You are invited to join John Johnson, the blacksmith who lived at the forge in Westbrook Street in 1908, for a tour of the many pubs that served the village at that time. As John says: “Blewbury has six pubs for 550 people. They provide the social life for many of the men in the village. If you have a florin to spare, I would be happy for you to buy me a round in each of them.” A word of advice before you start, however. Although John has a fund of village knowledge – his family has lived here for generations – he is more a drinking partner than an academic. So although his views can all be supported, a more cautious historian might describe some of his facts as ‘likely’ rather than ‘definite’ .
The photographs of your trip are not all taken in this year of 1908. They can usually only be dated approximately, for example by the dress being worn. Some are known to have been taken in the previous century, while a few have features that would have been a surprise to both you and John. Tarmacadam on the roads and telegraph poles beside them were not features in the village at that time.
Start at the top left picture – half way down Westbrook Street