Blue Ball, 34 Blucher Street, Chesham, Buckinghamshire

At Bury Hill End(1830 & 1881 census) *** This pub closed and was demolished during the 1960s. **

Chesham pub history index

Directory of Pubs in the UK, historical public houses, Taverns, Inns, Beer Houses and Hotels in Buckinghamshire. The Buckinghamshire listing uses information from census, Trade Directories and History to add licensees, bar staff, Lodgers and Visitors.

Residents at this address

1789/Mrs Grigg / Victualler /../../Sun Fire Office records, held at London Metropolitan Archives **

1792/Grigg / Victualler /../../Sun Fire Office records, held at London Metropolitan Archives **

1830/Jos Horwood/../../../Pigots Directory ***

1839/Edmund Page/../../../Robsons Directory ***

1844/Edmund Page/../../../Pigot’s Directory **

1852/William Page/../../../Slaters Directory ***

1863/Henry Harrison/../../../Duttons Directory ***

1864/Henry Harrison / & Colt Breaker /../../Post Office Directory **

Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette, Saturday 9th November 1878 *
DEATH OF A VETERAN – We have this week to record the death of Mr. Henry Keets, landlord of the Blue Ball, Blucher Street, who has not long been a resident in the town, but who since his coming has been respected by a considerable circle of friends. He was formerly in the 2nd Battalion of the 4th (King’s Own) Regiment. He had been 22 years in the army, during which time he served in the Crimea, the 2 medals for which he wore, and also through the Indian Mutiny, for which he also obtained a medal. He not only received the medals, but during those campaigns he came in for several wounds, although not of a sufficiently serious nature to prevent his serving his country till he completed the 22nd year of service, when he was discharged, receiving a medal for good conduct and long service, together with a goodly pension, he being at the time of his discharge a full sergeant. About a week previous to his death he had been to bury his mother, and it is supposed he took cold, which brought on inflammation of the lungs, to which he succumbed on the 30th October, at the age of 46 years.

1881/Rebecca Keats/Beer House Keeper, Widow/41/London, Surrey/Census
1881/Alice C Keats/Daughter/9/London, Surrey/Census
1881/Henry C Keats/Son/7/London, Surrey/Census
1881/Charles Keats/Son/4/Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire/Census
1881/Rosa Keats/Daughter/2/Chesham, Buckinghamshire/Census
1881/James Ware/Lodger, Labourer General/43/Chesham, Buckinghamshire/Census

1883/Henry Osborne/Blue Ball/../../Kellys Directory

Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette, Saturday 19th January 1884 *
Edward William Hambleton, of the Blue Ball, Blucher-street, Chesham, was charged with permitting drunkenness on his premises on the 29th December last.
Mr F. R. Spender, solicitor, Maidenhead, represented the defendant, and pleaded not guilty.
From the evidence adduced it appeared that on the night in question P.C. Shore visited the Blue Ball about 9.15 in the evening, when he saw in the parlour of the house a woman named Burnett, and by her general appearance he thought she was the worse for drink. There were two other women and Mrs. Hambleton in the house at that time. A pewter quarter measure and three small glasses were standing on the table, and contained liquor resembling whiskey. About 10 minutes before 11 the same evening, Shore, in company with P.C. Cook, again visited the house, when the woman Burnett was still in the same room. She had a full glass of what he believed to be whiskey, and she took it up and drank part of it. The landlord then entered the room, and Shore said to him, “That woman is drunk,” to which defendant made no reply. The woman got up, according to Shore’s evidence, and staggered across the room, saying, “You little --; if you say I’m drunk I’ll smack your chops.”

Corroborative evidence having been given by P.C. Cook and another witness, Mr Spender then addressed the Bench. He afterwards called the defendant, from whose evidence it appeared that the woman was the wife of a cloth hawker, who, with her husband, were lodging at the house. The defendant saw her in the house between seven and eight o’clock, and during the evening he noticed that she was the worse for drink; and he did not supply her with anything except water afterwards. He filled a small glass with water and held it to the tap of the whiskey barrel to deceive her. Evidence given by the defendant’s wife was to the effect that the woman Barnett was in a private apartment of the house from nine to eleven o’clock, during which time witness was present, and did not notice that she was inebriated. She did not supply her with any drink. She refused to draw any for her for the reason that she did not want her to have any. A young woman named Rosa How was in the same room from nine to about 11 o’clock, but did not notice Burnett there till 10 o’clock. Burnett was very civil until the entrance of the police-constable, when she had a few words. No drink was supplied to her while the witness How was there. Burnett asked for whiskey, but the landlord refused to supply her with any. Another witness named Fred. Howard said he saw the woman in Blucher-street on the evening in question, and considered her to be under the influence of drink.

