Nowadays, where pubs of this name still survive, the likelihood is that their signs will feature a young lad that looks like one of Dick Van Dyke’s sidekicks in Mary Poppins, in other words, a young Victorian chimney sweep. However when the name first became popular the inspiration was generally the uniformed – and coloured – young servants of the well-to-do.
‘Negro page boys were highly fashionable and must have been distinctive figures on the streets of London, dressed in brightly coloured liveries as they inevitably were (Dunkling and Wright – A Dictionary of Pub Names 1987).
In the Three Towns, Stonehouse appears to have been the only place to have a pub thus named, it stood in Fore Street (now High Street), not far from the approach to Stonehouse Bridge.
1850 - Thomas Wallis
1862 - John Smith
1865 - William Meharry