Blencowe Reunion Find

Landlady of Boot n Shoe

Jan, the Landlady of the Boot & Shoe, with pictures of Blencowe Hall

engraving print 1822 Blencowe Hall

A print of an engraving dated 1822

Front, Blencowe Hall Blencowe Hall Courtyard

On the last evening of the 25th Anniversary Reunion at Blencowe Hall, my wife and I returned to the Boot & Shoe public house in Greystoke for an evening meal.

We had been in the Boot & Shoe at least once a day during the course of the Reunion and on this occasion the Landlady asked us if we were on holiday. When we explained about the Reunion she became quite interested and volunteered the information that the mother of her husband's cousin used to live in Blencow Hall, and when I asked what the mother's name was she said it was Todd.

The Landlady then informed us that she had some pictures of Blencowe Hall in her loft. After I expressed an interest in seeing them, she appeared with 3 pictures of Blencowe Hall.

I mentioned the Blencowe Family Association would be very interested to see them and she said that I could take them back to Blencowe Hall for all to see. In the course of the conversation she mentioned that they belonged to her son and he might be interested in selling them. I asked her to give the Blencowe Families' Association first refusal and left contact details with her.

Back at Blencowe Hall the pictures were "much photographed" by many.

The other 2 pictures were views of the back and front of the Hall. They appear to be hand coloured sepia photographs.

While we were waiting to return the pictures to the Landlady, the barman volunteered the information that Sam Todd had committed suicide at Blencowe Hall. He pointed to the right hand corner of the courtyard in the picture: the spot was in the corner between the front door and what is now the Kitchen door and said, "He blew his brains out just there" .

The village of Little Blencowe has produced a small publication about the village and many people at the Reunion had bought a copy. There is a small paragraph in the section describing Blencow Hall listing Tenant Farmers from 1715 to 1963. It states that Samuel & Queenie Todd were the Tenants from 1911 to 1963.

When we arrived home I looked at the various census returns and checked them against the names of the Blencow Hall tenants as listed in the book.

Samuel & Queenie Todd were not Tenants in 1911. Samuel Todd was born in 1906 and he married Queenie Miller in 1928. There is no doubt that they were Tenants later. I sent away for Samuel's death certificate and it states that he was a farmer and his death took place at Blencow Hall. Cause of death "Injury to head due to being shot with a twelve bore shotgun &mndash; Suicide". Inquest held 7th April 1962.

If the pictures do become "For Sale" I will let you all know.

Ron Currell