'There were two pubs in Flordon. The Black Horse which was situated in the village and the Railway Tavern near the station...' Walk along The Street and there were three shops, including a Post Office. 'Now there is nothing - even the mobile shops have stopped coming...'

The Black Horse 

The Black Horse, The Street, Flordon, c.1915
The Black Horse, The Street, Flordon, c.1915

Mr Charlie Bishop was last landlord. He was a plumber, too - his wife ran the pub during the day. He was also a keen fisherman and would sometimes offer fresh fish to one of his customers.
'You could go round to the back door and buy tobacco.'
There was a tennis court out the back where people would go and play.

The pub was affected by flooding along The Street. Mr Bishop or his son would be out there with a tractor towing cars out of the water.

The pub had closed by 1968. The Bishops owned some of the adjacent land where the allotments were. This was later sold off for housing.

A wonderful Tom Nokes photo taken outside the Black Horse during WW1
The landlord, Fred Havers, is the man with the pipe holding holding his daughter, Peggy;
Fred's wife Maud is holding the dog. The visiting bill-poster has his brush and glue-pot.

The pub may have been functioning in 1794 (or may be muddled with the White Horse in Hapton, on the boundary with Flordon). Sometimes known locally as 'The Forge' because many of the earlier landlords were also blacksmiths and the forge was across the yard. Later this outbuilding became a carpenter's shop when Fred Havers was landlord as he was a carpenter!
Closed end of January 1966. 

Information on breweries and landlords at the Norfolk Pubs website

EDP 6 Feb 1902
A dinner was given at the Black Horse by Sir John Morris and Mr P Berney Ficklin to the keepers and brushers, and a few friends, to the number of 36. The chair was taken by Sir Kenneth Kemp.... A capital dinner was provided by Host and Hostess Bullen....

Railway Tavern

Situated opposite the road to Flordon Station, it was known locally as "the Slip Inn". On the air photo above the former Tavern is the white house, though it no longer looks like this today. After it closed as a pub, the former Railway Tavern became a farmhouse. Note the railway line top left. 

The last landlords were Mr & Mrs Brooks. Alan remembered that  Mr Brooks also cut men's hair. There was a cellar at the pub and Janet remembers Mrs Brooks toiling up and down to fetch different bottles.

The Railway Tavern was opened in 1851 (only 3 years after the station) and the licence was surrendered in 1958. A Steward & Patterson pub. There is a list of landlords at the Norfolk Pubs website

Norwich Mercury, 15 May 1869
The WATER MILL, "RAILWAY TAVERN" several DAIRY FARMS, Orchards and Gardens, COTTAGES, and ACCOMMODATION LAND, contained altogether 304a. 1r. 16p., adjoining the Flordon Station of the Great Eastern Railway, within a few minutes journey of the city by rail, or a drive of seven miles.
MESSRS. SPELMAN have received instructions from the Executors of the late THOMAS BRIGHTWELL, Esq. to SELL BY AUCTION, on SATURDAY JUNE 12th, at twelve for One o'clock at the Rampant Horse Inn, Norwich, the above desirable PROPERTY. In Lots.

This was Lot IV of the Brightwell estate sale in which the Railway Tavern is described as a 'recently erected house with stables and outbuildings situate near the Station with 1 acre 1 rod 34 perches. Held by Messrs. Steward and Patterson, under lease, 52 years unexpired next Michaelmas. Rent £10.'


'There was three shops on The Street: the Post Office run by Mr Harbour, who also had a cobbler's shop, and a General Store run by Nellie Seedon, a rather eccentric person.'

The Post office and the shop used to be in 2 cottages along The Street, before you got to [i.e. west of] The Rectory. Herbert Harbour took over as postmaster from Albert, his father. He was also a bootmaker and had a place at Mulbarton where he did shoe repairs. His wife Alice ran the Post Office. Allan Moore remembers: 'Mr Harbour kept the Post Office/sweet shop and I have had 1d-worth of sweets from there many a time'

'Mr Goodrum was the postman - at Christmas time we'd wait outside for him to come and always had a gift for him, usually a cigar.' (Joy Herrell)

The shop next to the PO was run by Nellie Seaden in 1939. When she retired, she walked miles every day. When it closed, another opened up in a bungalow near the end of Long Lane, run by the Brothertons.

The last shop in Flordon was a wooden hut in a field off The Street, past the path to the church. It was run by Mrs Coxford, but closed in the 1970s and she moved to Tasburgh.

Trade Directories give a glimpse of shops and services in the past:

White's 1864: POST OFFICE at Emma Coleman's. Letters desp. via Long Stratton at 5.30 p.m.

Kelly's 1883: POST OFFICE.--Mrs. Emma Coleman, postmistress. Letters through Long Stratton received at 7.45 a.m.; dispatched at 5.30 p.m. Long Stratton is the nearest money order & telegraph office, but messages are received at the railway station.


Groceries - Mr Rix from Mulbarton had everything, including fresh fish. Geoffrey Moulton came from Hempnall with groceries.

Bread - Masters, the bakers of Newton Flotman 
Milk - George & Mytle Allen 
Meat - George Catchpole, the butcher at Newton Flotman 
Fish & Chips - Halls to begin with, then Russells - on a Saturday & Tuesday evening (above) 

Now, about the only mobile service is the library, which comes every 4 weeks on a Wednesday and stops in Flordon, near the railway bridge, for 15 minutes in the early afternoon on its way from Hapton to Newton Flotman.