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Dersingham Folk
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The Albert Victor Public House
Elizabeth Fiddick and a letter from Dick Melton
This image was kindly provided by Donna McMillan who said that the older of the two ladies was her 2nd great-grandmother, Ellen Eliza (lately Drew nee Melton) wife of Frederick William Hartley. The younger lady was Donna's great-grandmother, Florence Eva Drew (Ellen's daughter by the late John Drew). [Between 1901 and 1910]
Landlord Frederick William Hartley is standing on the far right wearing a bowler hat and Thomas Turner Drew, Florence's brother, is wearing a skipped cap and has his hand on the van's bonnet.

The van is possibly a 1926 Dennis; can an expert please advise.
The Albert Victor was originally a beer house, that is it was not originally selling alcohol. They were able to secure a transfer of licence from the Alexandra when it closed  as an additional licence in the village was refused.

1868-1872  Charles Harper age 43 in 1871 when the name 'Albert Victor' appears in the Census.
1875-          Charles Dye
1877-          William Melton
1879-1883  Edward Melton  age 54 in 1881 Died Q1 1891 - age 63
1888-1891 Thomas Wright age 68 in 1891 Died Q2 1891
1892-          Mrs Caroline Wright age 66 in 1891, died Q4 1910
1896-1912  Frederick William Hartley & wheelwright age 65 in 1911
1915-1921  Percy Shepherd
1925-1933  Thomas Turner Drew
1935-1887  See newspaper article below.  Albert Edward Southgate died December 1987 - age 84
16.01.1961 Dorothy Ann Southgate 
06.03.1961 Peter Rogers Died Q3 1967 - age 47
16.10.1967 Margaret Ellen Rogers
30.06.1970 to 26.10.1981  Arthur Robert Oswald Daw
Full Acknowledgement to Norfolk Pubs

[Perhaps someone can fill in the gaps in the landlord dates for us – Ed].
1905 - Location of the Albert Victor on Manor Road
The Albert Victor was the Public House that stood in Manor Road next to Westhall Manor. It ceased trading and is now a private house. Albert-Victor was the elder brother of Prince George (later George V) and known as Prince Eddy. He was in direct line of succession to the throne after his father but he caught influenza at Sandringham shortly after his engagement to Princess May of Teck. Pneumonia set in and he died on 14th January 1892, just after his twenty-eighth birthday.

Despite it having been named by the 1871 census the 'Albert Victor' does not appear in the trade directories until the 1930s. In 1874 Charles Dye is listed as a beer retailer. In 1883 Edward Melton has that occupation and in 1890 there is the entry, Thomas Wright-Beerhouse Then Frederick Hartley is listed as a beer retailer from 1896 until 1916 when he appears as victualler of The White Horse and Percy Shepherd takes over as Beer retailer.ln 1925 Thomas Turner Drew is listed as a beer retailer and a Thomas Drew ran The Albert Victor for a number of years. In 1937 the pub is first mentioned by name in the trade directories with Albert Southgate as victualler; this ties in with the change from beer house to public house.

Note that in 1871 Prince Albert Victor was just 7 years old and was the year when John Neale Dalton was appointed to be his tutor.

05 Mar 1937 The Advertiser
Transfer of wines and spirits licence from the "Alexandra" to the "Albert Vistor"

Application was made for the removal of the licence of the "Alexandra" public-house, Dersingham to the "Albert Victor' beer-house, Dersingham

Mr. Edmund Reeve (Messrs. Mills and Reeve, Norwich) made the application on behalf of Albert Edward Southgate, licensee of the "Albert Victor" beerhouse and Morgans Brewery Co. Ltd.

Mr. Reeve said that if the magistrates agreed to the removal the "Alexandra" would cease to be a licensed house, and consequently there would be one less licence in Dersingham. No objection had been made to the application. Mr. Reeve said that Mr. Southgate, who had been the licensee of the "Albert Victor" for the past two years, was for many years, employed in the stables on the Sandringham Estate.

Robert Thompson, of 44, Angel Road, Norwich gave evidence of sending notifications to the parties concerned .

Albert Edward Southgate, of the "Albert Victor" beer-house, Dersingham, stated that during the summer a large number of tourists visiting Sandringham Estate stopped at the house and witness had had a considerable number of applications for wines and spirits. When Royalty were in residence at Sandringtuun some of the servants came to his house and had asked for wnes and spirits.

Mr. Southgate produced a petition signed by sixty-two persons, 33 of whom were Dersingham residents, in favour of the transfer.

Bertram Maraland of Bridge House, Lynn, manager for Morgans Brewery, the owners of Elijah Eyre's Brewery Ltd. and he knew many residents in Lynn who had frequently called at the "Albert Victor" and who had complained to him that they were unable to get wines and spirits there. One large smokeroom in the "Albert Victor" was capable of  holding 80 persons.

Mr. Reeve intimated that Messrs Elijah Eyres, were technically the owners of the property.

A provisional order was granted.


Late 19th/early 20th century - The pub sign pole can be seen on the left, Laundry Yard and a policeman walking out to Manor Road.
Early 20th century - Looking along Manor Road from Lynn Road the pub sign can be seen on the left.
Letters from Dick Melton
June 2020

The Albert Victor public house was situated in Manor Road, Dersingham; it opened in 1868. My family connections were:

William Melton 1877
Edward Melton
1879-1883 (taken over from his brother William)

Over the years the Albert Victor had a good bowling green with some good players amongst them including my father Jim, my uncle, Sid Hunter, my grandfather William Melton and my great uncle Tom Drew. Tom was a builder and became landlord of the pub in 1925.

I can add:
Frederick William Hartley 1896-1912 Was also a wheelwright and carried on his trade in the large barn at the side of the public house, the barn is still there.

Albert Frederick Southgate and his wife helped by their daughter Dorothy 1937-1961
Their son,  Frederick Seth Stephen (Fred) Southgate, worked for Queen Mary for 27 years first as a footman and then in 1940 was made her personal chauffeur. Mary Hawkes (nee Southgate), a daughter, sent us this information and she has a copy of his reference given to him by Lord Claud Hamilton after Queen Mary died.

The Albert Victor was closed on 26 October1981and turned into a private house, the barn was used as a school for dancing.

The pub trade was in our family; others kept The Fox and Hounds at Marham, The Union Jack at Royden and I was head barman at The Kit-Kat Public House in Hunstanton for twenty years working there for a total of thirty years.

All the best,
Dick Melton from ‘Sunny Hunny’.

March 2021
About when the albert victor got it’s full licence, it says [the newspaper article above] that the smoke room held 80 people, I knew the Albert Victor very well and it was the local for me and my dad as we lived just round the corner in Lynn Road near the common, it was a small pub and I do not think you could get 80 people in the smoke room and the bar if you put the two together.

Another little story about the Albert Victor; in the nineteen sixties Norfolk was over run by coypu they were about the size of a Jack Russel dog, they had long claws and protruding teeth so they looked vicious but they were not; they ran away from humans. But they done a lot of damage to the bank along rivers and drains by making holes to live in, they also ate grass and sugar beet tops. There were many of them down Dersingham marshes, so there was a trapper working down there. One Saturday lunch time this trapper walked into the Albert Victor and stood a cage on the bar with a live coypu in it and every body made a dash for the door, the landlord, Peter Rogers, had to give the trapper a free pint before he would take the coypu outside as the people would not come back in till the coypu had been taken outside.

Well that’s all for now , keep safe all the best
Sunny Hunny

The Albert Victor Bowls Club sign on the lane leading to the club opposite where the pub was.
The Albert Victor as a private house in 2016