History @ The Old Bell – The story of Alice

Tuesday 19th January

During the early 20th Century The Old Bell Hotels Tudor Bar was one of most popular gentlemen-only bars for the elite of Derby with regular visitors including judges, officers and owners of some of Derby’s largest businesses. The bar was known for being the host of some of Derby’s high fliers. However, the person in charge of this small bar and keeping all the gentlemen inside in line was the resident barmaid Alice who was the only woman allowed inside the bar during the Tudor rooms time as a gentleman only bar.

Alice was incredibly strict, keeping all visitors in line regardless of their position or stature in society. She ensured all guests respected the bar and upheld the traditional rules of the time which included not allowing woman into the bar. Alice worked well into her 80’s beyond the age of retirement at the time in order to look after the bar. However, one morning, on her way to the bar, she was involved in a tragic traffic accident resulting in the bar being left without its long term barmaid.

As was traditional years ago there was only 1 men’s toilet in the bar which can still be seen (and used) today. During the restoration of The Old Bell Tudor bar inspiration was taken from the painting and old drawing of the bar to help bring the history back for everyone to enjoy.

tudor bar drawing