Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Horns Lodge, South Street, Chailey

George & Ina Stevens, Horns Lodge, Chailey (undated)

There's some interesting information about old Chailey buried in the website for The Horns Lodge Freehouse in South Street. I'm sorry to say that I've never had the opportunity to sample any of the ale there but I was very interested to read about the history of Horns Lodge.

In the list of past publicans, George Arthur Kemp and Mr and Mr George Frederick Stevens are mentioned. George Kemp is certainly a familiar name to me and he appears on the Chailey 1914-1918 website. In 1901 he was a 19 year old gardener living at Horns Lodge and his father, also George Kemp, was the 57 year old "beer house keeper." I presume that it is George Kemp the elder and not his son (who would go on to serve with the RGA during WW1) who is the George Arthur Kemp noted on the Horns Lodge history page.

After George Kemp gave up the tenancy on the pub, it passed to Mr and Mrs Lewry (an unfamiliar name to me) and then to Mr and Mr Stevens. I have two men by the name of G Stevens on the website and I wonder whether George Frederick Stevens (who appears to have been known as Fred) is one of these men. In any event, clicking through a few links on the Horns Lodge page to this man reveals the photo that I have used on this post, and also a partial narrative written by Fred's son, Harry Stevens. George and Ina Stevens (nee Leppard) took over the Horns Lodge in 1946 and there are a few interesting (for me) snippets in Harry Stevens's narrative which I highlight below.

"Dad sold tins and tins of SP Snuff and one character who indulged, was Tommy Tasker. Tommy was a retired roadman and had been gassed in the First World War and I suppose he thought that “snuffing” was a good substitute for smoking. Bill Snelling the son of Arthur who owned the donkey in the stable (more about that later) was also gassed during the First World War, and he kept Tommy company!"

Tommy Tasker is not a familiar name to me, but Bill Snelling is William Snelling who served with the 5th Sussex Regiment during WW1.

"The next door cottage was occupied by a Mr. Smith the cobbler. Next door to Mr & Mrs Smith, lived Mr & Mrs Taylor. They were a nice old couple and Mrs Taylor sometimes helped Mum out with some of the housework. Mrs Taylor was the village “Midwife” I say that in loose terms, as she was not qualified, but her knowledge came from experience over many years of village life. She was also the person who laid you out, if you were unfortunate enough to “Pop your Clogs.” Her husband was a retired roadman, who had kept the verges of the lanes and roads tidy and clipped all around the village. Next door to the Taylors was the stable where I kept my motorbike, although this wasn't the only occupant. Arrangements had been made to house the donkey belonging to old Arthur Snelling. Arthur was the retired landlord of the Five Bells, which was the next pub down the road towards North Chailey. Arthur had a little trap that was also kept at the rear of our pub, and that was his means of transport around the village. Sometime later a Donkey Derby was organised in the village fete, and “our” Donkey was called “Horns Lodge Beauty.” I think it was one of the first Derbys of this kind that had ever been organised."

Mr Taylor was Charlie Taylor and there are photos of him and his wife also buried in the Horns Lodge website. I am assuming - and this might be a wild guess - that he is the Corporal C W Taylor mentioned on my site.

Is this Corporal C W Taylor AVC?

I've dropped Harry Stevens a line, via the Horns Lodge webmaster, but in the meantime I'd appreciate any further information on these individuals.

Does your WW1 ancestor have a surviving service record? Check on-line. Click here!

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