Emma Blinker
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The Blinkers 

They first came to prominence when John Blinker built the Shepherd and Dog Inn in 1862. He and his wife Elizabeth had 13 children. They are as follows:

Martha Kate Blinker, born 1st August 1844 Georgina Blinker born 9th April 1861
James Blinker born 24 June 1845 - died 20th October 1867 Alfred Thomas Blinker born 29th April 1861 - died 21st January 1866
William Blinker born 1st October 1846 Hannah Agnes Blinker born 28th February 1863
John Blinker born 29th October 1847 Caroline Blinker born 9th December 1865 - died 29th March 1866
Mary Blinker born 17th December 1848 - died 10th August Thomas Alfred Blinker born 1st July 1866
1849 Henry Blinker born 21st October 1856  

Also: Hannah Blinker, born 15th March 1823 - died 27th December 1886, aged 63 years (not sure of family connection) In 1896 we know that: John Blinker was Parish Clerk and Newsagent Henry Blinker was a Bootmaker William Blinker was the licence of the Shepherd and Dog Inn In 1916, on the death of William, his widow Emma took over the Shepherd and Dog. the obituary of William in the Bury Free Press makes interesting reading, it reveals interesting facts into a funeral at that time of the century.

The Death and Funeral of Mr William Blinker

On Sunday week, 3rd December, passed away a highly respected inhabitant of Moulton in the person of Mr William Blinker, landlord of the Shepherd and Dog Inn, Moulton. Deceased met with an accident in the summer, being thrown out of his trap, and had not been in good health since. He had been landlord of the Inn for 30 years. The Shepherd and Dog was built by his father Mr John Blinker, who owned it for several years, On his death in 1886, the Inn was sold to Messers. Greene and King of Bury St Edmunds and Mr William Blinker then became the landlord. He was shepherd to the late Mr Gardiner, French Hall Moulton, for a great number of years. Mr Blinker also did a great deal of fancy sheep trimming for shows, being sheep trimmer for Lord Derby and others of the nobility, and holding innumerable certificates, diplomas and prizes gained at the different agricultural shows etc.

Deceased was the treasurer for the court "Stag of the Valley", Ancient Order of Foresters (Moulton). The funeral took place at the parish church on Thursday afternoon, 7th December, The Rev E.Wooton, rector of Kennett officiating. The coffin was polished, with brass fittings and was inscribed "William Blinker, died 3rd Dec 1916, aged 70 years". The undertakers were Messers F Hammond and Son of Newmarket. The bearers were four foresters from the Moulton Court (Bros Scrivener, W Goodchild, E Woodhouse and G Bragg), the principal mourners were Mrs Blinker (widow), Mrs Vincent (daughter) Master Gilbert Vincent (grandson), Mrs Deaves (sister), Mrs Plumb (sister), Mrs Clarke (daughter), of London, Mr Tom Blinker (brother), of Cambridge, Mrs Cowell (sister), of Bury St Edmunds, Mrs Bailey (sister), of Bury St Edmunds, Miss Alice Deaves (niece), Mrs L Langley (niece), Mr O Plumb (nephew), Mrs Webb (cousin) Among others assembled were Messers W Jennings, John Layton, Wm Wright, Mr Webb, Mr Woodhouse, Mrs Wright, Mr C Poulter (sec representing the Moulton Foresters) Amongst the floral tributes were two beautiful crosses, in kind remembrance from his sister Martha and nieces Alice and Lillie R.I.P. On Sunday afternoon last of the mourners, with the members of Court Stag of the Valley, A.O.F., in full regalia, attending a service at the parish church. The service was conducted by the Rev. E.Wootton, rector of Kennett.

Emma Blinker - Oldest Licensee in England

Extract from the Bury Free Press 29th January, 1929.

Mrs Emma Blinker, of Moulton, cheerful landlady of the "Shepherd and Dog"

Mrs Blinker in 1924, Licencee Shepherd and Dog pub from 1916-35 Oldest Licencee in UK at time died 1935 aged 97Mrs Emma Blinker, licensee of the quaint little inn, "The Shepherd & Dog", Moulton, celebrated her 90th birthday on Tuesday of last week, and is probably the oldest licensee in England. Yet she is one of the most active persons over, say , 50 years of age and certainly one of the most cheerful. When a representative of the "Free Press" called on her and wished her many happy returns of the day (and why not?), Mrs Blinker answered the door herself, a quiet spoken little old lady, with a sweet and ready smile, she was neatly dressed and wore a small lace cap. "I asked Mrs Blinker whether she celebrated her birthday" writes our representative, but she replied that she did not feel she could entertain an any way. "I have only my youngest grandson living with me " she added. Mrs Blinker said she had seen many changes among the people in Moulton during the 70 years she has lived there, though the village has not changed so greatly. She told me she was not born in Moulton, but at Wyverstone, near Stowmarket. "but I like living in Moulton" she declared. We got talking of the flooded ford nearby and Mrs Blinker said she had known the flood water to go up to the Rectory garden and people to be unable to use the entrance to the Rectory.

Mrs Blinker told me she has only been the licensee of the inn for three years, since the death of he oldest son, though of course she has lived there for many years. Her husband the late William Blinker, she said died on December the 3rd 1916 and Messers Greene King and Sons Ltd the brewers, had allowed her to carry on the inn. "They have been very good to me", said Mrs Blinker. Before I left, Mrs Blinker hospitably offered me refreshment and when I suggested that she should allow me to photograph her, she smiled and said "I shall make a pretty picture," but she was willing to come to the door of the inn and stood there smiling while I took a snap.

Mr Blinker was not able to give me the recipe for old age. "I never thought I should live so long she said." But I think I know the secret of her long life, it lies in her sweet and gentle disposition, her ability to appreciate little kindness and to return them, thinking kindly of others. Many of our readers join us in wishing her many happy returns for her birthday.

2000 John Gunson, Village Recorder


A Forest Heath District Council (Suffolk) Project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Millennium Festival 2000 Designed by ArtAtac