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The Percy Shaw

This pub is named after the inventor of the cat’s eye.

This pub is closed permanently. Your nearest Wetherspoon pub: The Commercial Inn, Sowerby Bridge

Reflective road studs, or ‘cat’s eyes’, were the brainchild of Percy Shaw. The Halifax-born inventor patented his ingenious invention in 1934 and soon began manufacturing them in his home town. This pub, named after him, was built on a site mostly occupied by a supermarket which had been a 28-lane bowling alley, built in 1964. The site was also partly occupied by the Star Hotel which dated from the early 1800s.

A photograph and text about Percy Shaw.


The text reads: Percy Shaw was born in Halifax on the 15 April 1890. He was an English inventor and business man. He was the fourth child and second son of James Shaw and Esther Hannah Morrell. James Shaw was a dye house labourer who worked at a local mill. He already had 7 children from his first wife, Jane Brearley, who died in 1883. In 1892 the family moved to Boothtown, where Percy lived for the rest of his life.

In 1934 he patented his invention of the reflective road stud known as cat’s eyes. A year later he set up a company called Reflective Road Studs Ltd to manufacture his invention. The company is still trading today. He was awarded an OBE for services to exports in 1965.

Photographs and text about cat’s eyes.

The text reads: Highly efficient reflecting lenses are housed in a resilient rubber insert which clips into a patented metal base provided with ramps to protect the insert.

The self-wiping action is automatically performed by vehicle tyres depressing the centre part of the rubber insert causing the reflectors to be wiped against the outer stationary wiper parts of the insert.

The same rubber insert fits both long and short type bases. The studs are embedded into the road surface therefore installation is permanent. Full instructions regarding installation are contained in our Paving Manual (copies available on request).

Long Type Cat’s Eye

This base affords excellent protection to the rubber insert and is specifically designed for roads carrying heavy traffic or subject to snow ploughing.

Only original cat’s eyes incorporate patented wear grooves which indicate when renewal of the base is required.

Short Type Cat’s Eye

This model is intended for use on roads with an AADT of less than 5000 for single carriageway and free from snow ploughing.

The design ensures that the reflectors are well above the surface, thus clear of the surface debris and that less vehicle impacts initiate the self-wiping action.

A collection of photographs referring to cat’s eyes.

An old cat’s eye advert.

A feature inspired by the history of the cloth industry in Halifax.

We have used old wooden bobbins to create a relief abstract design bringing old and new together. We have painted and distressed the bobbins to add colour to the design.

External photograph of the building – main entrance.

Extract from Wetherspoon News Spring 2019.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: