8 November 2012


"Nellie's" real name is "The White Horse". It's in the East Yorkshire town of Beverley where I went to school between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. It's opposite St Mary's Church and is, in my humble opinion, the best pub in the world.

"Nellie's" has no music or blaring televisions but what it does have is stone flagged floors, roaring coal fires, the original gaslights, a labyrinth of cosy Victorian rooms and very cheap beer. I was there again last Saturday with my old chum Tony after Hull City's victory over Barnsley. We guzzled pints and then advanced to the delightful "Dine Bangla" Bangladeshi restaurant close to Wednesday marketplace.

I first went in "Nellie's" when I was seventeen and there I met the very old lady who ran the pub with her very old sisters. The old lady in question was - you've guessed it - Nellie Collinson! In those days, apart from Nellie and her sisters, women were not allowed in the main public bar. It was men only and should a female customer cross the threshold the room would go silent and once I even heard choral hissing from the assembled male drinkers. Naturally, I felt obliged to join in. Hisssssssssss!

I have none of my own pictures of "Nellie's" so I had to hunt down these photos via Google:-
The scullery at "Nellie's" Copyright Rosy Hunt
"The White Horse"  on Hengate, Beverley
"Nellie's" is a throwback to earlier times. Records show that it was in existence in 1666 and had extensive stabling round the back. The fact that it has survived into the twenty first century is really quite amazing. I wish it was just round the corner from our house but as it isn't I shall just have to look forward to my next visit there in the not too distant future. If ever you visit Beverley with its magnificent medieval Minster and its thriving Saturday market, make sure you nip into "Nellie's". By the way, women are now allowed everywhere in the pub except the Gents which is the only place we fellows can still find some welcome peace.


  1. Sounds like a nice place YP - Dave

  2. the top photo looks like our cottage Yp

  3. DAVE Yes it is. If you ever visit the motherland make sure you sup a pint or two in there.
    EARL GRAY I thought that Earls lived in spacious country mansions!

  4. You'd never even know it was a pub except for the sign. Coming from Oz where pubs are wide open with big open frontages we are always a bit out of our comfort zone going in through a closed door of a pub in the UK. We feel like everyone looks up at us and we're sort of in the spotlight plus there's always a chance it will actually be closed( in the afternoon after 2pm ) and then we feel really foolish trying to get into a closed pub looking like a wino desperate for a drink !!!The thing is you never know if it is a nice one or a seedy one till you get inside but when you find a good one they are wonderful.

  5. Nellie's is on the list. It looks delightfully quaint.

    Re. men being safe in the men's loos, doubtless women are glad they are not allowed in there, too.

    When I was 21 years old and a fire-alarm-tester in a major city in New Zealand, I was unfortunately obligated to enter the men's toilets in the public library, as that was where the alarm panel was situated. The men were given a certain length of time to vacate the damp, dark, grotty, smelly room, and I completed my task as quickly as possible. I discovered that, at this place at least, there was a yawning gulf between the toilets of each sex.


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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