The Davenport Arms, or ‘The Thief’s Neck’ as known to friends, has reached an impressive milestone – it has been the pumping heart of a running relationship between the Hallworth family and Cheshire family brewers, Robinsons, for over 80 years.
In February 1932, the Hallworth family pulled their first pint of Robinsons bitter and since then they have never looked back. Yvonne Hallworth is now the fourth generation of her family to steer the wheel of the long-established Davenport Arms – the longest serving family of the 360-strong estate to still manage a Robinsons pub – and the 5th generation is already helping at the helm.
“My family and Robinsons have been making decisions together and working hand-in-hand for many years now,” enthuses Yvonne. “My late Father was always very proud of the way he kept and served his beer and that was passed on to me.”
Mr. William Robinson, Director of Robinsons, commented: “The entire family are extremely proud of the long association we share with the Hallworth family. Our two families have had a strong, successful working relationship for many years now and the Davenport Arms has become a real treasure. Tenants like the Hallworth family are indeed few and far between.”
The Robinson family acquired the Davenport Arms, Woodford, in 1922 but this historic hostelry – once part of the famed Capesthorne Estate – dates back to the 18th Century in which the Davenport family were the game wardens to the King’s hunting preserves.
As hereditary foresters of the King, the Davenports had the authorized power to put poachers to death without trial. Hence, the crest of the Davenport coat of arms originally was a serf’s head with a rope around its neck, signifying that the Davenports had the power to hang without appeal to the King. This same crest can still be seen today from the pub’s pictorial.
The legend has it that the tree which stands outside the Davenport Arms was used to hang wrongdoers, hence the nickname ‘The Thief’s Neck’ – since then best behaviour has prevailed!
“Our pub has an atmosphere second to none,” says Yvonne. “We have very loyal regulars who have stuck by us through some very difficult and trying times; including the fire we suffered five years ago when I lost everything of any sentimental value to myself.”
To celebrate the ongoing success that the Hallworth family have seen during their time at The Davenport Arms, they are having a timely jamboree this Saturday 24th March 2012. They will be joined in the day by Robinsons traditional dray Shire horses, there will be face painting for children (and adults on request) 12.30-2.30, vocalist, Karyn Mack, will cover all the classics from 8.30pm onwards, oh – and Robinsons have provided a celebratory beer, aptly titled ‘4th Generation Ale’, to be served throughout this special weekend.
Join the Hallworth family at The Davenport Arms this Saturday 24th March 2012 for a well-earned drink, a great day out, and no doubt a night to remember.