The Chairman said that if there was a doubt in the case, in the natural course of justice, the benefit of it must be given to the defendant. The Bench though the case was weak and must dismiss it.

‘The Chesham Examiner, Amersham and Rickmandsworth Times.’ - Wednesday, October 22, 1890.

The key part is “since I have kept the house, 5 years last July…” This means that he started keeping the house in July 1885. *

This is the year that James Stone married Harriet Willmott in Battersea on July 27th 1885. He lists himself as a publican aged 29 years of 23 John street, son of Henry Stone, labourer. She is a spinster aged 25, of the same address, daughter of Henry Willmott, a carman. It is very likely that it is her sister who is a servant in the 1891 census. *

The Recent Accident near the “Blue Ball”
To the Editor of “The Chesham Examiner.” Dear Sir, Permit me a small space in your paper to answer the complaint made to the Local Board at the last meeting respecting the accident which occurred outside my house. It was an accident which would not have happened if the gentleman from Aylesbury had not been driving down Charteridge lane at such a rate that he could no pull up when he saw a cart standing at the door. Indeed, he could not stop his horse until he had gone some distance down the street, when he was informed that the two little girls had been thrown out of the cart. There was 6ft 6in of road for him to pass in, and Mr J Bridges, of Waterside, passed behind him in that space, as did also a lady from St Leonards. Surely there might have been room enough for him. This was the first accident that has happened here since I have kept the house, 5 years last July (although it is a very narrow road), and this might have been avoided if Mr Sear had driven with ordinary carefulness. Then as to the horse and cart standing in front of the house 8 hours, I must beg to correct that. I think anyone with common sense would see that must be wrong. It would be the greater part of a day, and I can safely say it has never occurred. – Trusting you will do me the favour of insertising this, I am, yours faithfully, JAMES STONE. “Blue Bell,” Chesham, Oct. 20. 1890. *

The birth registration of Nellie Victoria STONE, dated 23rd January 1888 for a 14th December 1887 birth, lists the Blue Ball, Blucher Street, Chesham as both the place of birth and also the residence of the informant, the Mother, Harriett STONE formerly WILLMOTT. The father is listed as James Stone with the profession Victualler. *

There are a number of other articles that show that he was resident in the pub. The article dated Wednesday, August 13, 1890 is about George Fletcher, of Wendover, who refused to quit licensed premises. As part of the proceedings: “Harriet Stone said she was the wife of James Stone, the landlord of the “Blue Ball”, Blucher Steet, Chesham. On July 19th, between 7 and 8 in the evening, Fletcher came into the house very drunk…” It also later states: “Mr Stone could not be there that day, as he was ill in bed. The defendant had made a disturbance in the house on other occasions.”. *

The family is shown to still be living at the pub on the 1891 census when their address is given as 32 Blucher Street. The head of the house, James STONE (35years old), a licenced victualler and corn dealer, is shown alongside his wife, Harriett (30yrs), and their children; Ethel Minnie, aged 4 years; Nellie V, aged 3yrs; and Gertrude M, aged 1yr. One servant is listed, Rosina Florence WILMOTT – aged 16, and is recorded as having general duties. There are also 3 lodgers: James Allen WILLIAMS, a 62 year old clockmaker; Joseph HARDING, a 64 year old horse dealer and Joseph HEALD, a 39 year old shoemaker. *

There is also a March 11th 1891 article where James STONE is one of a number of defendants charged with allowing gambling to take place within his house. They convicted all of the defendants and James was fined £3 and 20s. costs. *

1891/James Stone, Blue Ball/../../Kellys Directory

1891/James Stone/Licensed Victualler & cord dealer/35/Chartridge, Buckinghamshire/Census
1891/Harriet Stone/Wife/30/Clerkenwell, London/Census
1891/Ethel Minnie Stone/Daughter/4/Chesham, Buckinghamshire/Census
1891/Nellie V Stone/Daughter/3/Chesham, Buckinghamshire/Census
1891/Gertrude M Stone/Daughter/1/Chesham, Buckinghamshire/Census
1891/Rosina Florence Wilmott/General Servant/16/Wandsworth, Surrey/Census
+ Lodgers

The 1892, 1893, 1894 & 1895 Buckinghamshire County Council electoral registers record a STONE, James at 32, Blucher Street, Chesham, a Dwelling House and that the same address is the qualifying property. *

