Three Men in a Boat (public house)

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Three Men in a Boat public house circa early-1950s, prior to the construction of the ballroom, to the left of the off-licence. Robert Plant's room is next to the upper right-hand window of the public house.

The Three Men in a Boat was a public house located along Stephenson Avenue in Beechdale estate, within Bloxwich, West Midlands. It was an important focal point and hub of activity for many local bands from the 1960s to the 1990s, prior to its closure, including the Jackpots, Tommy Burton Combo, The Rockin' Phantoms, Prim 'n' Proper, The 'N Betweens, Dual Purpose, Hari Kari, The Answer, and Obs-Tweedle. The landlord of the establishment was William Bonham, Sr., who was John Bonham's uncle and the father of Bill Bonham. It was the pub in which manager Peter Grant sent numerous telegrams to John Bonham to sign up with Led Zeppelin,[1] as the venue had no answering machine. Robert Plant and his two cats Tipton and Dudley, as well as members of William Bonham's family lived in upstairs accommodation.[2] Noddy Holder was a regular at the venue, and his father Jack Holder was contracted to clean the pubs windows, with his van doubling as band transport. Three Men in a Boat was named after Jerome K. Jerome's humorous travelogue Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), Jerome being a resident of nearby Caldmore, Walsall. The public house opened following the establishment of the Beechdale council housing estate after the post-Second World War urban renewal of Walsall, and reflects the style of simple but solid brick architecture of the time and place. The ballroom and stage area was built following the construction of the pub's off-licence adjacent to the main building. The bar and lounge area could accommodate up to 200 patrons, and the ballroom up to 300. Jazz trios originally performed there before rock 'n' roll took over in the late 1950s. The pub finally closed for business in July 2000, and the site has since been converted into the headquarters for the Beechdale Community Housing Association Limited (BCHA).[3]


  1. Webster, Terry. John Bonham's Led Zeppelin gong up for auction, The Birmingham Post, 28 May 2009. Retrieved on 2010-03-07.
  2. Snow, Mat (May 1990). "Robert Plant's Record Collection". Q (1784): 54. ISSN 0955-4955. Retrieved on 2009-06-05.
  3. New use for pub, Birmingham Evening Mail, 28 July 2000. Retrieved on 2010-03-07.