Blunham Pubs : The Horseshoes

By Bill Exley

'The Horseshoes Pub commands a prime position in the centre of the village, overlooking the square, with views down The High Street or up The Hill. In bygone years there were cottages on either side, e.g. 2, 4 and 6 High St , but these have now given way to progress, a car park and other clearances. The pub sign shows 3 horseshoes, misleading patrons to call it 'The Three Horseshoes'. Records held by Chas. Wells Ltd, reveal that in years gone by, 1822-1890 it was The Three Horseshoes, then c1907/1946, it was described as The Old Horseshoes. Today (2000) Bedford Brewers Charles Wells Ltd supply the bars with draught beers. The surrounding area offers riverside walks and renowned fishing for anglers from afar. For local interest here is my listing of past landlords, compiled from records researched at Bedford County Hall and Charles Wells Brewery.

Publicans & Brewers

Mary Newmill * Licencee / Marchioness Grey. 1769

Thom. Ekines *.Also a carpenter / Leased by Machioness Grey.

21/10/ 1769
Ref - Addendum below - by Brian Ekins / Ekines
July 2011
John Elliott * - . Now - The Three Horseshoes 1822 / 1828
Eliz. Elliott * 1847
Thom. Elliot * ( Son ? ) / Countess Cowper of Silsoe, owner 1853 / 1869
Noah King * 1885 / 1887
All above entries * begining and/or end not clear
Aug. / 2021
Jerome Danes / Earl Cowper of Silsoe 1890 / 1898
Wm. Liles Haydon / Earl Cowper of Silsoe 1898 - 1906
Jess Gilbert . - . Also a Coal Merchant 1906 - 1910
. Now a Blunham Population of 603 - served by the 8 Pubs in - 1909
Thomas Smith 1910 - 1926
Herb. & Mary Currant (From Queens Head and stay 30 yrs) Nov.....1926
Thom & Ivy Maries 4th.. Nov ..1957
Fred. & Elizabeth Matthews 17th June. 1974
Noel & Pauline Fitzsimmons 18th June .1980
Keith & Kathleen Deacon 23rd Nov .1983
Lawrence & Wendy Charteress 27th Feb. .1985
Peter & Barbara Moffatt 1st Apr.. . 1996
Eric & Elaine Hoy 12th Mar. 1997
David & Val Armitage 13th July. 2000
Trevor and Claire Pryar 6th. July.. 2005
Stephanie Turner and Daniel McGeachy  21st Sept .2007
Andrew and Tanya Brown 30th Mar. 2009
Stuart and Deborah Knowles 29th Mar. 2010
Elizabeth & Roy Brown 28th May 2012

* Addendum - by Brian Ekins - According to my research and information provided by Bedfordshire archives my Great Grand father x 5 Thomas Ekines [sic now] who was originally a carpenter took the lease on The Horeshoe Inn on the 21st October 1769. The lease was agreed between Joseph Cole on behalf of the Earl of Hardwick and the Marchioness Grey and Thomas Ekines. Thomas was to pay the Earl 8 guineas per annum. Thomas was born c1740 and his wife was Elizabeth [nee More]. * for Brian, - July 2011, via Colin Hinson.

O * O * O

Show Time with BOBBY GEORGE at The Horseshoes - (c1985-96)

We had a well known character in the village called Neil Mc Cormack, his Mum known as Mary Mac and Dad Roy. Neil loved his darts and was often 'dropped off' at The Sally or Horseshoes pubs to watch or take part in a game of Darts. Why he was taken to a pub, was due to him being Wheel Chair bound by Spina Bifida.

So for a special Birthday, his Mum arranged for any well known dart player to make a special appearance as a suprise for Neil. Two top players wanted very high Fees, (who shall remain nameles) but a certain Mr Bobby George stepped forward and offered his time and travel for Free, which was a superb gesture to say the least.

On the night of Bobby coming to Blunham, in the days of Lol' and Wendy Charteress behind the bar, yours truly, ever the optomist, took my darts down to the Horseshoes. At the start of ihe evening, Bobby George announces , again the Gent, "I will play anyone who wants to take part in supporting Neil and the evening, if you drop a coin into Neil's charity pot." Obviously one Leg, or Game only and not the best of three. Neil always had to play his way, from his wheel chair, to a dart board set up on a board on a chair a couple of feet off the floor.

When Bobby George played Neil, he was on his knees using 'his' board, but our Games or Legs , he showed no mercy and took us all to the cleaners with his World reknown Dart skills . He scored 7 x 180's, yes a phenominal acheivment in one night, but all this is on a recording. At one point, my darts partner Rex Clarke, dropped in two treble fives and a single five, so 35 scored. (a left handed 140, so close)

Bobby George with his huge smile, and all his Gold adornments, rings, bracelets and chains, enough to bail Greece out from Debt, just smiled at Rex and he calmly puts his three darts, in two treble fives and a single, so ever the sport and gent he showed us, he could have scored a Ton or more, so a night to remember. All this was recorded on video and later put onto disc

A unique evening.../...Bill Ex.

o o o o

Try my link below to some trivia in Misc and Mash - etc