The Bridge Inn

In the nineteenth century, Ivybridge was a convenient staging post on the main route from Plymouth to Exeter and beyond. This led to the emergence of various inns which provided food, drink and accommodation to the weary traveller. The Bridge Inn, located close to the old bridge, opened for business in the 1840s. It is believed that the proprietor, Solomon Northmore, ran this establishment initially as a Beer House. The government at the time was keen to promote the consumption of beer instead of spirits, (most notably gin), given the prevailing drunkenness and unsociable behaviour blighting many cities and towns. Beer at the time was safer to drink than water, which was untreated. For a relatively small fee of 2 guineas, a proprietor could obtain a licence to trade under the Beer House Act of 1830. This permitted both the brewing and consumption of beer on the premises. They were permitted to stay open for up to 18 hours a day and subject to the control of the local Justices of the Peace. The beer was usually served in jugs.

At the Ridgway Petty Sessions on Monday, Solomon Northmore, landlord of the Bridge Inn, Ivybridge, was charged with selling a bottle of beer to a lad on Sunday morning, 29th June last. Defendant pleaded guilty, but said he understood the beer was for a sick man. The case was dismissed because the Bench thought the constable exceeded his duty in detaining the boy when he did not see him leave the public-house.

Totnes Weekly Times 19 July 1890

     The Bridge Inn

In the nineteenth century, Ivybridge was a convenient staging post on the main route from Plymouth to Exeter and beyond. This led to the emergence of various inns which provided food, drink and accommodation to the weary traveller. The Bridge Inn, located close to the old bridge, opened for business in the 1840s. It is believed that the proprietor, Solomon Northmore, ran this establishment initially as a Beer House. The government at the time was keen to promote the consumption of beer instead of spirits, (most notably gin), given the prevailing drunkenness and unsociable behaviour blighting many cities and towns. Beer at the time was safer to drink than water, which was untreated. For a relatively small fee of 2 guineas, a proprietor could obtain a licence to trade under the Beer House Act of 1830. This permitted both the brewing and consumption of beer on the premises. They were permitted to stay open for up to 18 hours a day and subject to the control of the local Justices of the Peace. The beer was usually served in jugs.

At the Ridgway Petty Sessions on Monday, Solomon Northmore, landlord of the Bridge Inn, Ivybridge, was charged with selling a bottle of beer to a lad on Sunday morning, 29th June last. Defendant pleaded guilty, but said he understood the beer was for a sick man. The case was dismissed because the Bench thought the constable exceeded his duty in detaining the boy when he did not see him leave the public-house.

Totnes Weekly Times 19 July 1890

PUBLIC HOUSES IN IVYBRIDGE

The Bridge Inn was the fifth public house to be located in Ivybridge by the mid-nineteenth century. The others were the Grocer’s Arms, The Ivybridge Hotel, the King’s Arms and the London Hotel.

PUBLIC HOUSES IN IVYBRIDGE

The Bridge Inn was the fifth public house to be located in Ivybridge by the mid-nineteenth century. The others were the Grocer’s Arms, The Ivybridge Hotel, the King’s Arms and the London Hotel.

Originally three cottages …

Beer houses proved to be highly profitable, often enabling owners to buy neighbouring properties to serve as their own living accommodation. The uneven roofline of The Bridge Inn indeed suggests it was originally three separate cottages. To the right of the inn, a mounting block was constructed sometime before the 1890s. These series of steps provided an elevated platform from which customers of the inn could mount their horse with relative ease. Little has changed with regard to the front façade and it is still instantly recognisable today, now The Trehill Arms.

Originally three cottages …

Beer houses proved to be highly profitable, often enabling owners to buy neighbouring properties to serve as their own living accommodation. The uneven roofline of The Bridge Inn indeed suggests it was originally three separate cottages.  To the right of the inn, a mounting block was constructed sometime before the 1890s. These series of steps provided an elevated platform from which customers of the inn could mount their horse with relative ease. Little has changed with regard to the front façade and it is still instantly recognisable today, now The Trehill Arms.

Mounting Block

Mntgblock
A mounting block is an assistance for mounting and dismounting a horse or cart, especially for women, the young, the elderly or the infirm.

