Copyright © 2017
Dersingham Folk
All Rights reserved
Site by Mike Strange
The Coach and Horses Public House
Elizabeth Fiddick and Mike Strange ©
1845-1846  Mrs Lydia Petchey
1851-1856  William Hotching (Hotchin)
1858-1888  Thomas Taylor
1890-1901  Alfred Hardy
1904-           Dixon Standaloft
1908-1915  Arthur Walker
1916-           Mrs Jane A Walker
1922-           Frederick Anthony
1925-1937  William Thomas Owen
1939-           Reginald John and Edna (nee Legge) Popplewell (In the 1939 Register)
                     Followed by Mrs Jane Popplewell up to about 1945 (Dick Melton)
1950-           Albert Hurrell
1951-           Ernest Bridges
1955-           Wilfred Ernest Watson
1964-           William George Link
1964-           George Sidney Hardy
1968-           Donald Victor Isbell
1970-           Ernest Arthur Thorley
1970-1976  Alan and Molly Birt (source son Timothy Birt)
Various ...
2007-2020  Sheila Roythorne
2020-           Tommy & Christine Haughey
Lydia Petchey
A William Brunton and Lucy Robinson married on 20 December 1781 in Wood Norton, a few miles from Fakenham; both were resident in that village. Lydia was born here in 1788  (seventh of eight children).

Benjamin Petchey was born in Dersingham in 1786,the sixth child of six children of Benjamin Petchey Snr and Mary Fox. His mother Mary died when he was only two years old and his older sister Rachell died, aged 20, in 1796 when Benjamin was 10.  His father lived until 1832 when he died at the age of 82.
On 12th October 1809 Lydia Petchey, now 21, married Benjamin Petchey, Banns having been called on 17 and 24th September and 1st October 1809. Their witnesses to the marriage were William Yeates and Martha Snelling in St. Nicholas Church Dersingham; Lydia made her mark X in the register. Interestingly William and Martha were to marry a year later almost to the day.

In the early nineteenth century very few people had the right to vote but pressure for reform grew steadily until in 1832 the Great Reform Act was passed.  This gave the vote to men who occupied property with an annual value of £10.  So we find listed in the Electoral Roll of The Hundred of Freebridge of 1835 as an occupation voter, Benjamin Petchey with a Freehold and Copyhold estate.

It is from White’s Directory of 1836 that we discover Benjamin was a wheelwright, whilst Lydia was included in the list of farmers which included George Chadwick (maltster) of Oak House Farm, John Chapman, Robert Claxton, Abraham Gay, and John Riches, a rabbit dealer.

In the Electoral Rolls for 1837 Benjamin is listed with Free and Copyhold house and land near the church.  Also in 1837 Benjamin suffered another loss when his brother, Edward Fox Petchey, died in Brancaster.  Benjamin himself died the following year, 1838, at the age of 53.           
Tithe map 1839

The Tithe map and Schedule of 1839 throw more light on Lydia’s circumstances as she enters widowhood.  Lydia owns a piece of arable land just off the Sandringham to Ingoldisthorpe Road, in Ling House Road which she rents out to Richard Stanton Sen.  Richard Stanton was a substantial farmer with a farm house, yard, buildings and garden, close to where the present Manor Road meets the Lynn Road.  He had considerable holdings of pasture, arable and marsh land in the village.

Lydia also owned four properties directly opposite Doddshill Road.  The cottage and garden, 227 was occupied by John Greenacre, a gardener; cottage and garden while 228 was occupied by William Flegg. Lydia herself occupied a larger site 229, where there are two buildings marked. The Schedule records that Lydia has a house, garden and shop.  No mention yet of The Coach and Horses. Martin Flegg, a wheelwright, lived in cottage, 230.

It would seem quite possible to me that when Benjamin was alive he and  Martin Flegg, both being wheelwrights and neighbours, could have worked together perhaps in one of the buildings on site 229. Lydia also owned the shop and yard directly opposite on the corner of Doddshill,  71.  In 1839 this property was occupied by William Hotching who ran a Butcher’s Shop there.  (A full history of this shop can be found here on our website)

William Hotching was born in Congham about 1783.  However, in 1838 he was living in Ingoldisthorpe but in 1839 he married Elizabeth Brunton  of  Dersingham. They had one son  christened  Benjamin Petchey Hotching on 28th August 1839 in Dersingham. Tragically little Benjamin died only a few weeks later and was buried on October 13th that year.  No other children are recorded as being born to William and Elizabeth.
Pakenham Manor House

To complete the picture of this part of Dersingham at this time on the other corner of Doddshill opposite the Butcher’s Shop and across the road from Lydia’s house and shop where the village school would be built in 1875, was an old carrstone cottage, 252 occupied by Richard Lines and others. 

This was originally the Manor House of Pakenham Manor, one of the seven manorial estates that made up the village of Dersingham in the past.   It was described in a survey carried out in 1802-4 for Robert Walpole of Houghton Hall, who owned the Manor at that time, as a dwelling house let in three tenements.

