A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls of Chester

The Vanished Pubs of Chester Gallery

the engine house
The Engine House, Boughton.

The Engine House Tavern, 111 Boughton / Richmond Place. The first we have learned about this inn is that it was originally called The Richmond Place Beerhouse. It was more popularly known as Ruscoe's, after the family who took it on in 1807. John Ruscoe was the first of that name to run it and he also kept livestock- there was a large yard with outbuildings behind.

After his death in 1843 his wife Ann took it over. When she died in 1860, her will stated that the pub was to be sold and the proceeds of the sale be divided equally amongst her children. Under new ownership, their eldest son, also John, continued to run the pub until he, too, died in 1865. His widow Elizabeth Ruscoe then took the place on. She also operated a horse-drawn cab hire business, which she ran from the yard behind the pub- presumably where Parkside Motors was later operating, as seen in our top photograph. She was obviously successful as she bought the pub back for £680 in 1873 and stayed until she gave up the licence in 1890.

In 1880 the pub was known as The Engine Tavern. Then years later, in 1890, the licence was taken over by Thomas Reece, a former policeman who had served in the Chester force for 20 years.

Ron and Margaret Critchlow had the place in the early 1970s. The interior of the pub was decked out in the cream and maroon livery of the Old Great Western Railway. The words 'Station Master' appeared above the bar and the Ladies and Gents were suitably indicated with huge signs. Not a pub for passing trade, but it had a strong, firm base of locals and a top class darts team.

After closing in 2004, the old inn briefly became a restaurant by the name of Locus until, in 2011 it became an Indian restaurant called Shillong.

Many thanks to Gloria Rathbone, a descendent of the Ruscoes, for much of the above information.

shillong restaurant

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