Blunham Pubs: The Salutation

By Bill Exley

c1906 The Salutation to the left, a cottage in the centre, The Horseshoes beneath the Church
The Salutation 2003

'The Salutation' public house is a grand building situated just along the High Street in the centre of Blunham village, at one time it was 8 High Street, The pub name outside is one of the oldest in England, its origin dating back to horsemen taking a 'Stirrup Cup' or 'Salutary' drink in days of old, Hunting etc. ( L. Salus, health or Salutare, to wish health to.) During my researches it was found that the original name was 'The Ragged Staff', changing to 'The Salutation' during 1768 for reasons unknown. Here follows a listing of Occupiers to date, from records researched at Bedford Archives and information supplied by Greene King, Brewers, then at Biggleswade, now closed
Edmund Turner 1st known occupant of 'The Ragged Staff'
Samuel and Anne Osbourne 16th Oct 1646
Anne Osbourne, widow later admitted  
Richard Orlebar 1759
Henry Dennis (The Salutation now) 20th July 1768
Thom and Rachel. Bassett 13th April 1802
Rachel Bassett 1822
Thom. Clarkson  1827
Geo. Thomas Scruby 22nd Sept 1836
Thom. Nicholls 15th Aug 1844
Joseph Lovell 25th June 1845
Wm. Scruby sells by Public Auction on - 22nd Feb 1849
W. J and Susan Nash ( Bedford Brewers ) new Landlords .  
Sam. Mardlin 1854
James, John Baker 1869
Jane, James 1872
Wm. Jeffries 1873
Chas. and Wm. Howard 1874
The first licence is granted to Wm. Howard 1877
Chas. Penwright 5th Aug 1881
Newland now joins with a Susan Nash (Widow) 1884
Chas Henry Clarke 1888
Wm. Fuller 1896
Fredrick Geo. Howe 1898
Newlands and Susan Nash still in control.  
Wm Hill 1906
Wm. Thom. Davey 1910
Mrs Davey, widow 1933
Wm. Hawkins, comes down from the 'White Horse' 13th June 1934
Wells and Winch take over in 1938
Harry Hawkins (son) 29th Mar 1950
Frank Payne 11th May 1955
Alec Taylor 16th July 1958
Later moves up to the White Horse on The Hill 11th Jan 1961
Arthur Cammack, (Greene King here) 27th Jan 1961
Dora, Beatrice Edwards 17th Aug 1961
Tom and Margaret Curzon 5th Sept 1962
Barry, Magella Thompson 4th April 1965
Eddie and Mavis Randall 1st Feb 1967
Jim and Pat Collier 1st Nov 1972
Brian and Pauline Fox 6th Jan. 1982
Robin and Beryl Cowley 27th Mar1985
Roy and Susan Walsh, move from 'The White Horse ' 11th Sept 1986
350 years of History presented to Roy and Susan 2nd Oct 1996
Geo. Mc.Arthur 11th June 1998
Mike & Lyn Jupp (Later move to Cyprus 2004) 27th July 1999
Bill & Andrea Smith 26th Feb 2004
Keith Graham & Louise Jackson 10th Aug 2005
Paul & Jamie Mead 19th June 2007
Brendan Clifford (A Brewery temp manager) 20th Jan. 2008
Michael and Victoria Crooks 20th Mar 2008
Donna and David Wisbey 26th July 2010
John and Lesley Hunt 4th Feb 2011
After only 10mths, 'The Salutation' now closes down
11th Dec 2011
Sadly it stays empty for 13 months
Malcolm Vardy, now converts it to a Private Home 10th Jan 2013
o o . . O . . o o


A Motley band of drinkers who came to the 'Sally' for a pint on a Friday evening around 8pm for conversation, banter, a laugh with enlightenment. It was made up of the following characters, Ted Jeffries a Land Worker for a Mr John Quince, Jim Goodwin and his best mate Cliff Payne (or Paynie) who had his own farming business,

Jim was always the one with a deadpan face, always observing yet full of dry humour, a twinkle in his eye, he would soon spot any chance for a quick joke, yet always non personal. Jim always remarked on the amount of holidays local teachers had, or a character who wore smart jackets and he would say, "is your coach round the back? "


Cliff Payne and Jim Goodwin

Joe Norman a quiet man, astute and always a smile, with his daughter Mary a nurse, who was also as sharp as a razor within the male company. He was a very good dart player and made his own flites of huge proportions. On a Bull Start game we often played, I saw him place 3 darts in the Bullseye, so the flites were no barrier. I saw this only twice in my life time (Andrew Brown and Lawrence Charteress) I once had 2 bulls and and a 25 on a lucky night, also many 180's in my playing days.

. Joe and Mary Norman, Rex Clarke, Ted Jeffries .and Tom Maries (R.h.s.)

Tom Maries, a quiet and mild man, ex Landlord of The Horseshoes, 1957-1974, with his wife Ivy. Rex Clarke also an accomplished Dart player who I often partnered in Darts matches, we won The Eric Folbigg Trophy twice (1985-86 and 1986-87) and always held our own in the league. We all enjoyed putting the Country and politics to rights, plus a joke or two with our Pint.

Last updated 6th Feb 2020 / by Bill Exley
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