 

Mounting blocks were especially useful for women riding side-saddle or pillion, allowing a horse to be mounted without a loss of modesty. They were frequently located outside churches for the use of parishioners attending services, funerals, etc. Often, they were located in the mains streets and outside public houses.

 

Ref: Wikipedia       Image: Mounting Block outside The Bridge Inn
Mntgblock

Mounting Block

A mounting block is an assistance for mounting and dismounting a horse or cart, especially for women, the young, the elderly or the infirm.

 

Mounting blocks were especially useful for women riding side-saddle or pillion, allowing a horse to be mounted without a loss of modesty. They were frequently located outside churches for the use of parishioners attending services, funerals, etc. Often, they were located in the mains streets and outside public houses.

 

Ref: Wikipedia       Image: Mounting Block outside The Bridge Inn
Image : Mounting Block outside The Bridge Inn

Mounting Block

A mounting block is an assistance for mounting and dismounting a horse or cart, especially for women, the young, the elderly or the infirm.

 

Mounting blocks were especially useful for women riding side-saddle or pillion, allowing a horse to be mounted without a loss of modesty. They were frequently located outside churches for the use of parishioners attending services, funerals, etc. Often, they were located in the mains streets and outside public houses.

 

Ref: Wikipedia       

A view of The Bridge Inn behind the walled garden.

A view of The Bridge Inn behind the walled garden.

Clearing the snow outside The Bridge Inn possibly after the Great Blizzard of 1891.

Clearing the snow outside The Bridge Inn possibly after the Great Blizzard of 1891.

Clearing the snow outside The Bridge Inn possibly after the Great Blizzard of 1891.

The Great Blizzard of 1891

On 9 March 1891, a combination of strong gale force winds and extreme winter conditions left much of southern England under a thick blanket of snow. In Ivybridge, several trees between the railway station and the centre of the village were uprooted. Many people, especially in rural areas were trapped for days in the snow whilst many trains were buried under drifts leaving passengers stranded.

The Great Blizzard of 1891

On 9 March 1891, a combination of strong gale force winds and extreme winter conditions left much of southern England under a thick blanket of snow. In Ivybridge, several trees between the railway station and the centre of the village were uprooted. Many people, especially in rural areas were trapped for days in the snow whilst many trains were buried under drifts leaving passengers stranded.

Never within living memory has such a snowstorm, or rather succession of snowstorms, been experienced at Ivybridge… It blew a hurricane, with a blinding fall of fine snow, and trees fell in all directions. One large tree fell across the roof of the newly constructed Navvy Mission Room, near the Ivybridge Board Schools, completely crushing it. The Navvy Missioner (Mr MacLean) and a navvy were in the building at the time, and had a most miraculous escape. Snow drifts made traffic impossible.

Totnes Weekly Times, March 1891

 

Food supplies began to run out but the villagers and traders made sure there was no privation.

Mr Bohn, proprietor of the London Hotel, gave free dinners to railway drivers and guards.

By 1893 the Bridge Inn was being run by Mark Baker whose name appears on the sign in the photograph. It changed hands many times afterwards. During WW2 it was closed, which might have been fortuitous, given the various stories of boisterous behaviour of the American servicemen billeted in Ivybridge from 1943. Towards the latter part of the 1940s The Bridge Inn was back in business run by Kenneth Drown and his wife Irene, known to the locals as Betty. They remained as hosts until 1980 creating a welcoming atmosphere. It was a popular venue for whist drives and other social gatherings. Members of the Erme Women’s Institute recall with fondness their meetings in the back room around the cosy log fire. 

By 1893 the Bridge Inn was being run by Mark Baker whose name appears on the sign in the photograph. It changed hands many times afterwards. During WW2 it was closed, which might have been fortuitous, given the various stories of boisterous behaviour of the American servicemen billeted in Ivybridge from 1943. Towards the latter part of the 1940s The Bridge Inn was back in business run by Kenneth Drown and his wife Irene, known to the locals as Betty. They remained as hosts until 1980 creating a welcoming atmosphere. It was a popular venue for whist drives and other social gatherings. Members of the Erme Women’s Institute recall with fondness their meetings in the back room around the cosy log fire. 

