top of page

The Full Set.

Whilst digging and delving for info on my recent post about Bacton's former Duke of Edinburgh I discovered that the Ship Inn has also shut up shop. Having already covered the King's Arms I may as well complete the set of Bacton's bygone boozers. The village does still have the Poachers Pocket, at one time the Beech Bough Hotel, in operation so it's not a totally dry settlement, although I've been informed that the current owners are moving on in September. For what happens then we'll just have to wait and see.

Unlike the two aforementioned lost pubs I've no actual recollection of the Ship Inn. Perhaps that should be the Ship Inns, for there were two of them. There's no reason why I should remember the first, for it closed in the 1930s when its replacement, which continued operating until a few years ago, was built.

The original Ship Inn was to be found on what is now called Coast Road in Bacton Green. The 1841 census informs us that James Marshall is in residence, but the Norfolk Pubs site does suggest that a record exists showing a Robert Wattes to have been there in 1794.

The Ship was originally under the ownership of Coltishall Brewery who sold the 'lately re-built in a substantial manner, of brick and stone' property in 1841 to the sitting tenant, James Marshall, for £770. James got quite a bit for his money: parlour, bar cellar, kitchen, pantry, club room, large dining room, three bedrooms and three lean-to back rooms. In addition there was a 'lofty fish-house (divided into two rooms), cooperage and warehouse, cart shed, stabling for six horses, wash house and a paved yard enclosed by folding gates.'

At some point it passed into the hands of Reepham Brewery who sold it in 1878 to the Norwich brewers Bullard's. Their first landlord was farmer John Banyer who stayed there for over a quarter of a century.

Moving on a bit and we find that the Tudman family also ran it for almost twenty-five years. In 1928 Roland Tudman and wife Kate moved in.

The Ship Inn at Bacton in the 1920s...

Kate sadly died in 1932 but Roland remarried and continued to run The Ship with his new wife Elsie.

...and in the 1930s.

Elsie and Roland Tudman at the original Ship Inn in the days of proper ice cream.

It was under Roland's watch that Bullard's made the decision to build a new pub nearer the beach and the original was converted to residential use. It's now known as Anchor Lodge.

The former original Ship Inn, now Anchor Lodge, in 2019 © Google 2021

And from the other direction in 2019 © Google 2021

The site for the construction of the new pub was on land in front of Cliff House...

The site for the new Ship Inn, with Cliff House to the right.

...and the new incarnation was in operation by 1938 when it appears on the Ordnance Survey map. Cliff House was on that map too but by the time that the swinging sixties had arrived it had disappeared into the sea. The Ship was now even nearer the beach!

Displaying Bullard's livery in the 1950s or earlier as Cliff House to rear had disappeared into the sea by 1960.

1951 saw Roland die in the new Ship, after which Elsie ran the place for a bit before eventually returning to her native north-east.

In 1963 Bullard's brewery was acquired by Watney Mann and by the 1980s, when it was in the hands of Russell and Heather Talbot, The Ship was decked out in the same corporate style of the day that its other Norwich Brewery houses carried.

A 1980s view of The Ship. Russell and Heather Talbot had it for much of the decade.

The 1989 Beers Orders saw its ownership removed from Watneys and at some point it became one of Punch Taverns' properties. Ownership wasn't the only change it saw for it underwent a bit of chimney-trimming and gained new windows and a new door, removing the separate entrances for the lounge and public bars.

By the time 2012 arrived the pub was up for sale and it was a private residence by at least 2016. A private residence which is probably a bit nearer the beach after last winter's storms than it used to be.

The former Ship Inn in August 2016. © Google 2021

I hope that's the full set now complete for Bacton, but I'll be keeping an eye on what happens to the Poachers. Just in case.

Once again, thanks to Kurt, chairman of the Bacton and District History Group, for the use of images from its Facebook page. The group also has a website if anyone wishes to look at other aspects of the village's past.

The images by Maigheach-gheal are copyright and reproduced under this license:

Much detail was gleaned from

If you've read this far, then thank you. Like me, you must have some sort of interest in bygone boozers. If you haven't done so already you can 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.

414 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page