Signpost - Ellingham and Kirby Cane
For more than 130 years there were three public housesin our villages: The White Horse and The Bird in Hand (now The Olive Tree restaurant) in Ellingham, and The Swan in Kirby Cane.
NOTE - Several historical records show The Locks as being in Ellingham. Quite understandable, because the lane that leads to it forms the boundary between Ellingham and Geldeston, so customers often stagger unknowingly across the borders! The Locks now falls in the parish of Geldeston so is not described further here.
More pictures are available in the photograph archive.
The 19th century map (above) has been overlaid with a current one to show the locations of public houses.
The first record of the Bird in Hand was in 1758 when a carrier collected parcels on Tuesdays. There was no Post Office then: that didn't start until 1840.
There were no meeting rooms either until the late 19th century, so the local inns were the focal points of the community. Jo Gooderham's A chronology of Ellingham & Kirby Cane notes that on the 25th March 1805 "the surveyors staked out the allotments and held a meeting in the Bird in Hand".
The Bird in Hand (photograph courtesy of Joe Pye)
The land was more open than now (see map), with no housing estates (see map) so the pub played host to events and sports of various types on fields nearby, including a game called Camping (1810) - a type of football, sometimes quite rough - and other rustic sports.
In 1833 there was a dispute in the pub between Laurence Girling and William Pitchers. It led to a fight, refereed by the landlord and Laurence's father. William won after four rounds with Laurence collapsing with pain in his stomache. He died soon after. William was trialled for manslaughter, fined one shilling and released.
The Bird in Hand used to be on the main road (A143), convenient for passing custom but difficult for traffic and pedestrians. District Council minutes of 1933 (then we came under Loddon and Clavering) record that Mr Crisp suggested that the word “slow” should be painted on the road at the Bird in Hand corner. The bypass built in 2002 improved safety considerably.
Photograph courtesy of Gloria Powley
A focal point for the villages, it entertained locals with darts teams, cribbage, whist drives and even had a tug-of-war team!
"Last orders!", was called for the final time in1999, but it was not over. Rafe and Gail relaunched it as the Olive Tree restaurant the same year, and it has continued to delight customers and thrive ever since.
1789 - 1794 James Laws
1858 - 1876 James Ward
1858 - 1876 William Brown
1877 - 1883 Mrs Mary Brown
1888 - 1892 John Calthorpe
1896 - 1914 James Pumfrey
1915 - 1948 Reginald Pumfrey
1949 - 1956 Thomas & Gladys Reynolds
1958 - 1978 Fred Powley
1978 - 1984 Mick & Daphne Harrison
1984 John & Janet Smith
1999 John & Carol Buck
1999 - Rafe & Gail Giorgio (now The Olive Tree Restaurant)
First record 1750.
In 1866 William Ward and James Woods were found guilty of being riotous and disorderly. Ward was fined 10/- and Woods 5/-, plus 8/- costs each.
They were fined a further 5/-, with 13/- costs each, for assaulting the wife of landlord Benjamin Hinsley.
The Swan (photograph courtesy of Gwennie Moore
1750 Mrs Ayres
1750 - 1789? John Charity
1789 - 1794 ?
1794 - 1836? Robert Barnes
1836 - 1851 Edward Snowling
1854 - 1856 Charles Mitchell
1858 - 1861 Thomas Kemp
1861 - 1863 Thomas Pitcher
1863 - 1865 William Goodwin
1866 - 1869 Benjamin Hinsley
1871 - 1875 Edward Gibbs
1877 - 1885 Simon Manning
1888 - 1925 Jarvis Crickmore
1929 - 1933 Richard Maw
1937 - 1955 Alex (George) Wright (see photograph, right)
1956 - 1962 Mabel Aldous
First record 1836.
There used to be a wheelwrights next door.
The pub closed in 1969.
The White Horse (photograph courtesy of Alma Harvey.
1836 David Olly
1841 Daniel Norman
1843 - 1865 James High
1867 - 1871 Edward Chaplin
1875 Henry Wright
1877 - 1888 John Manthorpe
1890 - 1925 Harry Culley
1929 - 1937 William Boswell