This page is a work in progress and if anyone has any information or old photos relating to The Lenchford Inn – then we would love to hear from you – so please do get in touch! All contributions will be greatly received.
Here’s what we have so far …
Firstly, the map pictured is of the area in 1883.
Henry Thrupp was the innkeeper at the Lenchford Inn in Shrawley, Worcestershire at least between 1859 and 1873 but probably as late as the 1880s. He also had a blacksmith’s business in the village and was a coal merchant dealing in the transportation of coal and other goods by canal boat throughout the local area.
Notebooks kept by Henry Thrupp and a Mrs Thrupp of the Lenchford Inn, Shrawley, Worcestershire containing rudimentary accounts and records relating to their businesses which included the Inn, coal merchant business, canal boat cargo trade and blacksmithing.
There are three account books kept by Henry Thrupp. One book is titled Blacksmith Book 1866. One is titled ‘accounts on voyages, cratewood and coal boat accounts’ dated 1873 and relates to the carrying of coals by canal in the area. The third account book relates to the carrying of coal and other cargoes such as agricultural produce but also accounts of the Lenchford Inn and covers the years 1859 to 1861.
Another notebook was kept by Mrs Thrupp of Shrawley, Worcestershire, 1838-1840 titled ‘receipt book’ on the cover containing accounts kept between 1838 and 1840 and a number of recipes mainly for home-made wine and remedies for ailments.
Source: University of Birmingham
It would be great to view the documents held by the University of Birmingham and see what other information they contain … definitely want to look at those recipes! So when time is available, might just go there and have a sneaky peeky 🙂
Lenchford Ferry at Shrawley, Records of this ferry go back to the 18th century, like many ferries it was operated by the landlord of the Lenchford Inn.
In the late 18th century when Witley Court was at its absolute height of splendour, Lenchford was the nearest point on the river for wharfing coal coming down by barge from collieries at Himley. Records show that in the 19th century as much as 2,000 tons was stored at Witley Court at a time. When the barges arrived they were unloaded onto horse-drawn carts and the convoy of coal-laden carts between Lenchord and Witley Court went on for several weeks at a time. The Earle & Countess of Dudley certainly kept their home well heated, they entertained in grand style. My grandmother’s 21st birthday coincided with a ball there arranged as a finale to a shooting party week to which Edward Prince of Wales, the Earle & Countess of Cadogan, the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire and numerous other noble and titled people were their guests, including ladies for whom the Prince had a penchant! My grandmother’s parents were also guests and she had a special invitation and a lovely ball gown for the occasion.
The Lenchford Ferry was in use in the 1930s and the Inn was owned by an Australian who once offered to sell it for £900, he didn’t think he was cut out for the pub trade. In the end he left it and his wife and returned to Australia.
Peter Sansome, a farmer friend of mine who has always lived in Claines remembers the Lenchford during WW2, it was a popular place for Saturday night dances. When the American soldiers came to Westwood Park they quickly discovered the public houses in Ombersley and at Holt Fleet, and lost no time in inviting young girls from Ombersley to join them at The Lenchford. Peter told me that he and his friends were pretty fed up that all the beautiful young girls were transferring their affections to the G.I.s. One one Saturday dance night occasion there, the Americans had paid for a big tray of delicious sandwiches and when they got up to dance, Peter picked up the tray and took it out to the car park where he and his friends consumed the lot!
A few notes written by a man who used to stay by the beloved but dangerous River Severn near the Lenchford, were recently handed to me. The man I refer to lived in Smethwick and came there first when he was sixteen in 1928, and continued to spend holidays there for most of his life until 1990. He wrote about his love for the countryside there and his sense of exhilaration, breathing fresh air, having lovely views and open space around them. He learned a great deal about the flora and fauna of the area and grew to understand the country folk who befriended him and his family. He looked back at those days and spoke of the different way of life they had when they were there ” (we) compared our lovely surroundings with the sordid little alley we had to return to in Smethwick. “
By Rosalind M Parish
Source: Worcester News