Blunham Pubs : The Horseshoes

By Bill Exley

The Horseshoes - Public House

....The Horseshoes Pub in Blunham commands a prime position in the centre of our village, overlooking the square. with views down The High Street (due North) , or West up The Hill and Barford road for a mile, over the river Gt. Ouse, into Great Barford village, we then have the town of Bedford, only 7 miles away.

. 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 also described as The Old Horseshoes.

. Today (Dec - 2000) Bedford Brewers Charles Wells Ltd supply the bars with draught beers. The surrounding area offers riverside walks and renowned fishing. Just 5 minutes around the corner, past the Church, brings you to a Weir and bridge over the quiet River Ivel. Here one can take a pleasant walk on paths through the fields to the market town of Sandy. - In 1903 Sandy had 16 Pubs / Beerhouses / Alehouses. - Origin - see my link to Misc & Mash / ref - 12 . *

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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. -

I have a record to hand, of a Blunham property sale, held at The Three Horseshoes on 26th of October in 1864 at 5pm - Held by a Messers Stafford & Son - (Pub name)

1853 / 1869
Noah King * 1885 / 1887
N.B. - 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.

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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 the 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 as usual. Neil always had to play his way, from his wheel chair, to a dart board set up on a board for him 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 achievment in one night, and all this is on a recording. At one point, my usual darts partner Rex Clarke, drops in two treble fives and a single five, next door, so 35 scored, or 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 smiles at Rex and he calmly puts 'his' three darts, in two treble fives and a single, to even it up - with skill and humour. So ever the sport and gent, he showed all evening , he could have scored a Ton ( 100 + ) or more, so a night to remember. All this was recorded on video and later put onto disc

A unique evening for us all - * - Bill Ex.


Back to Index Page . & our Blunham Home Page, (Village life by Colin Hinson - top L.H.S.) - or return to, or Try my Misc & Mash, work for just outright Trivia . (Brain Fodder, by Mr Blex)

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: Answers to Misc & Mash - (Ref 14) , there are only Two errors, / Sentence and Mistake / the 'Third' is the word Three, it should read Two . - . Ans / 2 - of Ref 14 - About 3 feet or a metre, off the floor, on the wall all round the room, to protect expensive Victorian or Edwardian thick, embossed wallpaper from damage, scuffs or dents with heavy Dining Chairs being pushed back.