Blunham Pubs : The Salutation

By Bill Exley

The Salutation c1906, with The Horseshoes and Church of - St Edmunds or St James.
The Salutation in 2003

The Salutation is a large building situated in the High Street and the centre of Blunham and one time 20 High Street. This would then mean, the entrance to the Wells Field bungalows area, plus the Horseshoes car park area is where other cottages would have occupied ? - It has also been called The Old Salutation and Ragged Staff but records show an Auction day it was The Salutation in 1849.

The front facade changes, from the 1906 photo (L.H.S.) such as Bay Windows , Roof change and wooden add on's must have been carried out between 1910 and the 1940's perhaps ? - Now it's a pseudo Medieval Style we have around the 1700 & 1800's as in Lavenham, Suffolk, so I suggest all was carried out perhaps with the Roof Change.

The pub name outside is one of the oldest used , its origin dating back to horsemen taking a 'Stirrup Cup' or 'Salutary' drink in the old days of Hunting etc. ( L : Salus, health to or Salutare, ones' good health) . During my researches it was found that the original name was The Ragged Staff, The Salutation in 1849 , then changing to The Old Salutation during 1768 for reasons unknown.

It is of interest to note, The Queens Head pub in the square was also called The Ragged Staff and The Salutation in its time. - also 2, High Street starts in the square with 'The Ovens' thatched cottage of today. - I think that two mates would say, "see you Bob at 6 o'clock in the Old Sally" , for a defined meet up, to play cards, dominoes such as Crib etc. to meet up at the right Sally' for a Pint.

Here follows a listing of Occupiers to date, from records researched at Bedfordshire Archive Service, plus information kindly supplied by Greene King, Brewers at Biggleswade. - In 1961 a merger of the Wells & Winch Brewery and Greene King, (formely of Suffolk) had taken place, then closing down in 1997, demolitshed and now a Supermarket.

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A RECORD OF TENANTS & 300 yrs of History
Edmund Turner, 1st recorded tenant Date unknown
Samuel and Anne Osbourne 16th Oct 1646
Anne Osbourne, widow - Records , dates not clear Date unknown
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, later he sells by Public Auction - (still The Salutation) on - 22nd Feb. 1849
Wm. Joseph & Susan Nash : Brewers - also as Landlords  
Sam. Mardlin 1854
James, John Baker 1869
Jane James 1872
Wm. Jeffries 1873
Chas. and Wm. Howard 1874

Free House now, owner Countess Cowper, Wrest Park in Silsoe

Wm. Howard - 1st Lic granted 1877
Chas. Penwright 05/08/81
Chas. Henry Clarke 1888
Susan Nash (Widow and 79yrs of age) now joins Newland Brewers 5th Aug 1890
Wm. Fuller 1896
Fredrick Geo. Howe 1898
Newland & Nash, still in control. 1902
Wm Hill 1906
Now a Blunham populatio of 603 - Served by Eight Pubs in - 1909
Wm. Thom. Davey 1910
Wells & Winch - of Biggleswade, now as Brewers 1922
Mrs Davey, widow 1933
Wm. (Bill) Hawkins, moves down from the White Horse 13th June 1934
Wells and Winch, take over as Owners 1938
Harry Hawkins (son) 29th Mar 1950
Frank Payne 11th May 1955
Alec Taylor 16th July 1958
Later , he moves up The Hill to the new White Horse 11th Jan 1961
Arthur Cammack 27th Jan 1961
Dora, Beatrice Edwards 17th Aug 1961
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Now Greene King of Suffolk merge with Wells & Winch, in Biggleswade
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 down from 'The White Horse ' 11th Sept 1986
350 years of History, presented to Roy and Susan on 2nd Oct 1996
- [The Greene King site - Demolished - 1997] - Geo Mc Arthur 11th June 1998
Mike & Lyn Jupp, (Later in 2004 move to Cyprus) 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) A nice chap ! 20th Jan. 2008
Michael and Victoria Crooks 20th Mar 2008
Donna and David Wisbey 26th July 2010
John and Lesley Hunt 4th Feb 2011
The Salutation now Closes down, after a 351 yr History
11th Dec 2011
Sadly empty for 13 months
Malcolm Vardy, moves in and is now converting it into a Private Dwelling, as at - 10th Jan 2013
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: A Motley band of drinkers who came to the 'Sally' for a pint (or two) 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 a local Land-owner, then Jim Goodwin and his best mate Cliff Payne (or Paynie) who had his own farming business, They were both very good Dart players, and hard to beat.

: Jim was always the one with a deadpan face, always observing, yet full of dry humour, a twinkle in his eye, and soon quick to spot any chance for a quick joke, but never personal. Jim always remarked on the amount of holidays taken by local teachers as they entered, or a character who wore smart jackets and he would say, "is your Coach parked around the back ? " - He always enjoyed a challenge to a game of Darts or Pool.


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 into the Bullseye, (tiny) so the flites were no barrier. I saw this only twice in my life time (Andrew Brown and Lawrence (Lol ) Charteress) - I once had 2 bulls and and a 25 on a lucky night, also many 180's in my playing days.

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

Tom Maries, a quiet and mild man, ex Landlord of The Horseshoes from - 1957-1974 with his wife Ivy. - An accomplishedDdart player, Rex Clarke 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 revision made on - 30th Aug 2023 - by Bill Exley
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