A One Pub Village

On 1st April 2016 there appeared outside The White Horse on the B1119 a blackboard announcing that, in addition to its other awards, it had been voted “Best Pub in Sweffling 2016”. Those who innocently wondered what the competition might have been would have had to take a trip in history. The highways and byways of the village on the other side of the B1119 are bereft of pubs (and of shops, dairies etc.). It was not always so. A good few years ago I found a 1920’s map of the area and there in the middle of the village (named, incidentally, with one “f” as “Swefling”) was a building marked “Inn”. Among the longest standing residents of the village (a diplomatic alternative to the “oldest inhabitants”) there were no memories of this except by the late Pam Rowe. She remembered it as a beer house called “The Kings Head”. It had closed a long time ago and became a residence when an American airman from Bentwaters and his family lived there. They talked to her, and she was properly sceptical, of occasional gusts of the smell of stale beer and cigarette smoke wafting through the house as though the pub had been still in use and of hearing voices in their young son’s room at night which he explained as someone coming to chat to him from the direction of the old bar.

No such spectral appearances have been reported from The White Horse. At least, not yet. It may be worth bearing in mind that folk-lore has it that the barn attached to the pub was occasionally used as a mortuary for deaths in the village There may be time yet.

Related by “An Old Inhabitant”