Blunham Village Web Site.

Blunham Pubs: The Queen's Head

5 High Street (Charles Wells)

By Bill Exley

This building now a private dwelling (formely 5 High Street) is situated in Blunham village square with the name The Ragged Staff above its door, so preserving history of a bygone era . 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. The Queen's Head Beerhouse was originally called the Ragged Staff in the years prior to1786, then from 1786 until 1847 it was called The Salutation . This original Ragged Staff [Q.H.] was a Beerhouse serving pints well ‘before’ 1846, but these records are unavailable. It must be noted from ‘all’ my records of Blunham Pubs / Beerhouses that the tenancies changed hands many times after short periods. The 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 farming was so labour intensive and reliant on man power, before the advent of machinery. All were regular drinkers due to the very nature of their work using most of the 8 village ’drinking holes’. This Beer House was formely called The Ragged Staff changing to The Salutation in 1786 and finally The Queen's Head sign outside from 1847 to c.1924 when it closed it's doors.

Henry Usher sells The Salutation for £345 to a Joseph Lovell who sells Ales from 1846-1865
1st Licence granted now re named The Queen's Head 1847
Lovell sells the Inn to a Herbert Albury Dunnage 1865-1869
Now Oliver Steed , Brewers of Baldock  
James Boness (Bonus ?) 1869-1889
Robert Beadle 1889-1891
Eliz. White 1891-1893
William John White 1893-1894
Records show a James John Kither and
Jane Arthur [Arthur Jane?] were domicile in 1894
 
William James Phipper (Kither?) 1894-1897
Sold to Charles Wells, Brewers
1895
William Giggle 1897-1904
Mrs Hannah Giggle 1904-1908
Grandad and Grandmum of a Mr Brown, Gamekeeper at Tempsford Hall  
John Burton 1908-1914
Herbert Currant
1914-1924
Herbert Currant then moves to The Horseshoes pub for a 30 years stay
 

The Queen’s Head is sold by Chas. Wells to a father & son ‘both’ called Harry Thom. Dennis and Closes . between :

1925-1926

The 'Q.H.' site was also locally known as ' The Police House' and as such occupied by -

 
PC Harry Ashton and family 1927-1934
P.C. Whitemore, then P.C. Jack Frith and families 1934-1942
Henry, Stanley Green ( fm Great Barford) 1942-1957
Peter and Rosalie Davis Oct 1957 to 1983

THE RAGGED STAFF

My researches into the origin of the local Pub name "The Ragged Staff" used by two Pubs, led me all the way back to 1268 and the coat of arms of the Earls of Warwickshire. It is here we find within the Quarterings of the shield, a Bear and Ragged Staff [A ragged staff is from the branch of a ‘young’ tree stripped of its leaves]. There is no obvious local historical connection, as I first thought, but a nationwide usage of the Pub names "The Bear" or "Ragged Staff" in general. The usage by a Public House/Beerhouse in olden days, was to show allegiance to the King [sic.] , or the local Landowner [why ? Respect/Employer? ]. Bill Exley Nov .2011.

 


Page last updated by Bill Exley 29th June, 2012 .