The Jolly Fisherman was established by Charles Archbold in 1847. Originally it was confined to the northern half of its present site and later it was extended into the cottage on the southern side.
Written in 1957, Eva Archbold's history of the village notes:
"The public house or Jolly Fisherman as it is now called was stated to have Charles Archbold and his wife Mary as inn-keepers. This was Charles Archbold, son of John Archbold and Rachel Gilchrist, married 1772.) Charles died in 1855 and Mary kept it until 1859 when Robert Grey took over. According to the diary on November 11th 1859 Mr. Mary Archbold gave up the public house and went to Shields. Robert Grey went in and gave free drinks on November 12th.
The previous pub (now Scots the butchers) was given up by Eliza Archbold in 1847. See if Charles Archbold started the Jolly Fisherman then? Yes. Charles Archbold started the Jolly Fisherman in 1847.
1955-1956 - The Public House called the Jolly Fisherman was enlarged by taking in the next low cottage. This cottage housed a family called Archbold. The father was George (commonly called George Nesbit) his wife was Bessie Carse from Newton. Two sons, Tom and Jack, commonly called Bowling, Jack was lost in First World War (1914-1918) and Tom was drowned at sea off Craster. Mary Jane was the daughter. In front of this cottage was a good garden with stone wall around. No sign of wall or garden now except a low wall near road."
Photo: Peter Howard
The following photograph shows the 'Jolly' in the days when it was split between the pub on the left and a separate cottage on the right. The properties were not merged into one until as recently as 1954. Here you can see it surrounded not by barrels of beer, but barrels for the herring from the smokehouse.
In the land valuation register of 1910, T.W.Craster is given as the owner of the Jolly Fisherman; rented to Henry Grey.
More recent publicans include:
Walter Proudlock, previously the gamekeeper at the Craster Estate, was still the publican in 1943,
He was followed by his daughter Mary, who married Tommy Abbott.
Harry Wood and his wife, who merged the two adjacent properties in 1954.
Their son, whose name is not known to us at this time.
Albert George, who came from outside the village, and his wife.
Albert's sister Muriel and her husband Billy Silk, who had been a Craster fisherman.
They left in 2011 and the pub was taken over by David Whitehead, who undertook a major refurbishment in December 2012.