Long Sutton’s lost public houses

They know how Victory over Japan day was celebrated in Long Sutton in 1945.

A man brought beer on to the front of the Crown & Woolpack in a two gallon bucket to help the celebrations along.

Long Sutton & District Civic Society members (from left) Judy Sadd, Tim Machin, Carole Hearle and Wendy Jeffries outside Palmers at Long Sutton.

Long Sutton & District Civic Society members (from left) Judy Sadd, Tim Machin, Carole Hearle and Wendy Jeffries outside Palmers at Long Sutton.

After the beer, some of the local residents rode around the town on the fire engine, which was travelling about looking for ceremonial bonfires to extinguish.

The Crown & Woolpack still exists in the town, one of just four pubs now, whereas in the 1920s and 1930s there were 20 or more.

The heritage of those pubs and the part they played in the town has been preserved in a booklet just produced by Long Sutton & District Civic Society.

Going by the title A Pictorial Journey Through Long Sutton Past, Volume Two – Inns & Pubs, it contains fascinating nuggets of information and stories about Long Sutton’s pubs.

For instance, there is the one about the two horses used to pull the Bull Hotel’s ‘bus’.

The horses were also used to tow the town’s fire engine and, in the event of a fire, the church bells would be rung to warn the firemen. The tenant of the Bull Tap, the ostler or stableman at an inn, would then release the horses, slap their rumps and they made their own way to the fire station, the ostler running behind as he also served as a fireman.

Most of the information was gleaned from notes written by Ken Barker, the former tenant of one of the town’s lost pubs, the Spread Eagle – his grandfather was landlord of the Bull Tap in around 1913.

Ken, who is no longer with us, was born in Long Sutton in 1928 and took over the Spread Eagle from his father in 1962.

He became interested in the history of his town and its pubs, and started to record it for others to enjoy.

His notes were transcribed by Civic Society treasurer Carole Hearle and, together with information plundered from the society’s archives, now form the basis of the book.

The book is to be launched at the Market House in Long Sutton on Saturday (10am-4pm) as part of the Market House Photography group’s Heritage Weekend.

It is available for £10 from the Market House, or from Gedney’s Newsagents or Parkway Hardware in town.