1899/James Stone/../../../Kellys Directory ***

In his will written on the 21st June 1899, James appointed his sister, Ann Judge CULVERHOUSE, and her husband, Daniel CULVERHOUSE - a blacksmith, to be the guardians of his infant children. He bequeathed them his business of a Licensed Victualler and Corn Dealer and his stock in trade plant horse carts, carriages and effects with the intentions that would allow them to provide for his children. James died on the 23rd July and probate was granted on the 7th September 1899. *

As reported in ‘The Chesham Examiner, Amersham and Rickmansworth Times’ on Friday, 4th August 1899:
Licensing Business – At the Chesham Petty Sessions on Wednesday, - Mr Hubert J. Wallington (Messrs Albin Hunt and Fourmy) appeared on behalf of the executors of the late Mr James Stone, of the “Blue Ball,” Bluchor Street, (Messrs John and Benjamin Stone) for a new license for that house under section 14 of the Alehouse Act. 1828. – Granted. *

Then in the The Chesham Examiner on Friday, 22nd September 1899:
Licensing Business – At the Chesham Petty Sessions on Wednesday, the full transfer of the license of the “Blue Ball.” Blucher street, from the executors of the late James Stone to Daniel Culverhouse. *

The 1901 Census shows the children, now with Daniel and Ann CULVERHOUSE, living at 34 Blucher Street. Daniel, aged 61, is listed as a publican, working on his own account. In addition to the children named above, there is also a 9 year old nephew, Harry. There was one visitor at the pub at the time of the census, John Arum, a 37 year old involved in shoe work. (The 1891 Census shows Daniel and Ann on Charteridge Road with Daniel listed as a Blacksmith. John STONE, another of Ann’s brothers, is living with them.) *

1903/Daniel Culverhouse, Blue Ball./../../Kellys Directory ***

Daniel died on the 23rd March 1903 without a will. The probate for the grant of letters states that he was a widower and that his natural and living daughter, Annie Elizabeth SOMMERVILLE, is his only living next of kin. I’m not sure what happened at this point regarding either the children or the Blue Ball. (I hope to be able to discover this as I continue my research.) *

Then again in the The Chesham Examiner on Friday, 8th May 1903:
Chesham Petty Sessions. Wednesday – before Mr J. W. Garette-Pegge (in the chair), Mr D G Patterson and Mr G Webb. Licensing Business. Mr T B Fourmy (Hunt and Fourmy), Chesham, applied for the transfer of the license of the “Blue Ball” public house, Blutcher street, Chesham, from Mrs A. E. Somerville, the administratrix of the will of Mr Daniel Culverhouse, to Mr R Wells. The necessary documents were put in and proved, and the transfer granted. *

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 5th August 1904 - TRANSFER BUSINESS. *
Robert Wells also applied for the license of the “Blue Ball,” Blucher-street, to be transferred to Frank Nicholson.

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 9th June 1905 - A CIVIL ACTION AT SESSIONS. – ALLEGED SHEEP WORRYING BY A TERRIER *
Frank Nicholson, licensee of the “Blue Ball” public-house, Blucher-street, was summoned by Mr Daniel Puddephatt, farmer. This was what is termed a “civil” action, the summons being taken out on account of Mr Nicholson’s dog worrying Mr Puddephatt’s sheep, and the latter claimed £1 damges. The Act under which the case was taken was an 1865 measure. … (I suspect this covers anything that is useful.)

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 4th October 1907 - A TROUBLESOME STRANGER *
Harry Dundridge was summoned for doing damage and for refusing to quit licensed premises… Benjamin Batchelor, licensee of the “Blue Ball” public-house, Blucher-street, said on Tuesday evening a man arrived and called for beer. …

1907/Benjamin Batchelor/../../../Kellys Directory

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 13th August 1909 - COTTAGERS’ GARDEN SHOW AND SPORTS. *
… The catering for the general public was in the hands of Mr R. Melville, of the “Blue Ball” public-house, Blucher-street, Chesham.

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 14th October 1910 - ALLEGED TILL THEFT -The First Case *
… Mrs. Melville, wife of Robert Melville, licensee of the “Blue Ball” public-house, Blucher-street, Chesham, stated that… She… identified Franklin an Vinson… Prisoners were then charged with attempting to steal certain moneys, the property of Robert Melville.

