Doreen Bolton, Publican

Doreen Bolton (1910-1996) was landlady of the Royal Oak, Goodramgate from 1938 until 1950, and claimed to be the youngest landlady in Yorkshire at the time. A member of the Gretton family of publicans, her grandmother held a licence in the 1910s, the Barrack Tavern in her husband’s name (as was customary then) and Ye Olde No. 5 in her own name. Her mother ran the King’s Head during 1920s. Doreen’s insights are recounted in Mike Race’s revealing local publication, Public Houses, Private Lives. Amongst other reminiscences, he included a telling quote of Doreen’s to her husband: ‘Wally, I’m going to take a pub, I might as well be an ornament . . . I’m not doing anything, I’m just like a carpet.’


  • Mike Race, Public Houses, Private Lives, An Oral History of Life in York Pubs in the Mid-20th Century (Voyager Publications 1999) pp. 3, 65.
  • Image Credit: ©Race, Public Houses, p. 103, photo by Pauline Worthy (1940s).