The Yorkshire Grey in the 1970s

By Jill Campbell

Business card for Jack & Esther Nott
Jill Campbell
The Yorkshire Grey taken in 1960s
Stevenage Museum

Throughout my childhood in the 1970s my Mum worked at the Yorkshire Grey pub in the High Street. She was known there as Jeanie and worked there for 12 years. The pub was run at that time by Jack and Esther Nott.

Sometimes during the school holidays I would be allowed to go to work during the daytime with my Mum. Being a child, I had to stay behind the scenes during open hours. I remember Uncle Jack (as I called him) used to give me a big box full of beer mats and he would say that he had a very important job for me to do. I had to sort all the beermats out and count them. So I used to sit myself down on the stairs behind the bar and set to work, thinking I was very important!

Jack and Esther ran the Yorkshire Grey for 22 years until they retired in 1983. When I visit the ‘Ask’ restaurant that the building became around 2002, I find it hard to believe it is the same place, with its open ceilings and modern fittings. However some familiar features remain, like the large fireplace that fell between the two bars infront of the entrance door.

This page was added on 04/01/2011.

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  • One evening in the early 70s two friends and myself decided to frequent the Yorkshire gray. I was the first to cross the threshold to be greeted by the landlord shouting get out I’m not having long hair in my pub. So three cool lads about town took to their platform heels and went to the white lion across the road. I might add the three of us grew up in the old town. Happy memories!

    By Richard Barker (07/01/2022)
  • my friends and i used to meet and drink there most nights from 1972-1976 when I left Stevenage for Canada. As long as we behaved Jack was good, he was a no nonsense guy but loved his regulars

    By Linda Aspland-Zumm (01/12/2021)
  • Joan and I drank in The Yorkshire Grey for about ten years from 1972. Great characters, wonderful beer. Jack ran the pub with a tight grip – no time for romantic couples canoodling in the corner, hippies, left wing fanatics (we kept our politics to ourselves!), etc. He made his own fabulous sloe gin and whisky flowed freely on New Year’s Eve. Happy days…

    By John Humphreys (13/06/2021)
  • Sorry but Jack and his wife hated “newtown residents”

    By Brett Fisher (26/03/2021)
  • Jack and Esther were my Aunt and Uncle. I stayed in the pub when I was 16 for about a month. Worked in the bar sometimes and I remember the glasses had the names of people painted on them. Happy days!!

    By Marianne Eshmade (28/04/2018)
  • My grandma and grandad were Jack and Esther, would love to hear any other stories etc

    By Victoria lovell (20/04/2017)
  • My dad Stan Kelly used to play darts for the Yorkshire Grey way back then, great memories. It’s a shame things have to change.

    By Donna Kelly (09/11/2013)