Story from an old Long Sutton pub

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Long Sutton and District Civic Society is working on a history of the pubs and inns of Long Sutton.

Tim Machin, chairman of the Civic Society, says at the outbreak of World War 2 there were a surprising number of them – 18 in all.

The first outing for their work is a display at St Mary’s Church flower festival, which began on Saturday and runs until next Monday.

Tim says of the many drinking holes in the town, the Crown and Woolpack on High Street is a prominent, grade II listed coaching inn.

The inn has been empty for many years but is now undergoing renovation.

It is mentioned in an unpublished local history, written over 20 years ago by former local publican, the late Ken Barker.

Tim says there are many recollections of times past by the author of the book, including this one from 70 years ago.

Ken wrote: “At that time you went up two steps at the front door and into a small bar on the left and there was a good sized bar at the rear of the building. This front door is now closed, walls removed, with one large room at the front and a dining room at the rear.

“There is a cellar and the hotel always had pumps. I well remember the front steps of this hotel on VJ Day August 1945. One of my workmates brought beer on to the front in a two-gallon bucket. Everyone was celebrating. We were riding around the village on the fire engine, which was travelling around looking for ceremonial bonfires. A wonderful day. Peace in the world at last. The lads are coming home.”

The Civic Society is planning to publish the anecdotal history of the Old Inns of Long Sutton later in the year.