By 1839 this Manor now formed part of the Sandringham Estate of John Motteux.  The cottage remained there even after the school was built.  It was finally demolished in 1935, by order of the King, to enlarge the school playground.  Much of the stonework was reused to build the wall around the extension to the churchyard behind the Great Barn up to Sherborne  Road.

A little further down the road was a Public House with yard and garden, 232, The Cock Inn run by Ann Gamble. This busy, well used village Inn was demolished in the 1880s to be replaced by The Feather’s Hotel.

The Cock Inn

It is a mystery why, in the 1841 census, Lydia Petchey was in the household of a farmer, one John Mason, in the village of Wendling. (Class: HO107; Piece: 778; Book: 31; Civil Parish: Wendling; County: Norfolk; Enumeration District: 12; Folio: 5; Page: 5; Line: 23). John's age is given as 35 and Lydia's age as 50 but note that in 1841, if the enumerator was doing his job properly, the age of persons over 15 was supposed to be rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5. Lydia is shown as being his housekeeper for him but is listed before his children, unusual for a servant. John's second wife, Lucy Billings from Fring, had died in 1840.
White’s Directory of 1845 lists the Coach and Horses for the first time with Lydia as the Victualler.  It was only 15 years earlier that Parliament passed the 1830 Beer Act which enabled any ratepayer to brew and sell beer on payment of a license costing 2 guineas.  This resulted in the opening of thousands of new pubs. So the house and shop described in the Tithe Schedule has now become the Public House and Lydia has taken advantage of The Beer Act. However, it is a sign of the times that Lydia does not appear on the Electoral Rolls of the time.  Although meeting all the criteria to be eligible to vote just like her late husband she of course suffered from a severe disadvantage; she was Mrs.Petchey!

William Hotching (Jnr)
William Hotching (Jnr) married Elizabeth Brunton in Ingoldisthorpe in 1839 and in the same year had a son Benjamin Petchey Hotching. Having been baptised in Dersingham on 28th August 1839 Benjamin had a very short life and was buried here on 13th October 1839.

The 1846 Trade directory and the Electoral Roll of 1850 records a change of circumstances as William Hotchin Jnr is listed, with houses, land and common rights as occupier, as the Publican of The Coach and Horses Dersingham.

The 1851 census reords the same and he is living there with his wife Elizabeth , his elderly father William,  and Emily Greenacre, 16, a general servant. But clearly he is only renting the pub because, on 20th December 1851, the sale advertisement seen here appeared in the Norfolk Chronicle and Norwich Gazette for the Coach and Horses and other properties owned by Lydia.

Lydia meanwhile had obviously given up running The Coach and Horses and in this census she is recorded as a visitor in the house of John Terrington, a grocer and draper, with his wife Jane , son George and nephew  William Cattermole.

We note that William Hotching, (Snr), born in Little Massingham, was formerly a farmer in Ingoldisthorpe. The Norfolk Pubs website records that on the 1st April 1848 he was released from prison where he had been detained as an insolvent.  He must have moved here not long after.

I have found a further advertisement announcing the sale by auction in two lots at The Cock Inn, Dersingham  in January 1854 of three cottages and a parcel of land next to the road leading from Sandringham to Dersingham Mill.  The description certainly matches that which Lydia owned so I just wondered if this had been Lydia’s property. In fact Elizabeth Hotching (nee Brunton, base-born) was a niece to Lydia.
In the Directory of 1854 we find William Hotching as the Publican of The Coach and Horse but also still listed as a practising Butcher.

In March of the same year 1854 that Lydia died aged 62 and was buried in the churchyard alongside her husband.  We have yet to discover exactly what happened to the money she secured from the sale. An answer would hopefully be in her will which can  be purchased at the Norwich Archives Ref: NCC will register Day 156.

William Hotching is recorded as the Publican until 1856 then there is a two year gap before Thomas Taylor becomes the Innkeeper in 1858.

On 6th July 1858 The Coach and Horses was put up for sale by auction at the Globe hotel in King's Lynn as part of the estate of one Artur Morse with Thomas Taylor in occupation. It included a large well planted garden, and more interestingly there was a newly erected Stable and Coachhouse.  It is interesting to speculate when these were built and by whom. I have yet to discover the addition the estate sale included another seven pubs, two houses and a shop in High Street, King's Lynn.

Mike discovered that by 1861 William and Elizabeth Hotching had left Dersingham and, according to the census of that year, were  living in the lodging house of one Hannah Cross in King’s Lynn with her son who was a mariner.

Thomas Taylor
Thomas is recorded as taking over The Coach and Horses in 1858, obviously just before its sale.  The census of 1861 tells us that he was born in Burnham Market about 1805.  His wife Louisa was also from Burnham Market.  Ten years later in 1871 he is a widower and Charlotte Taylor, his niece, is living with him there as  his Housekeeper.  Lodging with them at the time was James Snardell, a musician from Wimbotsham.

