Mudcat Café message #2045919 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #101290   Message #2045919
Posted By: Geoff the Duck
08-May-07 - 05:50 AM
Thread Name: Contrived Pub names
Subject: RE: Contrived Pub names
There's a fairly useful if not comprehensive list of pub names on Wikipedia. It explains some of the old pub names and mentions some of the new contrived variety with explanations of some of the wittier ones.

Some of the names people think are contrived are actually pretty legitimate. Origind for the Goat and Compasses is definitely under dispute, and will probably never be known for certainty. Just remember that most people could not read, so the pub sign was painted as a picture. Some of the names used derive from what the locals thought the picture looked like rather than what the painter thought he was depicting.
Lots of pubs were named after trade guilds and used their "coat of arms". The cordwainers guild had goats on its arms (the trade was shoemaking) so the Goat and Boots may not be particularly contrived.

Albert Pierrepoint was born in the village I grew up in. There is a good article in Wikipedia about him, his father and his uncle (also hangmen). According to Wikipedia, the pub near Oldham, which Pierrepoint ran was named "Help the Poor Struggler". Perhaps it had been renamed in later years?
There is also a recent film about Pierrepoint, starring Timothy Spall.