 

In 1973, Ivybridge was one of only a few places nationally to celebrate Britain’s membership to the European Economic Community. As part of the government’s week-long cultural festival, entitled “Fanfare for Europe”, communities across Britain were encouraged to actively participate. The plans for the celebrations in Ivybridge were formulated at The Bridge Inn.

In 1973, Ivybridge was one of only a few places nationally to celebrate Britain’s membership to the European Economic Community. As part of the government’s week-long cultural festival, entitled “Fanfare for Europe”, communities across Britain were encouraged to actively participate. The plans for the celebrations in Ivybridge were formulated at The Bridge Inn.

In 1973, Ivybridge was one of only a few places nationally to celebrate Britain’s membership to the European Economic Community. As part of the government’s week-long cultural festival, entitled “Fanfare for Europe”, communities across Britain were encouraged to actively participate. The plans for the celebrations in Ivybridge were formulated at The Bridge Inn.

Fanfare for Europe

In January 1973, the Conservative Prime Minister, Edward Heath, took the UK into the EEC. The original 6-member states of France, West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Italy were joined by the UK, Denmark and Ireland. “Fanfare for Europe” was a celebration planned by the government marking Britain’s historic entry into the European Economic Community. This included a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall and pop band Slade headlining at the London Palladium.

Ivybridge, with its very pro-European Mayor, John Congdon, was a community distinctly in the minority in responding to the government’s invitation to hold ‘Fanfare for Europe’ celebratory events.

 

The celebrations in Ivybridge included the lighting of a beacon on Cleeve Hill, an Edwardian evening at The Imperial, entertainment and cabaret at The King’s Arms and a fancy-dress competition at the London Hotel car park. The Mayor of St. Pierre -sur-Dives ( the town twinned with Ivybridge) was invited, accompanied by a 25-piece band, to take part in a tree planting ceremony at Victoria Park and unveiling of a commemorative plaque at the new sports pavilion located at Erme Playing Fields. Other sports events included an international football match between Ivybridge and Torigny-sur-Vire, a ladies six-a-side football match and a tennis tournament. A flag of a different European country was flown each day from the parish flagpole during the week-long celebrations and the streets and shops were decorated with bunting. The week-long celebrations culminated in a dance at the London Hotel on the Saturday evening.

EC1973

Fanfare for Europe

In January 1973, the Conservative Prime Minister, Edward Heath, took the UK into the EEC. The original 6-member states of France, West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Italy were joined by the UK, Denmark and Ireland. “Fanfare for Europe” was a celebration planned by the government marking Britain’s historic entry into the European Economic Community. This included a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall and pop band Slade headlining at the London Palladium.

 

Ivybridge, with its very pro-European Mayor, John Congdon, was a community distinctly in the minority in responding to the government’s invitation to hold ‘Fanfare for Europe’ celebratory events.

 

The celebrations in Ivybridge included the lighting of a beacon on Cleeve Hill, an Edwardian evening at The Imperial, entertainment and cabaret at The King’s Arms and a fancy-dress competition at the London Hotel car park. The Mayor of St. Pierre -sur-Dives ( the town twinned with Ivybridge) was invited, accompanied by a 25-piece band, to take part in a tree planting ceremony at Victoria Park and unveiling of a commemorative plaque at the new sports pavilion located at Erme Playing Fields. Other sports events included an international football match between Ivybridge and Torigny-sur-Vire, a ladies six-a-side football match and a tennis tournament. A flag of a different European country was flown each day from the parish flagpole during the week-long celebrations and the streets and shops were decorated with bunting. The week-long celebrations culminated in a dance at the London Hotel on the Saturday evening.

The celebrations in Ivybridge were filmed by a BBC television crew from the “Midweek” current affairs programme. The 20-minute film was intended to capture the mood of the British public as the country entered into the Common Market. More recently, the BBC Spotlight programme featured this news clip from 1973, tracing some of the original participants of the documentary.

