Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4453/N

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1920-1971

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 1.36 linear metres

Name of creator(s): Improved Public House Co Ltd | public house management company


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Improved Public House Company Limited located at 15 Red Lion Square was founded in 1920 and began as the pet project of Sir Sydney Nevile, managing director of Whitbread. Nevile believed strongly in the need for reform of public houses both for commercial as well as social benefit and he persuaded Whitbread to fund his project.

He had been encouraged by the success of the Carlisle Scheme where the Central Control Board, of which Nevile was a member, had taken control of the licensed trade. They has achieved great success by improving many of their assets with better ventilation, lighting and seating, music, meals, recreation and sometimes even separate rooms for women.

Due to the stubborness of magistrates who refused to allow existing houses to be enlarged, Nevile commissioned the building of a completely new Improved Public House and the Welcome Inn at Eltham was opened by Sir Kingsley Wood in the early 1920s.

Over time the company prospered by incorporating some of Whitbread's bigger and more successful public houses, including the Railway Tavern which was acquired by Whitbread in 1936. Although there was a feeling among some of the other tenants that this was creating a division of class between Whitbread's pubs, the Improved Public House Company helped to improve Whitbread's profile and contributed to the securing of a majority shareholding in Welwyn Restaurants giving the brewery a monopoly on supply to Welwyn Garden City's five pubs.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Improved Public House Company Limited, a subsidiary of Whitbread and Company Limited, brewers. The records cover mainly corporate and financial papers including minutes, registers, private ledgers, accounts, and property agreements.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

LMA/4453/N/01: Minutes;
LMA/4453/N/02: Registers;
LMA/4453/N/03: Journals and private ledgers;
LMA/4453/N/04: Accounts;
LMA/4453/N/05: Agreements.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 2001 as a gift.


Related material:

See also LMA/4453/L (Welwyn Restaurants Ltd) and LMA/4453/T (Railway Tavern Ltd). For the Whitbread Archivist's files on The Improved Public House Company see LMA/4453/G/05/05.

DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: November 2009 to February 2010

Breweries | Commercial buildings | Buildings | Architecture
Brewers | Food industry personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Brewing industry | Food industry | Manufacturing industry | Industry
Business administration | Business
Business management | Management
Corporate minutes | Business records | Documents | Information sources
Financial records | Documents | Information sources
Business x Enterprises
Business administration x Business management
Company archives

Personal names
Nevile | Sir | Sydney Oswald | 1873-1969 | Knight | brewer

Corporate names
Improved Public House Co Ltd | public house management company

London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe