When Lion provided a place to stay...

The Golden Lion, Todmorden, which began life as a coaching inn
The Golden Lion, Todmorden, which began life as a coaching inn

When the Golden Lion re-opens in Fielden Square, Todmorden, on Sunday, March 1, its new licensee is hoping to make guest rooms available again.

As an old coaching inn, this would have once been the norm but our article in January 29 sparked some debate as to when this was last the case.

The Golden Lion, Fielden Square, Rochdale Road, is being reopened by bar owner and local character, Matthanee Nilavongse - known to all as Gig - of the Three Wise Monkeys, on nearby Water Street.

One lady who was brought up in Todmorden can give us a starting point.

Mrs Margaret Hargreaves, who now lives over the border in Lancashire, still has correspondence saved by her late father, Mr Carey Baxter, who eventually became the town’s Public Health Inspector, succeeding Mr Lewis Crabtree and retiring from his post in March 1974, as Local Government re-organisation approached, after more than 30 years’ service to the town.

Mrs Hargreaves says her father came to Todmorden from Kettering, initially for his job interview with Todmorden Borough Council as an Additional Sanitary Inspector, on December 16, 1941, and the family presume he stayed at the Golden Lion, being told the day after that he had got the job.

And things become more definite in correspondence when, with a start date for his new job of January 26, 1942, Mr Baxter wrote home to his family that he had booked in at the Golden Lion on Saturday, January 24, and would stay there until he could get an apartment fixed up.

Mrs Hargreaves adds: “Dad awoke to the noise of clip-clop and thought it was horses - but it wasn’t, it was the workers in their clogs going to work at Waterside Mill!”

On this Sunday’s opening day, DJs playing music sets will include a spell at the decks by BBC Radio’s Andy Kershaw, who has helped open the nation’s ears to a wide range of music from all corners of the world over the past three decades.