Item BCA - 2018.1383 - The Elephant & Castle Inn in Bridge Street

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BCA - 2018.1383

Title

The Elephant & Castle Inn in Bridge Street

Date(s)

  • 1900 - 2009 (Creation)

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pdf of 19 pictures

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These pictures give a flavour of the appearance of the Elephant & Castle through the twentieth century and on into the twenty first when it became a private dwelling. Starting with a time when transport was mostly horse-drawn, then with a bull-nose Morris to more modern times. The next to last licencees were Joan and Lionel and they are in one picture with Dora Townsend standing between them. In an old picture Mrs Penny can be seen standing in the doorway. In the early part of the C20th it was owned by Albert Townsend and his wife Mary Elizabeth who around 1939 bought Castle View farm across the road. Prior to them buying the farm Albert had kept pigs at the back of the pub. Tommy Gerring recalls looking through knot holes in the big gates to watch the pigs being slaughtered and the hairs burnt off. The last people to own and run it as a pub were George and Pat Blackwell; they had converted the buildings at the back to two bed and breakfast units but they were demolished when they sold it and two dwellings built at the back, No1 and No2 Castle Mews. Originally, it was a thatched building but one of the photographs shows the burnt remains after a stray firework let off before bonfire night on September 30th 1958 set light to the that. It was the custom to soak a thatch before the fireworks started on November 5th. This rocket was set off over a month before bonfire night. The two firemen seen by the appliance are Son Townsend from Castle View farm across the road and Cyril Weeks from the Horse Shoe Inn in Bridge Street. When the pub closed, with the Eagle already closed down, it meant a much longer walk for the people of Weald to go for a drink. There is a picture of the dwelling now and one of Castle Mews behind it.

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