The Crown Inn
Robin Skerratt has seen an early postcard of The Crown Hostelry, and above a dormer window, a date of 1728 could be identified with the aid of a magnifying glass.
Joseph Rose was the keeper of The Crown in 1851. Joe Crump kept the Crown 1920’s – 1930’s. He had picking rights for pears from trees opposite the Robin Hood. From these he made perry and sold it to Birmingham trippers as champagne.
Major reconstruction and modernisation was carried out in 1914 by J. & A. Brazier of Bromsgrove, and much of the frontage remains the same today.
It became a Winwood Road House during the early 1930’s, and a Brine Water Swimming Pool was opened c1933. The Grand Opening celebrations included a trick cyclist display team riding Raleigh and Sunbeam bicycles. A Bathing Beauty contest was also arranged to display the latest design in swimming costumes. A group of young boys were discovered peeping through the wooden boards watching the girls changing, and were given instant punishment by having all their heads knocked together.
Salt water was delivered by road tanker from the Netherwich Pit, Droitwich. It was a heated swimming pool with Cocktail Bar, Fully Licensed Café at the side, and a resident swimming instructress. Children from Rashwood School used to walk there in crocodile formation for swimming lessons. Boys came one day and girls another. Mixed bathing was not considered proper.
The name Brine Water Swimming Pool upset the authorities of the Brine Baths at Droitwich, and a court case was brought against Winwood’s disputing the name Brine. This resulted in Winwood’s withdrawing the name Brine. It simply became known as the Swimming Pool at the Crown Inn.
There were monkeys, exotic birds, and a miniature steam railway, with stations at the Swimming Pool and the village recreational field situated behind the Crown. The train was sold to Dudley Zoo when the swimming pool closed c.1939. Tommy O’Hara, who used to provide musical entertainment in the Dance Pavilion, achieved his life-long ambition to travel the world with his piano accordion band playing to saloon passengers aboard sea-going liners.
The Crown continues as a restaurant and hotel to this day.
Reproduced with permission from “Memories of Wychbold before the Motorway” by Robin Skerratt