1911/Thomas Barnes/../../../Kellys Directory

1915/Thomas G Barnes/../../../Kellys Directory

This comes from “A Salute to One of the Few: The Life of Flying Officer Peter Cape BEAUCHAMP” by Simon St John Beer. I found this book available on Google Books…

“For Margaret Hutton, the landlady of the ‘Blue Ball’, a large, old and in its way, rather beautiful country pub at 34 Blucher Street, in Chesham, near Amersham in the county of Buckingham, it has been a long night. Margaret’s daughter Edith and her new husband Robert have lived at the ‘Blue Ball’ since they became Mr and Mrs St John almost a year ago. With this new dawn, Edith and Robert’s lives have changed for ever, for they have become parents. This for Edith is her first child. Robert already has a daughter, Dorothy, from a previous marriage, his first wife having tragically died young. On 25 May 1917, Robert and Edith are delighted to have been blessed with a child, a healthy, noisy little boy, who shortly will be christened Peter Cape Beauchamp St John.”  *

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 16th February 1923 - TRANSFERS *
Transfer was applied for of the licence of the “Blue Ball,” Blucher-street, Chesham from Margaret Hutton to Cecil Henry Hutton, her son. Mr G. S. Scott represented the parties. The transfer was granted.

1924/Cecil Hy Hutton/../../../Kellys Directory

1928/Cecil Hy Hutton/../../../Kellys Directory

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 4th January 1929 - CHARGE OF SELLING LIQUOR DURING NON-PERMITTED HOURS *
Cecil Henry Hutton, licensee of The “Blue Ball,” Blucher-street, Chesham, was summonsed under the Licensing Act, 1921, Section A, for selling intoxicating liquor during non-permitted hours to Ernest Reading and Arthur Parslow, and the men named were summonsed for consuming intoxicating liquor on licensed premises during non-permitted hours…

1931/Benj E Batchelor/../../../Kellys Directory

1935/Albert E Edlin/../../../Kellys Directory
Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 8th January 1937 - DEATH OF WIFE OF LICENSEE *
We regret to record the death of the wife of a local licensee – Mrs Edlin, wife of Mr A. E. Edlin, licensee of “The Blue Ball,” Blucher-street, Chesham. The funeral was at Greenford Parish Church, Greenford on Tuesday…

1939/William George Welch/../../../Kellys Directory

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 9th December 1960 - BLUCHER-ST WIDENING *
An alternative proposal by Benskin’s Breweries Ltd. for the redevelopment of the site of The Blue Ball public house, in Blucher-street, Chesham, was turned down by Chesham Council last week.
While the Health, Planning and Estates Committee reported that the only permissible use would be for a shop and office, the Council accepted a recommendation from the Public Works Committee that the Clerk be authorised to request he district valuer to negotiate terms for the acquisition of this property.
It was stated that a letter had been received from the County Clerk to the effect that the County Highways Committee had agreed to co-operate with the Chesham Council in acquiring the site.
The County would then buy the land required for the widening of Blucher-street from Chesham Council.

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 10th February 1961 - DRINKING UNDER AGE WARNING *
In his report at Chesham Brewster Sessions on Wednesday, Superintendent L. Strong said that there were 46 premises in the District comprising 27 Public Houses, 12 Beer Houses “On” and 7 “Off” Licenses. This is a reduction of one Public House, The Blue Ball, Blucher-street, Chesham, and two Beer Houses, The Tap, High-street, and The Plough, Broad-street, which have ceased to trade…

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 1st December 1961 - CHAIRMAN REPORTS ON TOWN HALL AND ONE-WAY PLAN *
… “We (the Chesham Society) like The Blue Ball and consider it part of the make-up of Blucher-street,” said Mr Walker. “We fail to see that it will make the road any safer if the road is widened at this point. If it is widened, people will tend to speed down Chartridge-lane and the danger of accidents will be increased. “We want Chartridge-lane one-way so that traffic coming down will have to turn left along Bellingdon-road and round into the High-street.”

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 8th December 1967 *
…The picture above also concerns an old public house, but alas, this one is being pulled down and not replaced. It is the “Blue Ball”, in Blucher Street, which demolition men started tearing apart last week in the first stages of the construction of St. Mary’s Way, Chesham’s relief road. The two bottles on the bar were found in the pub, but nobody will be drinking from them again, nor from the “Blue Ball”.

Buckinghamshire Examiner, Friday 12th January 1968 - FUTURE HAZARD *
Now that Nos. 27 and 29 Church Street have been demolished and Blucher Street’s row of derelicts, including the “Blue Ball” public house, are coming down, it is time to think what Chesham High Street will be like when the new relief road (St. Mary’s Way) is complete in its first stage.
Even now, in wet or snowy weather, pedestrians get heavily splashed when cars go through the High Street at anything faster than a crawl. Imagine what will happen when only south bound traffic will be using the street: and most of the unloading at shops is done from the service road on the east side! Cars that now send mere ripples towards the kerb will usually be going so much faster that they will put up a pretty good imitation of a destroyer’s bow-wave…

* Provided By David Matthews Baker

** Provided By Stephen Harris

*** Provided By Colin Ager

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