The Murderers Pub, Sports Bar in Norwich

Landlord History: Ernest & Sarah Crisp

Ernest William Crisp, (born 23rd August 1886), and Sarah Crisp nee Firth ,(born 24th September 1882) were married at Norwich Register Office on Tuesday 4th August 1908.
 
Ernest worked in the Shoe Trade and lived at the Fox and Hounds Yard in Ber Street. That area of Norwich was cramped full of Yards, slums and vagabonds. At the 1908 Sessions it was reported that the The Fox and Hounds pub at 153, Ber Street was difficult for the police to supervise and that there were 13 other licensed houses within 200 yards. The tenant was irregularly employed in the boot trade. A number of rooms were let to lodgers. There had been complaints of singing and shouting carrying on at 3 and 4 o'clock in the morning and it was impossible for the police to tell if the commotion was caused by bona fide loafers or others. The house was frequented by poachers and low class customers.
 
Presumably, to move out of this run down area of the City, into the Centre was a 'step up', when Ernest replaced Walter Spatchett on 17th August 1915, at the Bullards Brewery  owned Pub, The Gardener's Arms, aka The Murderers, at No 4 TimberHill Norwich.
 
Ernest Crisp joined the pub trade aged 29 and Sarah 24, (Pictured Below in 1915, with his name above the door) With four small children, Sarah worked behind the bar during the day, allowing her to run  the lodging house above The Gardeners Arms after the lunchtime 'session' had finished at 2.30 pm. Ernest continued to work, as a Carrier and Horse Dealer (Pictured Above) during the day, allowing him to run the pub in the evenings, from 5.00 pm.
 
It was common -place during this time for the landlords of pubs to have two jobs.
 
 
 
3rd October 1916 saw Ernest became Private SE/21803 Ernest William Crisp in the Army Veterinary Corps (AVC), and Sarah, who despite being eight months pregnant, became the pubs licensee. The AVC was formed in 1903, to provide a soldier resource, trained to assist and support, the Veterinary Officers in their duties. The AVC was well tested in World War I, mainly on the Western Front, where 80% of injured animals were treated and returned to duty.
 
It seemed that a number of Norwich's publicans, left to fulfil there War duties, leaving there spouse's in charge of there pubs. These included, Horace & Ethel Smith, at The Gardeners Arms (99 Midland Street),  James & Mabel Larnder, at The Festival House, William & Esther Goodswan, at The Lord Raglan, Frederick & Elizabeth Pointer, The Tuns, (now the Temple Bar), Louis and Leah Annie Field, The Kings Arms and Daniel & Rose Thaxton, at The Queen Caroline. Women seemed to dominate licenses across the city between 1915 - 1919.
 
9th November 1916 Ellen Florence Crisp was born at The Gardener’s Arms, TimberHill Norwich.
 
It appears that Ernest remained away from Norwich, during the entire duration of his time in the forces. With FIVE children, including baby Florence, Sarah was left to not only run a large family, but also a pub and a lodging house. After his two and a half years army service, Ernest reclaimed the license on the 13th May 1919. Ernest’s service records did not survive the bombing during World War II. However, family stories tell of him suffering the long term effects from mustard gas. For his service he was awarded The British and Victory Medals.
 
A little after 9 months from the return of Ernest, from his war effort, on 6th February 1920 Irene Crisp born at The Gardener’s Arms, TimberHill Norwich.
 
23rd September 1921 Charles Crisp born at The Gardener’s Arms, TimberHill Norwich.
 
4th June 1923, an inquest was held to investigate the death at The Norfolk & Norwich Hospital of Irene Crisp aged 3. She was found to have died from asphyxia cause by diphtheria and was certified by W.N.Sandell. They buried their daughter Irene at Norwich Cemetery on the 6th June 1923.
 
6th July 1923 Stanley Cedric Crisp born at The Gardener’s Arms, TimberHill Norwich.
 
17th November 1924 Reginald Crisp was the last child born at The Murderers to the couple. Unfortunately he died 11 days later and was buried on 2nd December 1924. Ernest and Sarah left The Gardener's Arms (Murderers) on February 9th 1926 and the family moved to 84, Norfolk Street.
 
 13th April 1929 Peter Jack Crisp was born, and the last child of Ernest and Sarah, born when Sarah was aged 48. Sadly Peter Jack died on 8th April 1930 of measles. Peter Jack was buried on the 14th April, one day after what would have been his first birthday.
 
Ernest William Crisp died on 21st January 1948, (aged 61), with Sarah passing away just before her 90th birthday on 5th September 1972.
 
This story appeared in the Evening News on 23 December 2010