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Black Horse, Burton Upon Trent, Staffordshire

 

 


 
The Black Horse was situated on Stanton Road. This pub closed c.2011. It achieved notoriety before closure as being an illegal cannabis farm and was closed following a police raid. It is now used as a local supermarket.
Source: Chris Eaton
 
I first first experienced the Black Horse on Stanton Road in the context of half remembered conversations when hearing my Motherís often regaled tales at family gatherings. It is through the eyes of a child I remember the Black Horse, as my Mother was a barmaid at the Black Horse during the war.
Born in 1938, I was 5 years old when something called the war was mentioned endlessly by my family and neighbours alike. My older brother was once strapped to a stretcher as a volunteered casualty in a Home Guard exercise which took place in the environs of the Black Horseís spacious car park - with no cars. No doubt which at the end of the exercise the participants would hell bent up to the bar.
Another time in the field at the bottom of our garden I watched a Home Guard team practicing with stirrup pumps. Lining up as athletes waiting for the gun the hoses were run out and the nozzle end was held by a figure lying prone, aiming in the direction of a target some 30 ft. away. At the other end of the hose was the hand pump operator with a bucket of water. On a given signal the pump operator began pumping furiously whilst nearby a 5 year old boy was taking it all in; slowly working his way to the to the business end the prone figure who, was still aiming at the target, the boy awaiting the spectacle. I suspect any nearby adult spectator looking at the boy would spot a wry smile on the boyís face as he saw a pathetic dribble of water from the nozzle, not more than 6 inches away. Talk about Dadís Army. I cannot watch an episode of Dadís Army without harking back to those times.
Americans soldiers were billeted somewhere in the town and during their off duty time they would head for the Black Horse pub in their heavy trucks and jeeps. I wish I had paid more attention to what my Mother was telling us for they were most interesting times, sometimes the Americans would taxi ladies to a nearby dance in all their wartime finery. I remember one morning walking to school we came across an American jeep wrapped around a gas lamp-post. There was blood soaked on to the seat and there was no-one around. To us children it was quite sobering.
The Black Horse pub would have been built sometime in the 30ís not after the war. At one time I could remember the name of the original resident owner/keepers with ease, but their name eludes me now, after all it was over 70 years ago. After the war, the New Tenants were Mr & Mrs Broomfield with their boy Dennis. Dennis and I were friends for sometime but my parents left for Devon so we lost touch. Dennis became a Driving Instructor and his car would be a familiar site driving around town.
The Labour governmentís banning smoking in public places took a wrecking ball to the aged British culture of pubs, was it deliberate strategy or was it just a case of unintended consequences? I dunno, but itís taken its toll in a spectacular way. Itís gone for ever!
Ian Giles (March 2018)
 

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