841 the census shows the landlord being John Berrington, the licensee with Elizabeth, his wife. Despite being situated in a quiet country area, an incident occurred there when Anne Hitchen was the landlady.

The date was August, 1882.

The previous Sunday, the brother of Anne Hitchen, Robert Hough, heard a loud noise at the back of the Little Man and went to investigate with William Roden. In the yard at the rear, they came across six Irish Labourers, John McDonnell, Martin and John Connor, Michael Garvey, Charles McDermott, and Thomas Sharkey, they had earlier been drinking in the pub that had now closed for the night.

Mr Hough approached them and told them to go away, at which Connor hit him on the arm with a stick, and the younger brother struck him on the head with a bludgeon. His collar and tie were covered in blood, and John McDonnell kicked him to the ground, and the others attacked him.

One of them booted in the pub door, and they all entered, doing £30 worth of damage.

Anne Hitchen came down and told them that there was a gun in the house, and she feared that they would have been killed without it.

The Irishmen were apprehended and appeared before Eddisbury Petty Sessions at the Vale Royal Abbey Arms on Monday, August 28, 1882.

In the politically incorrect language of the time, the magistrate Mr S Woodhouse commented that they probably thought they were on the other side of the channel! Martin Connor was fined £1 and costs and the others 10/- each and costs. The costs amounted to 20s each (20s = £128.18 today).