An act of 1848 had brought in strict limitations of opening times.  In particular beerhouses, Inns and alehouses were forbidden to open between Midnight Saturday to 12.30 p.m. on Sunday.  However, I suspect this was not always closely observed in the early days.

But In 1872 Parliament passed the Licensing Act.  This stated that licences were required for all beerhouses, Inns, or alehouses and more tellingly it introduced regular Inspections.  Inspectors were to be appointed by the local Police and accountable to them.

On the 30th September 1872 it was recorded that Thomas had been fined 20s with 14s costs for having a House illegally open at 5.30 a.m. on September 2nd.   The local Inspectors were now obviously doing their job. I wonder if the local man had a tipoff to be on hand to witness the transgression at that early hour!

In 1875 Charlotte married George Houchen , a groom for the Royal Household. By the census of  1881 The Coach and Horses was echoing to the voices of their sons, Henry 5,  and Frederick, 2. No doubt Thomas was delighted as must have been their many customers.  Charlotte’s husband George, however, is not recorded in that census.
Back in 1862 Queen Victoria had purchased the Sandringham Estate for the use of her son The Prince of Wales.  The presence of Royalty greatly raised the profile of Dersingham and the surrounding district so that it became a desirable place to visit.  As more and more visitors arrived it is not surprising that local businesses eventually took advantage.

As we know, in the 1880s the small Cock Inn was demolished and the much grander and greatly enlarged Feather’s Hotel took its place. They began advertising “ good stabling for hunters;  first class accommodation for visitors, conveyances to meet any train at Dersingham or Wolferton”.

We know from the Norfolk Public House website mentioned previously a new stable and Coach-house had been added to the Coach and Horses around 1856-8.  But I think the transformation of the small Cock Inn  may well have prompted the further expansion of The Coach and Horses into the building we know today.  Exactly when this took place I have yet to discover.

Thomas Taylor died in 1889

Alfred Hardy
became the publican until 1901 and this photograph is from about the same time. The 1891 census describes him as a Licensed Victualler.  He and his wife Annie were both born in Pentney.  Emma Valentine was employed as their General Servant.

We meet Charlotte Houchen  again, recently widowed,  living with her four sons; Thomas, a butcher, Frederick a Houseboy , George, a scholar and Walter only two years old.  I think Thomas and the Henry of 1881 must be the same person.  The age seems to confirm this.

Dixon Standaloft
The next Publican for a short period was Dixon Standaloft, he was also a carpenter.  From the 1891 census Mike found that Dixon hailed from Binbrook, Lincolnshire but was with his wife Harriet (nee Bunn from Dersingham) in Grimsby; he was recorded as being a joiner. By at least 1896 the Register of Electors showed them in Dersingham living in a cottage on Snettisham Road, Dersingham.

After his spell as a publican he was running Apartments in a house called the Willows on the Main Road, Dersingham in 1911 (called Lynn Road by the 1912 Register of Electors). Dixon died on the 6th April 1925 aged 59 and is buried in Dersingham church yard. At the time of his death, he and Harriet, were licencees of the ffolkes Arms hotel, Hillington [Probate record and Kelly's Directory].

In a publication produced before WW2 for the information of residents and visitors I found the following: "Visitors will find every comfort and convenience if applying to Mrs. D. Standaloft, The Willows, Dersingham.  Charges are always reasonable and an enjoyable stay is assured.  Lunches, Dinners and Teas are always procurable." (note how it was correcte for a widow to continue to use her late husband's name).

Mrs. Standaloft, Harriet, died 23rd December 1959.  They had four children with the last two, Gladys Louisa and Dixie Elia, being born in Dersingham, she died here in 1945, aged 39.

Arthur Walker
He became the next Publican until his death in 1915.  His wife Jane then took over running the business until 1922

Then came …
1922 Fred Anthony (Kelly's Trade Directory)
1925 William Thomas Owen  (Kelly's Trade Directory)
1937 Jointly by Reginald and Edna Popplewell as shown in the 1939 Register.

Our friend Dick Melton of Sunny Hunny had already provided us with some additional information; he wrote:

Sometime during the war years of 1939 to 1945 Mrs Jane Popplewell was landlady of the Coach and Horses [connection to Reginald and Edna  who were here in 1939 has yet to be found] . After the War she moved to Hunstanton and opened up a fish and chip shop on Beach Terrace called "Brooklands".  After her came:
1950 Albert Hurrell
1951 Ernest Bridges
1955 Wilfred Ernest Watson
1964 William Link
1964 George Hardy
1968 Donald Isbell
1970 Ernest Thorley

There were many landlords between 1970 and 2007; the only ones I can be sure of are Ray and Angie Hindley who ran it on two separate occasions.

2007 Sheila Roythorne who retired after 13 years with us. She handed the reins on 1st October 2020 toTommy and Christine Haughey.

All the best,
Dick Melton

Acknowledgement to  Norfolk Pubs for the outline.

Click a picture to view album