The Welcome Inn still exists today and was built around 1830 most
likely as a private residence beside the canal and in the shadow of the gas works. The pub was
in fact lit with free gas supplied by its the neighbour, the Exeter Gas Light and Coke Company.
Exeter pioneered the use of gas for light in the West Country with the aforementioned company being founded on Exe Island in 1815. A rival company was established on Haven Banks next door to the pub in 1836.
The pub is still lit with gas though I suspect that electricity may also be available.
With the growth of industry and shipping on the river and canal in the early C19th, William Ellory (Trewman 1833) took advantage of an increasing population to the west of the river and converted an existing house into a pub.
Ellory in fact moved from West Street where he ran a Brush-making business and Coal dealership before taking on the house at Haven Banks. I am unable to tell whether Ellory was an owner or tennant, however being a business man, the likihood was that he was the owner.
The house can be seen on the Parish of St Thomas tithe map dated 1839, exactly where the Welcome Inn stands today, with Exe View cottages still to be built.
Plot 309 Shows Joseph William Bidwill to be the owner with a Robert Powlesland as Tennant. However the listing by Trewman in 1833 (William Ellory resident) gives away the name of the inn as Haven Banks Tavern as does the census (1841), the same Robert Powlesand, publican aged 60 resident.
The name change to the Welcome Inn from the Haven Banks Tavern occurred between 1853 and 1859 as suggested by various directory listings.
The inn has an old world feel, the lights are gas-lights. The juke box features Elvis, Bing and Frank, it'll cost you 20p to get your hands on one old penny to work the jukebox.
The last time I put anything on, the entire pub sang along!
Original work, Stuart Callon Copyright ©2002
Stuart Callon Copyright ©2002-2005