10. THE SHOULDER OF MUTTON
The Shoulder of Mutton
The “Shoulder of Mutton” is the name given to the village tavern. It is in the centre of the village opposite the old school (see illustration 8 and 10).
This inn has been standing for many years and has seen much of the life of the people. It is a very old house, its rooms having oak beams across very low ceilings.
Many are the tales that have been told under its roof: Tales of the hospitality of the house in olden days, when at Christmas was open to all and sundry. These times were very jolly for everyone. A “round” of beef was roasted and was served to the visitors, who kept going the spirit of Christmas for a few days. Dancing took place in the large room on the right and everyone made merry. “Those were the days” could well be said for them.
Another occasion for a party at the Inn was in “Middle Lent”, known as “Mothering Sunday” when “fig-pies” were made by the lady of the inn and served in the parlour. These pies were made from her own particular recipe and the number of pies she produced for consumption was enormous.
Another holiday celebrated at the inn was a “Fulford Wakes”, which is in November, when all “The fun of the Fair” visited the village and encamped on the plot near the inn. Dancing was held in the big parlour once again and all was jollity and fun.
One day about twenty years ago, a much talked of incident happened in connection with the inn. The excitement of it all lasted for many weeks. An aeroplane was flying over the village and was seen to be in difficulties and had to come down in a field at the rear of the School. News went round that “The Prince of Wales” had arrived in the village. Everyone went wild with delight and rushed out of their homes to see him. Many were the tales which spread around. The most outstanding one, was that the Prince had gone to the “Shoulder of Mutton” and found that it was after closing time, but had insisted on being served with a whisky and soda, but had been refused, as he was a stranger. Actually the aeroplane was the Prince’s plane, but it was returning with the pilot only, in it. The Prince was visiting friends and had been flown there. The place was photographed at the time and a picture of it is framed and hangs in the School to day. Such was the excitement caused by that aeroplane and such is the power of “rumour”.