The Three Horseshoes, built as a farmhouse in 17th century, was a pub from 1800, open in time for J R Withers to write these lines about it:
The weather-beaten signpost still is seen
No artist’s labour could the host afford,
But three hot horse-shoes branded in the board
Here met the village youths on pleasure bent,
And the long-hoarded halfpence freely spent:
The stalls were doors placed on a barrel’s head,
With cakes and sweets and penny whistles spread.
In the old kitchen by the chimney wide,
With foaming ale in good stone mugs supplied,
The old folks talk’d of times when they were young,
And the same songs, year after year, were sung:
“Lord Bateman”, “Spanking Jack” and “Black eyed Sue”,
“Will Watch”, “Crazy Jane”, and “Bonnets o’ Blue”.
From the 1860s the landlords of the Three Horseshoes were various generations of the Marsh family and after the change of hands in the Six Mile Bottom Estate Sale of 1912, Basil Bradnam was landlord in 1915.
Arthur Loates recalled: “For the Horn Fair on the cricket field in May, horse-drawn caravans put up their stalls with Round-a-bouts, home-made rock, saucers of prawns and wilks, large brown fair biscuits and ornaments. On the last day the women called in at the Three Horseshoes for a bowl of tea, they’d play bowls and in the evening dancing would take place in the old barn to the concertina.”
Arthur said that turning right from his garden gate at 52 The Green would bring him to the Fox and Hounds and turning left he could cross the road, climb a five-bar gate and follow a footpath to the Three Horseshoes.
In 1932, ownership of The Three Horseshoes changed again and it was bought by Hudsons Brewery of Pampisford. It closed in 1957, leaving Weston Colville with one pub, The Fox and Hounds which, in somewhat controversial circumstances as recorded in the press (see below), itself closed in 1985.
The Fox and Hounds in 1942:
Some newspaper articles about the Fox and Hounds (click on the images to see larger versions that are legible):
Entries from the parish register recording the baptisms of children of the landlords of the pubs, Frederick Marsh in 1905, Constance Marsh in 1906, Phyllis Bradnam in 1918 and Donald Copper in 1932: