The Coachmans - Whickham
The Coachmans stands opposite the site of two cottages, once part of an old Whickham estate, built many years ago. The Coachman's pub actually stands in what used to be Rutter's Farm. There was a driveway right up Burnthouse Lane for the farm and farmhouse, and the Big House.
The Pub stands very close to where the stables for the big house once were. There was apparently a large house on the corner of Burnthouse Lane and Grange Lane belonging to a Mrs. Kelly. The Kelly's were wealthy people who owned the farm and the Coachman's cottages.
There was an incline before you got to the coachman's garden, with a stile and a footpath. This was where the cottages were built. In one of the cottages there lived a lady by the named of Mrs. Elvin with her three children. Mrs Elvin had a little small holding there where she kept hens. The hens were given the run of the house as well as her smallholding.
Across from her cottage were the stables. This is where the Coachman's Pub is now situated. In the centre of Burnthouse Lane there were a number of cottages. One at the very bottom going towards Fellside Road called Laundry Cottage, (now Garth Cottage) as there was a well, where presumably they did the laundry for the Big House.
When the Coachmans was built it was not originally meant to be a Public House. It was built for a Mrs Fentiman who was going to live there, but she never went into it as a house. It was commissioned for her by a Mr. Wilkinson and built by Mr. Alex Watson. Mr. Wilkinson who had a pop business in Gateshead lived in Whickham Park. Eventually Watson's Builders bought the building themselves and extended it to make it into a Public House.
The pub has had many alterations over the years including one done by Scottish & Newcastle Breweries when they took the pub over. High standards of building were laid down. Increased accommodation around the nucleus of the existing buildings was required.
The main problem for the architects, Williamson, Faulkner, Brown and Partners, and consulting engineers, R.W. Gregory and partners, was to incorporate the new buildings in a way which would not detract from the appearance and performance of the new premises.
Every effort had to be made to preserve the rural aspect of the area and to preserve most of the existing trees. To succeed in this, to increase rather than detract from the rural aspect, heavily tiled roofs and substantial walls were used. The pleasant looking character of the premises was retained by eliminating windows, which faced onto the car park or the road and concentrating them upon views between the trees.
Some of the Previous Landlords: Mr. Jeff Dunn Mr. Joe Foreshaw was there for six years Mr. Fred Howitt and his wife Jean who were at the Coachmans for almost 17 Years Mrs. Pat Hudson was landlady for six years.
My belated apologies for my Dad, Charlie Lockey, who frequented this pub in the 1980s. He found that his RadioRentals tv remote could switch the Tv in the bar. So he did, when he decided the programme was crap. Nowadays, his finger would have dropped off with overwork! We had many a grand drink there, thank you to all the staff and customers who remember him.
Posted by: Bryan Lockey at February 4, 2009 3:07 PM
Moderator! Aaagh! My post to the Coachmans was meant to be for the Highwayman! sorry. can you move it over?
Posted by: Bryan Lockey at February 4, 2009 3:12 PM
Thanks, Bryan for all your comments. We haven't been able to move your comment over to the Highwayman story, I'm afraid. But we've put a comment of our own in the Highwayman story comments drawing attenttion to the Coachman comments.
Posted by: Whickham Web Wanderers at February 5, 2009 3:06 PM
last few days our class held a similar talk about this subject and you show something we have not covered yet, appreciate that.
Posted by: Contact Form at October 5, 2010 12:23 PM
The name is Fentiman not Fenteman and that family was also in the "pop" business and still is - see
Posted by: J M Willers at June 27, 2012 8:07 PM