The Fat Pig, The Coachmakers Arms

The Coachmakers Arms exists today as The Fat Pig and appears on the O.S Map of 1876 and is listed by several directories.

Coachmakers Arms 2003

Directory Listings.

The Coachmakers Arms was completely destroyed by fire on 6th February 1765 and subsequently re-built (EFP).

A thief was arrested at the inn according to the EFP, 29th May 1845.

This current building however looks to only date from the early C20th, my guess would be a re-build or very extensive structural renovation around 1928 (new roof etc..) when most of the WestQuarter buildings were demolished and some re-built. Nearby Kings Dwellings date from 1932.

An O.S. map of 1876 shows the pub to inhabit it's present location, however it did not at that time inhabit the more northerly plot in John Street which presently appears under the same roof. This is a later addition and one of the reasons for suggesting there was a re-building or very extensive structural renovation around 1928.

Map 1876, Coachmakers in green.

Also on this wall in John Street is what remains of a former entrance either to the pub or the building that was next door. This can be seen in the arched brickwork midway up the wall. This section of the building was not under the same roof in 1876 according to the map.
This building since demolished looks to date from the late C16th.

Coachmakers extension in John St

Credence is given to this hypothesis by a black & white picture on the wall of the pub showing a tall building next to the pub along John Street. This plot or the building is now part of the pub (under the same roof). See the picture below from pre-1960. At this time, this part of the building was the premises of J. Ashley.


From 1913 the pub was a City Brewery house, being sold to the Pub management, Henry Austin Harding in 1965.
The pub was modernised in true 1960's fashion during this time with the loss of many of the buildings original (early C20th) features such as fireplaces and ornate ceilings plus the re-positioning of the entrance further down Smythen Street.

The present (Fat Pig) victorian style light fittings (over the bar) were a feature of the Coachmakers Arms, although they took a more central position in that version of the inn.

The inn originally had an entrance on the Smythen Street / John Street corner of the pub, this was restored when the inn became the Fat Pig in February 2008, having closed in late December 2007. The picture below was taken post 1960.

Post 1960

This closure was directly as a result of the national smoking ban introduced in the UK in July 2007. A contributing factor was the fact that the pub did not provide food.
Opening night was 29th Feb 2008 (Steve Smith, guestbook).

Opening Business Card

The Coachmakers Arms had a major facelift in September 2001, the pub being made much brighter and generally tidied up. The bar was moved to the John Street side of the pub rather than at the back of the pub, the colour scheme was white / cream. The bar was fairly low and non-descript, painted white.

The present bar (of the Fat Pig) is now on the other wall opposite the door, much taller with bar stools. This change revealed the fireplace, formerly hidden by the bar.

Despite this make-over, the pub was never really able to shake off the bad reputation it had for drug dealing during the later 1980's and most of the 1990's.

Entry in to the pub was always a bit frought in the 80's and 90's and you often wondered why the hell you'd bothered in the first place. The main bar was effectively patrolled by a huge dog. You never stayed long if wanted to live. After the 2001 facelift however the bar became alot more friendly.

Fat Pig 2008

As a result of the pub's take-over and re-naming in 2008, many of the buildings other original features have been restored. The building has also been white-washed, all but completing the transformation but masking much of the building's history.

The transformation is completed by the clientelle. Scumbags out, Mr & Mrs Upwardly mobile and their middle class parents in.

The bogs are still outside in the small victorian courtyard, notice the large ANSELLS logo out there. The pub was obviously formerley tied to Ansells of Birmingham, pre 1913. A cursory look at the map of 1873 reveals this very same courtyard & bogs.

Stuart Callon Copyright ©2000-2008.