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Grains O'Beck

Grains O'Beck was an inn as well as a farm and seems to have provided a focal point for the community. The presence of the wayside cross, on Cross Hill, indicates an ancient stopping point and thus an obvious place to rest for the night.

As well as the inn there was a chapel cum school building, erected by subscription in 1868, and a post office. The post office operated in the early part of last century, possibly also in the 1800s. The building, a black shed on the south side of the road between the two bridges nearest to Grains O'Beck farm, still remains.

Grains O'Beck Tup show and Annual Fair in October, as well as clipping day, were important events in the dale's calendar. Travellers from Westmorland and surrounding areas would camp here on their way to Romaldkirk Fair, possibly trading horses also at the Grains O'Beck Fair?

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Scene in the bar.
The man on the extreme left is thought to be Matthew (Matha) Peacock and next to him his brother-in-law, Timothy Walton, the tenant and landlord of Grains O' Beck. Second from right is possibly Ernest Peacock?

Visitors to Grains O'Beck inn.
Note the two bicycles and the horse drawn trap.

Postman on horseback.
William Goodburn Walton, postman in Lunedale until c.1934. He delivered the post up the dale and then stayed at Grains O' Beck post office until it was time to collect any mail on his way back to Middleton. His daughter, Ida, remembers travelling with him sometimes and either stopping off at Wemmergill Hall for the day, or spending the time at Grains O' Beck with him.

Sheep Clipping, Grains O'Beck c.1910

Traditionally farmers joined together for 'clipping days' and shared the work of shearing their neighbour's flock. Their wives and families joined in and prepared and served the food, often lunch and tea these were social occasions as well as work. There was a certain amount of rivalry over who provided the best 'table'.

The School Chapel.

Inscription on the lintel reads 'SCHOOL CHAPEL erected by subscription 1868 AD'..

The former post office, on the south side of the road between the two bridges..

Grains O'Beck Tup Show was an annual event for more than 100 years until the 1950s. The 1926 show was advertised as the 90th, and in 1949 it was 103rd, presumably there were years when it did not take place. In the earlier years it was also billed as an Annual Fair, which implies a larger, more varied, event.

The Treasurer in 1888 and still in 1926 was Joseph William Dent, born at Low Nook, later of Swindale Grange, Brough, where his descendants still live. Grains O' Beck ceased to be a pub in 1935 when the Walton family sold up and moved to Kirkby Stephen. The next tenant, Walter Dowson, retained the Tup Show and clipping day, but not the liquor license.

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