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Memories and collected information by Mr Bernard Porter……..Feb 2010. (Mike Jones)

The Three Horse Shoes is currently owned by Alison Craddock, The history below is kindly written by Bernard Porter and Mike Jones.

Bernard Porters family go back five generations in the Three Horse Shoes. It was the foresight of George S Porter to move from West Hartlepool to the hostelry in Boroughbridge on the A1 with his daughter Elisabeth Margaret Lillie (known as Lillie) and grandson Horace on the 17th of September 1902 at an ingoing of £67-11s and rent £20 per year. Mrs Severs (Lillie) held the licence from Sept 1933 to 1936, Horace took it over from 1936 to 1956, Gladys (Horace’s wife) held the licence from 1956 to 1963. My father Raymond held it from 1963 to 2000. From 1902 to the early sixties the building was owned by Hepworths Brewery of Ripon and was then bought by Vaux of Sunderland. My father, mother, uncle and aunt helped my grandfather and grandmother manage the hotel from just after the last war and continued to do so after the deaths of my grandparents in 1973. My uncle and aunt retired from the hotel. As Elaine (my wife) and I had worked in the hotel from our teens; we decided to take over their partnership. In 1986 my father and I bought the Three Horse Shoes. Our sons having established their own careers and not wanting to come into the family business we decided to retire in February 2004. In World War 11 the army took over the back half of the hotel for about four years, and billeted Canadian soldiers there. Records show previous landlords of The Three Horse Shoes in the 19th century were 1822 Samuel Morrel, 1828 John Morrel, 1834 Thomas Marston, 1837 Thomas Houseman, 1848 Anne Whincup, 1861 Mary Gray, 1877 Richard Clark, 1897 Charles Bentley, 1900 John Prince. The Hotel was extended in 1932 to how it is today. This extension incorporated the original building next door, which had been owned by the owner of the Old Mill in Mill Lane. At the right hand side of the Hotel on Mill Lane there was a garage where now stands the brick built “Flats”. The symbol of the Hotel was three very distinct horseshoes displayed with the open end of the shoes downwards. This is a display of “Luck Lost” as opposed to the other way around meaning “Luck Gained” The significance of this is explained by the fact that near to the Hotel once stood the “Gallows” where the guilty were taken to be hanged. On the left of the Hotel once stood a café which in 1932 became what is now Barclays Bank. Across the road the building next to the Crown Hotel car park entrance was “The Temperance Hotel” upstairs whilst down stairs there was a double frontage “Café” and “Sweet Shop”. A very agreeable man operated both enterprises by the name of Mr Bert Paul. The Three Horse Shoes Hotel stands in Bridge Street, further along going south and it becomes Horsefair. On the same side as the Hotel just into Horsefair stood a blacksmiths shop, always kept busy shoeing the numerous horses both of the area and horses passing through the town. When the smithy closed an iron plate was set into the pavement to cover a recess which had been used by the blacksmith to hold the hub and spokes of cart wheels, the replacement fabricated iron rim being heated and placed on the circumference to cool and form a tight replacement rim. Next time you are in Horsefair try to locate the steel plate. Throughout my time in Boroughbridge I always had a fascination for seeking out information of what happened when. The following are some of my findings. I have also over this time acquired a substantial collection of photos depicting times of yester years of the Town. Interesting facts. Gas came to Boroughbridge in 1860, the company was nationalised in 1946. Electricity came in 1932, and went into public ownership in 1936. The Mill that functioned in Mill Lane had electrical generators installed motivated by waterpower from the river Ure. The power generated was used in the Mill, and also supplied electricity for public consumption. After many years of operation the Mill caught fire thought to have started from an electrical fault. Once alight the fire became a roaring blaze and much damage was done to the building. The church that once graced St James Square, became unsuitable due to it’s building structure. Subsequently it was demolished, and rebuilt in Church Lane at its present location in 1852 at a costing of £2,420. To mark where the old church stood, a cobble circle enclosing a cross of cobbles marks the spot even today. Look out for this circle when you visit St James