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A Bridge Too Far.

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

It was time for me, along with Mrs Bygone Boozer, to take on the roles of Food Providers (FP) 3 and 4 once again. Not, this time, a return to the Andalucian sunshine to tend to Deliliah's every need, but to Old Bolingbroke to ensure that fellow felines Leo and Milo could feed incessantly; that chickens one, two, three, four and five – they have names but remembering what they are and being able to apply the correct moniker to the appropriate fowl is way beyond me – are fed, released, further released, rounded up, partially, and then fully, incarcerated at appropriated times and that Woody and his ovine associates don't miss out on their Rich Tea biscuits whilst FP1 and FP2 are soaking up a bit of Madeiran warmth and probably quite a bit of Madeiran Malmsey too.

woody the boreray
Woody the Boreray not missing out on his Rich Tea biscuits.

This gave me the opportunity to get out on the bike in some of Lincolnshire's flatlands. Whilst the pan flat landcape might seem boring to some, being able to ride at around twenty miles per hour with relatively little effort made a pleasant change from having to haul my excess bulk around the Peak District at less than three-quarters of that speed. The network of lanes that criss-cross the area often run alongside, and at times cross, the numerous die straight drains and canalised waterways, giving me plenty of opportunities to snap the bike on a bridge like this one...

...and this one...

...and this one by a bygone boozer, which will be featuring in these pages soon.

The flat nature of the terrain, combined with a howling hooley of a tailwind, meant that my GPS was a bit slow in notifying me of a turning off Hall Lane in Stickney. The result was that I ended up turning round a couple of hundred yards further along the road, at yet another bridge.

This bridge too far had a sign attached which left me pondering.

Quite a lot of these bridges, back in the days when the waterways were both navigable and navigated, had pubs nearby. Could the adjacent Bridge House have been a boozer?

Bridge Tavern Stickney.
Bridge House, Stickney.

Well, it turns out that Bridge House had been a boozer. Here's an old shot of the Bridge Tavern (or sometimes the Bridge Inn) when it was operating...

...and one from a similar angle today.

Bridge Tavern Stickney
The former Bridge Tavern in November 2023.

In the 1841 census, Edward Scholey was recorded as a beer seller on Hall Lane in Stickney...

Extract from the 1841 census.

...and White's directory, published in the following year, suggests that he may well have combined this with a bit of butchery.

Extract from White's 1842 directory.

By the end of the decade, Edward had been replaced by George Walker...

Extract from the 1849 Post Office directory.

...who also did a bit of butchery. Perhaps he even sold the resultant product from the pub as in 1851 he's recorded as a shopkeeper.

Extract from the 1851 census.

Five years later he's still listed in White's 1856 directory, but by the time of the next headcount he's been replaced by another George – George York Kemp. This is the first time that I've seen the pub given a name.

Extract from the 1861 census.

George number two is at the Bridge for around twenty years. He's there in 1871, with his second wife Sarah.

Extract from the 1871 census.

He's still there in 1876...

Extract from Kelly's 1876 directory.

...but died in January 1879. Who took the place on after him? The 1881 census wasn't at all helpful in that it named no streets or pubs, but by a process of elimination I reckon that the publican at that time was Frederick Dion. The other three publicans listed as being in the west side of the village, viz. Edwin Leak, Thomas Sharp and Alfred Wilson can be placed at the Plough, the Red, White and Blue and the White Horse respectively. All three are also now bygone boozers.

Extract from the unhelpful 1881 census.

This, and the fact that George Kemp's widow, Sarah, seems to have married a Fredrick Dion a few months after good old George had been put into St. Luke's churchyard adds a little extra strength to my argument.

Various other folk had the place after that. The last that I can find is Joseph Dallywater, who presumably was there by 1926, when Kelly listed him as a beer retailer...

Extract from Kelly's 1926 directory.

...and definitely was there in 1930 when they went as far as to name the pub.

Extract from Kelly's 1930 directory.

Joseph was still there in 1939 but died two years later. I've been unable to find any mention of the place after he died. Perhaps the Bridge Tavern died with him.

As mentioned further up the page, the old waterways often had pubs alongside at some point. Many of these are now bygones so expect a lot of Lincolnshire losses to appear here in the near future.

If you've read this far, then thank you. Possibly, like me, you may have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. Clicking here will take you to a searchable/sortable index which you can use to see if I've already featured any lost locals from your locality. You can also subscribe to ensure that you don't miss any future posts. Simply click here to return to the home page (opens in a new tab), follow the 'Subscribe' link and complete the form to receive an email notification of any future post. Or you could simply follow the link at the top of this page.

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