Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

The Wheatsheaf, 172, Bohemia Road

By David Russell, Aug 2011.

Wheatsheaf Drawing

The Wheatsheaf

Bohemia’s early history is peppered with the surname of Jinks and many members of the Jinks extended family once resided in the district. In the second half of the nineteenth century, at least twenty-five people with this surname, in six family branches, lived along Bohemia Road. Their adult occupations ranged from the building trades, shop keeping (one was a greengrocer); taking in laundry and running pubs.
Bohemia’s first pub, the Wheatsheaf, was built by John Jinks, a bricklayer who had previously been a squatter on the America Ground, where he had a ready-made clothes shop. This was approximately where 40 Robertson Street is today (Hoagies Reloaded Café).
When the ‘Americans’ were given notice to quit in 1835, John Jinks moved to Spittleman’s Down, later called Bohemia Place and now a part of Bohemia Road. He built the sandstone wall on the eastern side of Bohemia Road, probably the walled garden, (he was known as ‘Brisco’s right-hand man’), houses in White Rock and Prospect Place and ornamental brickwork in Warrior Square. He was also an early landlord of the Wheatsheaf. From 1848 to 1911 the Wheatsheaf was run by the Pratt family. In 1856 when it was advertised for sale, its stables (now the Pizza Hut takeaway) and skittle alley were especially mentioned.
During the time of the Pratt family, the Wheatsheaf was popular with skilled artisans and respectable tradesmen, who regarded themselves as superior to the unskilled labouring classes. These men, dubbed the ‘Aristocracy of Labour’, usually wore bowler hats and ties. In the 1870s they set up a number of branches of the Conservative Working Men’s Association in Hastings. The Bohemia and Silverhill branch met at the Wheatsheaf and had at least 100 members. Their secretary, George Upton, was at one time landlord of the Prince of Wales.
From 1913 until 1922 the pub was known as Ye Olde Wheatsheaf. In the latter year it was sold by the brewery for £4,000 and reverted back to its original name. In 1917 the landlord was fined a steep £5 for serving a soldier with a bottle of beer and in 1919 he was fined again, this time for overcharging. The pub managed to stay open during WW2. Only recently, after 176 years, did the Wheatsheaf close. It is now a Chinese restaurant.
o David is interested in your memories and photos of Hastings and St. Leonards pubs – please call him on 01424 200 227.

Wheatsheaf customers

Can a reader identify any of these moustachioed customers (about 1900)?


Landlords of the Wheatsheaf

1835-18?? James Holman
18??-18?? John Jinks
1848-1848 James Platt/Pratt
1848-1852 Sarah Gorring
1855-1855 Joseph Davis
1889?1892 Peter Pratt
1892-1895 James Pratt
1902-1910 Sarah Pratt & Henry Kent
1910-1913 Edward Weeks
1914-1918 Harry Webber
1918-1918 Frederick Fletcher
1918-1923 Thomas Skinner
1923-1923 Reginald Gurney
1924-1924 William Strudwick
1924-1929 Ernest Browning
1929-1932 George Soffe
1932-1938 Sara Soffe
1938-1939 Thomas Hemmings
1939-1955 Ernest Josey
1955-1955 Trixie Josey
1956-1956 Charles Darby
1956-1960 Archibald Beard
1960-1967 Harold Young
1967-1971 John Hibbett
1971-19?? Catherine Hibbett
1980?1981 William Newton
2010 (Closed)


  1. I agree, please amend your records.
    Mr and Mrs Edward Vickers 1985 – 1999.

  2. Please amend your records
    The Wheatsheaf public house was bought from William Newton in 1985 by Mr & Mrs Edward Vickers and sold in 1999.

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