The celebrations in Ivybridge were filmed by a BBC television crew from the “Midweek” current affairs programme. The 20-minute film was intended to capture the mood of the British public as the country entered into the Common Market. More recently, the BBC Spotlight programme featured this news clip from 1973, tracing some of the original participants of the documentary.

The Bridge Inn

In the nineteenth century, Ivybridge was a convenient staging post on the main route from Plymouth to Exeter and beyond. This led to the emergence of various inns which provided food, drink and accommodation to the weary traveller. The Bridge Inn, located close to the old bridge, opened for business in the 1840s. It is believed that the proprietor, Solomon Northmore, ran this establishment initially as a Beer House. The government at the time was keen to promote the consumption of beer instead of spirits, (most notably gin), given the prevailing drunkenness and unsociable behaviour blighting many cities and towns. Beer at the time was safer to drink than water, which was untreated. For a relatively small fee of 2 guineas, a proprietor could obtain a licence to trade under the Beer House Act of 1830. This permitted both the brewing and consumption of beer on the premises. They were permitted to stay open for up to 18 hours a day and subject to the control of the local Justices of the Peace. The beer was usually served in jugs.
Beer houses proved to be highly profitable, often enabling owners to buy neighbouring properties to serve as their own living accommodation. The uneven roofline of The Bridge Inn indeed suggests it was originally three separate cottages.  To the right of the inn, a mounting block was constructed sometime before the 1890s. These series of steps provided an elevated platform from which customers of the inn could mount their horse with relative ease. Little has changed with regard to the front façade and it is still instantly recognisable today, now The Trehill Arms.
By 1893 the Bridge Inn was being run by Mark Baker whose name appears on the sign in the photograph. It changed hands many times afterwards. During WW2 it was closed, which might have been fortuitous, given the various stories of boisterous behaviour of the American servicemen billeted in Ivybridge from 1943. Towards the latter part of the 1940s The Bridge Inn was back in business run by Kenneth Drown and his wife Irene, known to the locals as Betty. They remained as hosts until 1980 creating a welcoming atmosphere. It was a popular venue for whist drives and other social gatherings. Members of the Erme Women’s Institute recall with fondness their meetings in the back room around the cosy log fire. 
A view of The Bridge Inn behind the walled garden
In 1973, Ivybridge was one of only a few places nationally to celebrate Britain’s membership to the European Economic Community. As part of the government’s week-long cultural festival, entitled “Fanfare for Europe”, communities across Britain were encouraged to actively participate. The plans for the celebrations in Ivybridge were formulated at The Bridge Inn.
EC1973

Fanfare for Europe

 

In January 1973, the Conservative Prime Minister, Edward Heath, took the UK into the EEC. The original 6-member states of France, West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Italy were joined by the UK, Denmark and Ireland. “Fanfare for Europe” was a celebration planned by the government marking Britain’s historic entry into the European Economic Community. This included a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic at the Royal Albert Hall and pop band Slade headlining at the London Palladium.
Ivybridge, with its very pro-European Mayor, John Congdon, was a community distinctly in the minority in responding to the government’s invitation to hold ‘Fanfare for Europe’ celebratory events.
The celebrations in Ivybridge included the lighting of a beacon on Cleeve Hill, an Edwardian evening at The Imperial, entertainment and cabaret at The King’s Arms and a fancy-dress competition at the London Hotel car park. The Mayor of St. Pierre -sur-Dives ( the town twinned with Ivybridge) was invited, accompanied by a 25-piece band, to take part in a tree planting ceremony at Victoria Park and unveiling of a commemorative plaque at the new sports pavilion located at Erme Playing Fields. Other sports events included an international football match between Ivybridge and Torigny-sur-Vire, a ladies six-a-side football match and a tennis tournament. A flag of a different European country was flown each day from the parish flagpole during the week-long celebrations and the streets and shops were decorated with bunting. The week-long celebrations culminated in a dance at the London Hotel on the Saturday evening.
The celebrations in Ivybridge were filmed by a BBC television crew from the “Midweek” current affairs programme. The 20-minute film was intended to capture the mood of the British public as the country entered into the Common Market. More recently, the BBC Spotlight programme featured this news clip from 1973, tracing some of the original participants of the documentary.