Blunham Pubs : The Horseshoes

By Bill Exley

The Horseshoes Public House in Blunham

....The Horseshoes Pub commands a prime position in the centre of Blunham village overlooking the square, with views down The High Street (due North) , or West up The Hill and Barford road, 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 six more old cottages either side of The Horseshoes Pub, (10, High Street today ) then we have to the right 2 and 4 High St. ( The Ovens and Battle Cottage ). So over the years the whole area has given way to progress, a car park and other clearances, 6 and 8 have gone now along with 12, 14, 16 and 18 no more. The Saluation Public House is actually 20, High Street as a postal address, with the entrance to retirement bungalows for Ex. landlords. ( Wellsfield, Est. re. Charles Wells brewers )

. This can be seen in some old postcards etc. The pub sign in the past has shown 3 horseshoes, misleading patrons to call it 'The Three Horseshoes'. Records held by Chas. Wells Ltd, reveal that in years gone by c1822-1890 it was The Three Horseshoes, then around 1907 and 1946, it was also described as The Old Horseshoes.

. Today Dec. - 2000 , the Bedford Brewers Charles Wells Ltd still supply the bars with draught & bottled beers since 1910. . The surrounding area offers riverside walks and renowned fishing spots just 5 minutes around the corner past the Church, - This 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. - For interest In 1903 Sandy had 16 Pubs / Beerhouses / Alehouses. - Origin - see my link to Misc & Mash / ref - 12 . *

o * O * oO * o

o * O * O * o


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 hel at The Three Horseshoes, 26th / Oct / 1864 at 5pm - Held by a Messers Stafford & Son : note Pub name at this time.
1853 / 1869
Noah King : behind the bar. - With Thom. Jarvis Bedford, Brewers 1885 / 1887
* N.B. - All above entries / records begining and / or end, not quite 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 -

Thom. Smith - and Charles Wells now takes over from - Thom. Jarvis, Bedford Brewers 1910 - 1926
Herb. & Mary Currant - moves from Queens Head and stay for 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 - (brother of David, the village Butcher) 27th Feb. .1985
Peter & Barbara Moffatt 1st Apr.. . 1996
Eric & Elaine Hoy 12th Mar. 1997
David & Val Armitage 13th July. 2000
Trevor and Claire Pryor 6th. July.. 2005
Stephanie Turner and Daniel McGeachy  21st Sept .2007
Andrew and Tanya Brown - (his brother Roy comes in later) 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 * 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 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 . .


Ret to Index Page . & Blunham Home Page, by Colin Hinson - (top L.H.S)

Try my Misc & Mash, for just outright Trivia, or Brain Fodder for the Inquiring Mind : by Mr Blex