June 19, 2020
During lockdown although tasks at the pub and the takeaway service have kept me very busy I have found I have had more time to do things that I always seem to put off because I’m just too busy....
Those who know me well know I love history and research. During this time I’ve had the chance to delve into the history of The Weston Cross. I’ve managed to trace the pub back to the early 1800’s and found a wealth of information about the inhabitants, plenty of old pictures and many fasinating newspaper articles. It was one such newspaper article from the evening standard 1933 that I found intriguing and it left me wondering.......
The article mentions a ghost. During my time here I have seen some strange things but alas not a ghost....I will say that we all feel as a family that there is something comforting here that we cannot quite put our finger on so maybe that’s what it is. The landlady Mrs Pettitt stated that she places a tankard of ale on the steps to the loft at the foot of the studded door and in her retreat the door creaks and she glimpses a wrinkly old man with white hair who has a benevolent look. The following morning the tankard is empty!
Mmm so where was this loft, where is this door? Is there really a ghost here? The only two studded doors at the cross are on the old stable adjacent to the disused cottages. Surely it couldn’t be one of those doors? After a while I decided to investigate further, One of the doors downstairs has no steps so that rules that one out the other does have stone steps so that must be the door. In the 20 years I’ve lived at the pub I can honestly say I’ve never actually opened that door and the only time i remember it being opened was within the first week of being here by my dad. I probed him further as to what was behind the door but he couldn’t remember......typical.
So without further ado I went to investigate. I’m not actually a big fan of heights so on reaching the fifth step I retreated and did what all good wives do.... I fetched the husband. Paul happily went up to open the door with a promise of a large gin later. Well he reached the top of the steps and went to open the door but it was locked....gggrrr.
I do recall years earlier one of my nephews playing with an old box of keys that along the way got lost. Back to the drawing board. Over the course of a week Paul went back up the steps several times along with Jack our son. They armed themselves with screwdrivers, metal rods and a hammer but the door would not budge at all. Feeling disappointed that the only way to open the door would be a locksmith and that we wouldn’t be able to get one to come here during lockdown. I resigned myself to the fact that this door would be staying locked a while longer. I did place a tankard of beer by the door one night in hope that the ghost may appear and the door would miraculously open but the door stayed firmly shut.
Whilst outside the following week I was painting the outside stable door that seriously needed doing and Dad suggested I paint the door at the top of the steps. I begrudgingly agreed because it would of looked out of place once the lower one was done. We had to wait till mum was busy otherwise she would of had kittens if she had seen me and dad up there painting. Once I steadily had reached the top of the steps armed with my paint and brush I set about paining the door. In the middle of the door one of the studs was loose and I was trying to push it back into the door and it suddenly turned in my hand and the blinking door opened. It startled me so much I ran down those bloody steps as fast as my feet would carry me. My heart was racing with fear, adrenaline and excitement that the door was finally open. As soon as Jack heard that we’d opened the door he was the first to rush up and have a look inside. Unfortunately there was no pot of gold or buried treasure just a mountain of about 90 old gin bottles....empty (just my luck), a massive old bees nest and a magnificent old fashioned feeding/grain turning wheel that must of been there since the stable was first built. So at long last the door was finally open but as yet we haven’t seen a ghost! But on the bright side at least the door finally got a lick of paint.
Take care and stay safe.