Lord Nelson Inn, Luddenden


Here I am outside the Lord Nelson Inn which was regularly visited by Branwell.


From April 1841 the 23-year-old was appointed Clerk In Charge Of Luddenden Foot station and he drank in this tavern. He was sacked from the job a year later as he hadn't worked out that his under clerk was stealing funds. Also the notebook used to keep station records contained little to do with the railways. It was full of Branwell's doodles, poems and sketches. Sadly while working for the railways he was writing some of his best poetry and mixing with an important circle of Halifax writers, artists and poets who encouraged him to publish some of his poems in The Halifax Guardian. He also used this pub to meet up with the Luddenden Reading Society.


This pub is down a quiet narrow lane and I'm glad I'd gone in my tiny Smartcar which can squeeze between two coats of paint. Outside along the wall of a pub is a stone bench - was it there in the 1840s? Did Branwell plonk his peaches on it? and some chairs around the war memorial. It looks onto the handsome St Mary's church where I'd gone to find the grave of Thomas Lister descended from a family of master clockmakers whose clocks still sell for small fortunes (I found him buried up by the church wall.)


There were a few ramblers filing into the pub. I sat by the war memorial in the sun and could hear a woodpecker. I've not bought a bottle of Woodpecker Cider for a while I thought and put it on my mental shopping list. Branwell probably last visited the Lord Nelson in 1842 and sadly was dead within about six years. I did a salute and left.