The Blood Tub
The Ship on Wheat Lane (once ‘Wet Lane’) in the ancient parish of Lathom is a local icon; known throughout West Lancashire as the ‘Blood Tub’ or just plain ‘The Tub’. It was first a Public House at 4 Wheat Lane, expanding into numbers 6 and 8 in the 19th century, and latterly extended further in 1993. The rather macabre ‘Blood Tub’ appellation comes with a choice of two legends - each supported by some compelling evidence!
As a ‘navigation’ pub for workers on the canals and nearby ‘graving dock’ and then as a watering hole for competing canal boat crews, a certain amount of fisticuffs amongst the would-be clientele was not unusual. The feisty landlady refused to serve the bloodied combatants, insisting they first clean up in a water filled half-butt outside her proud establishment. This became known as the ‘Blood Tub’, a name that ultimately was transferred onto the pub itself.
An early landlady was a famed producer of black puddings. She sourced her ingredients, particularly pigs blood, from her farmer customers. The deals were largely barters, exchanging jugs of blood, which were emptied into a barrel, for ale; which was then carried off in the same jugs - hopefully thoroughly swilled! The barrel of blood was known as the Blood Tub, again the name being adopted for the pub.