The Queen's Head. c1896 - 1906
A quiet, tranquil scene of The Queen's Head in Blunham village square, in the early 1900's - Note the childen's Victorian or Edwardian ? clothes and adjoining cottages, leading up The Hill and West to the village of Great Barford. The second cottage up from the Q.H. was occupied by a Mr Ben Sims, a coffin maker.
The Queen's Head, now a private dwelling, was formely 5, High Street, overlooks the village square and the Church, the large corner building opposite, was a shop owned by the Judd family. Today a plaque - 'The Ragged Staff' is near the door, so preserving our village history .
Any history of licensed premises in Blunham is complicated by the fact that there have been two seperate Pubs / Beerhouses both starting as the Ragged Staff and later The Salutation, so I will keep them seperate to avoid confusion.
This 'Ragged Staff' was a Beerhouse / or Ale House, the Authorities term, (see my link - The Beerhouse, ref 12 of Misc & Mash) , and probably served up pints well ‘before’ 1846, but these records were not around to support this. It is interesting to see from my researches of Blunham Pubs, that some tenancies changed hands many times after only short periods, but there were exceptios. Some owners even took the previous name with them on a move, as regards The Salutation being renamed The Old Salutation, trying to attract their regulars to follow.
There were many, many land workers, as all farming was so labour intensive and reliant on man power, before the advent of machinery. Most were regular drinkers due to the very nature of their work, using most of the 8 village ’drinking holes’. They picked Brusell Sprouts, or Bruselling, by hand, in the season with freezing conditions. This Beer House was formely The Ragged Staff, changing to The Salutation in 1786 and finally The Queen's Head from 1847 to c.1925 when it finally called Last Orders Please.
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|The Ragged Staff, later to be The Salutation during -||1786- 1846|
|Henry Usher sells The Salutation (then) for £345 to a Joseph Lovell.||1846- 1865|
1st Licence - and renamed - The Queen's Head
|Lovell sells the Inn to a Herbert, Albury Dunnage||1865-1869|
|William, John White ( 1yr . )||1893-1894|
Records show a James, John Kither and Jane Arthur (Arthur Jane?) were also domicile
|William James Phipper (Kither?)||1894-1897|
Sold to Charles Wells , Brewers of Bedford
|Mrs Hannah Giggle||1904-1908|
|Grandad and Grandmum of a Mr Brown, the Gamekeeper at Tempsford Hall Est. (2 miles away)|
|. Now a Blunham Population of 603 - seved by the 8 Pubs in -||1909|
|Herbert Currant, who later moves over to The Horseshoes, stays for 30yrs - (40yrs as a Landlord)
The Queen’s Head is sold by Chas. Wells to a father & son, - ‘both’ called Harry, Thom. Dennis, later the Pub Closes, during 1926 -
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|PC Harry Ashton and family. - ref - seen in a 'Bygones' entry of a local Newspaper - by a Mrs King / nee Ashton , daughter and one of 11 brothers and sisters. so verifies the 1927/34 entry. . . @ - 08/03/1991 - B. Ex - record to hand||1927-1934|
|Pc Harry Whitemore, then PC Jack Frith & families||1934-1942|
|Henry, Stanley Green, (a Great Barford man)||1942-1957|
|Peter and Rosalie Davis, but now c2000, only one occupier - Son ?||Oct 1957 to date|
Origin of - 'The Ragged Staff '
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Last Revision on - 22nd Nov / 2021 - by Bill Exley
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