Skip Navigation

Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Home > Community Histories > Blunham > The Railway Tavern Blunham

The Railway Tavern Blunham


Railway Tavern
The former Railway Tavern, then a private house, in 1976 [Z50/19/34-42]

The Railway Tavern: 102 Station Road, Blunham [also known as Railway Inn, later The Tavern then The Huntress]

This public house was built around 1863 when the land on which it stood was sold by William Ellson to Frederick Hogge, Robert Henry Lindsell and Charles Samuel Lindsell who ran the firm then known as Wells & Company (completely unrelated to Charles Wells) which was bought out by George Winch in 1899 when it became known as Wells & Winch. This firm merged with Greene King in 1961 and adopted that name from 1963.

Blunham was a station on the Bedford to Cambridge railway which opened in 1862 and closed in 1968. Interestingly the tavern closed two years before the railway in 1966.  In 1979 it once more became a public house, with a restaurant, and was once again known as the RailwayTavern until it once again closed in 1983 and was reopened as simply the Tavern. In 1990 the Tavern was renamed the Huntress before once again becoming a private house in 2000.

In 1927 the place was valued under the 1925 Rating Valuation Act when the valuer found a brick and tile construction comprising a bar, tap room, private sitting room, kitchen and scullery downstairs and four bedrooms above; outside were a barn, three hovels, a washhouse, a stable for two horses, cart lodge and shelter. Water was laid on to the scullery. The valuer found "Poor Trade, only Garden Labourers with stuff for station". This trade consisted of ¾ of a barrel of beer per week, two dozen bottles of beer per week and very little in the way of spirits - the landlord "could not say takings". Occupied with the tavern were 1.712 acres of land.

former Railway Tavern
The former Huntress, now a private house, in March 2007


Railway Tavern

GK17/1: recited mortgage: 1838;
  • GK17/1: recited assignment of mortgage: 1853;
  • GK17/1: recited assignment of mortgage: 1860;
  • GK17/1: recited enfranchisement: 1862;
  • GK17/1 and Z1039/34/1: conveyance of land: 1863;
  • GK1/36: three sales catalogues bound together: Wells & Company of Biggleswade 1898; Henlow Brewery 1899; Baldock Brewery Limited 1903;
  • Z1039/34/2: conveyance, with other properties, by Frederick Archdale, Charles Samuel Lindsell, Henry Martin Lindsell and Arthur Knox Lindsell all of Biggleswade, brewers, maltsters and spirit merchants under the name of Wells & Company to Wells & Winch Limited: 1899;
  • Z50/19/34-42: nine photographs of former public house and railway station: 1976
  • Tavern

    PCBlunham9/17: transfer of licence: 1986;
  • PCBlunham9/23: transfer of licence: 1987
  • List of Licensees: note that this is not a complete list. Italics indicate licensees whose beginning and/or end dates are not known:

    Railway Inn/Tavern
    1864: William Goodman;
    1869-1888: Nathaniel Kefford King;
    1888: Emma King;
    1888-1901:Thomas Bossingham;
    1901-1914: Rhoda Bossingham;
    1914-1935: Harry Bossingham;
    1939-1955: Ann May Edith Baxter;
    1955-1961: Harry Robinson;
    1961-1966: Sidney Reid
    Public house closed 1 Apr 1966

    Railway Tavern reopened
    1979-1983: James Sawford;

    1983-1986: Andrew Vaughan;
    1986-1987: Christine Barbara Jennings;
    1987-1990: Patricia Gudgin;

    1990-1994: Mateo Lopez
    1994-2000; Thomas Keohane