Square. The Methodist chapel in Horsefair was built in 1865. Back in 1850 the police set up in Boroughbridge, then they were known as “Parish Armlets” on account of wearing an armband supporting a metal plate signifying who they were. Years later in 1905 the Police set up in New Row and still operate from there. The elaborate architectural fountain in St James Square built in 1875 has an inscription explaining its heritage. The brickyard up at Roecliffe was established in 1890. Bricks made here had blue markings, which identified them as local bricks. When you noticed the blue marking you knew you would have difficulty drilling holes into them, as they were extremely hard. As you walk around Boroughbridge look at old buildings to see if you can identify this type of brick. Opposite the Three Horse Shoes Hotel stood the Blinking Owl (now a care home), overlooking the river. The Owl was a licensed restaurant in 1985. Here was where the Riverside Wharf operated in 1853. Goods were shipped in and out from the wharf. Lead came from Nidderdale, wine from York, linen from Knaresborough to name but a few of the goods. To this day if you are fortunate to visit the building and go down to the cellars you will see the arched entrance where boats would moor to load and unload their cargo. The Town Bridge was constructed in 1115, and rebuilt with a more robust structure in 1562; its present structure was achieved in 1944/45. The weir straddling the river Ure together with its salmon ladder adjacent to the present picnic area was started in 1767 and completed in 1769. Hostelries were in abundance in and around Boroughbridge. Passing trade and travel in those days provided ready customers. It is believed there were about 40 of such places providing food/drink and accommodation to those that stayed or travelled through the Town. Up at Kirby Hill stands the Bluebell, which is 200 years old. Down in its cellars there were 2 cells designated to hold villains. They were kept there for short periods for onward shipment south to York and other places, or north to Newcastle. There was the White Horse that became the White Swan. In Milby we have the Grantham Arms named after Lord Grantham of Newby Hall, and the 4 Alls now a private house. The 4 Alls so named: - King----I rule for All Priest-----I pray for All Soldier----I fight for All Everyman----I pay for All. In Langthorpe there was Waricks Brewery, The Free Masons that became Oddfellows then renamed Steam Mill, which later became the Anchor. Other pubs were The Railway Tavern, the Old Red Lion, and The Fox & Hounds. In Boroughbridge there were several hostelries to name a few there was The Crown, The Three Horse Shoes, The Three Grey Hounds, The Royal Oak, The Green Tree, The Blinking Owl (previously mentioned being a licensed restaurant). Many of these establishments have long gone or have changed names. In times past there were a number of working Mills. On Mill Lane adjacent to the river stood a corn mill (previously mentioned) in St Helena the mill was water powered from the river Tut, this mill was used to drive machinery in Foundry Yard one of its function was to “Mash Up” old clothing to make “Scrim”. Another mill stood where Charltons Garage is today. The Railway came to the town in 1848 as a branch line from Pilmoor. The line was extended in 1875 onwards to Knaresborough. Eventually the advent of access by railway spelt the death knell to the Canal trade. In Langthorpe there was a sweet factory. In 1890 The York City & County Bank became known as The Midlands Bank. Directly opposite across the road there was another Bank known as Fletcher Bank, now long gone (1870) now a solicitor’s office known as Fitzgerald-Hart. The Post Office started in Chatsworth House in 1854, it then moved in 1890 to where it is today. Coaching reached it’s height in 1789 at that time horses being used to haul coaches over 20 – 30 miles before resting or being changed. There was a candle factory in the High St near where Pybus stands today; tallow to make the candles was supplied from the town butchers. There were several “Friendly Societies” in the Town to name a few there was the Oddfellows who met at the Black Swan which used to be by what is now the “Spar”, there was the Forresters who met at the Queens Head by Hall Square, the Druids met at the Windmill, the Free Gardeners, and the Rechabites, these societies in the main provided a social function helping those in need particularly in sickness, and death.

Compiled from memories kindly supplied by Mr Bernard Porter of Boroughbridge by Mike Jones

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