LOCAL PUBLIC HOUSES
'SWANNINGTON HALL' opened up as a public house for a short period in the 1980's but after extensive renovation this fine old building has now reverted to private use.
The same aspect, taken around 1920. Note the 'bridge'& gate where today there is only the moat.
This gem of a building, recently sympatheticaly restored, was once the KINGS HEAD - but had become a farmhouse almost certainly before 1900. Look closely as you pass and you will see the remains of the horizontal wooden bar which once held the 'Kings Head' sign

Whilst strictly speaking outside the Parish (the stream is the boundary) The 'ALDERFORD BELL' is rightly included as a 'local local'!

Intriguingly, the site of the Bell may have moved to its present site, probably in the 19th century. The 1808 map puts this Inn on the opposite side of the road and about 200 yds nearer Alderford Church!

I am indebted to Paulette Solomon for the two 1960 photographs.[The couple are her Grandparents - Elsie & Len Collingsworth, landlords from c1952 - c1960] and to Katherine Bygrave for the photo of Landlady Mrs Everett and daughter, who preceded the Colingsworths.

Also just 'over the border' in another direction is what was Haveringland 'KINGS HEAD', closed by 1958 and now a private dwelling. It is opposite the well known landmark, the Haveringland Stocks. Thanks to Katherine Bygrave for the old postcard.

The public House most of us remember is the BLACK HORSE, set back from the road behind the village pump. Today it is a private home.

It was still open for business in the 1960's

 
Royal W J Cooper (b.1880), a local farmer, wrote and
published a book called "POEMS & PROVERBS".
His daughter Pearl has kindly given me permission to 
include extracts from this poem:

        "HUMOUR"  My Christmas Holiday

If at Swannington Town you wish to sit down
For refreshment or something to drink,
It's a matter of course, you will call at a Horse
That is Black, and one that can't think.

Don't drink too much beer, as the stuff is too dear,
And enough is as good as a feast.
Whether ale beer, or dash, always pay down in cash
You will then know the west from the east.

You will always be poor with a slate behind door
And your welcome will not be so free,
As the landlord will frown and the lady sit down
When you order some ale, beer or tea.

So the best thing to do is to pay as you go,
Don't be selfish and don't be too free,
Don't drink too much beer, spend your money with care,
Don't quarrel when you're on the spree.

If at Swanningon Town you was to sit down
It's a foregone conclusion of course
You will  call at a place, and feel no disgrace
A place known as Swannington Black Horse.

Good luck to the Landlord and Lady as well,
Good luck to their customers all,
A Happy New Year with the best of good cheer
If at Swannington Black Horse you may call.

  The Black Horse finally closed in
  the early 70's, when these shots
  were taken. In its final years it 
  was used once a week as a surgery
  for the local Doctors. Sitting
  waiting with a pint in the hand 
  was not an uncommon sight! 

R GIBBONS © 2001