38 Peterborough Road, Castor
Peterborough PE5 7AL
Tel: 01733 380222
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The History of The Prince of Wales Feathers

Built in the 19th century, originally the building was a ‘beerhouse’, licensed to sell ales but not spirits. The owner was probably James Wilson. By the time of the 1881 census Edward Panter is shown as ‘bootmaker and publican’ at the address, although there is no name given to the property. By 1891 Edward Panter is again described as bootmaker and publican, this time with his home listed as the ‘Prince of Wales’. The Panter family remained in charge until well into the 20th century, in 1911 Edward being listed in the census along with his wife Amy and his 26 year old daughter May. May took on the running of the pub for several years after her father’s death, and the corner of Peterborough Road and The Green where the pub stands was for many years known locally as Panter’s Corner.

The beerhouse eventually passed from the Panter family into the ownership of Bill Kingston, whose wife ran the pub until 1950. There was a brief tie during the 1930s to the famous Wrexham-based brewery of Soames, who, co-incidentally, brewed a popular beer named ‘The Prince of Ales’!

In 1950 the pub was taken on by local shepherd, and former keeper of the Fitzwilliam hounds, Percy ‘Wackey’ Sismey and his wife Elsie. It was Wackey who was responsible for enhancing the licence to permit the sale of spirits. It is possible that the word ‘Feathers’ was added to the pub’s name at the time the licence was upgraded, although no-one is certain when or why the pub was given it’s full (and unusual) moniker. It is also unclear how Percy came to be known universally as Wackey, although it might well be because, like his father, he was a licensed slaughterman, and was often to be found dispatching his neighbours’ pigs in their back gardens.

At this time the pub was tied to Norwich-based brewery Morgans. This was a long-established brewery, one of whose owners, Walter Morgan, had apparently drowned in a brewery vat in May 1845 having been overcome by fumes. Maybe it improved the flavour! Morgans was taken over by Watney-Mann in 1964 and the pub remained tied to Watney-Mann until it became a free house.

Wackey Sismey kept the pub until it was taken over by Edgar and Madge Parker in October 1967. Edgar and Madge ran the pub until the late 1970s, during their time carrying out many structural changes including joining the original lounge and smoke room into one room, and building a kitchen. John and Jean Anker took over from the Parkers, continuing the pub’s popularity with ‘the locals’. John can still be found – this time on the customer’s side of the bar - enjoying a pint or two on many a Sunday lunchtime.

During the 1980s and 1990s the pub changed hands several times, eventually being bought by local farmers, father and son Jim and Stewart Wood. They are largely responsible for the pub’s current layout, completing the latest alterations to provide new gents and disabled facilities as recently as 2013. Under the Wood’s ownership the pub has been run by a number of local characters, including Colin and Val Roberts, and later their daughter Jenny. For several years in the early 2000s Martin and Jane Rutter were at the helm before they departed for adventures new in Inverness, which leads you to your current hosts, Simon and Kay Fitch who have been here since 2007, and who are proud to be the latest in such colourful and illustrious company!

Morgan’s Old Brewery, King Street, Norwich