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Letter to the Osmaston Estate

Saracen's Head

I am given to understand that the people of Shirley presented to Major Harding at the Estate Office a petition asking the Trustees to consider their wishes, and not to close the Saracen's Head Inn, Shirley.

A fortnight has now elapsed and the people heard nothing more of their petition.

Is it your wish that the house, (for which the renewal of licence has been paid) should be closed, with no conviction whatever against it?

Do you allow a man who sends fathers and brothers to the front and keeps his own sons to do as he likes with the Village and your property?

Do you allow him to deprive the Shirley Soldiers of their Beer when they return, for the object of finding a home for one of his cowards who is going to get married?

Lastly do you allow a widow with three young children to keep to be turned out of her house in War time, after nearly 40 years tenancy? Is this remembering old tenants?

My mother will not get a penny compensation, since Mr. Goodall is allowed to close it voluntarily. It means a loss to her of hundreds of pounds.

I now respectfully ask you to consider the Shirley peoples' wish.

I am only 16 years old, and have not liked to write to you before but I think perhaps you have not had the case fully explained to you.

Will you please let me know something definite by return, as mother has only a fortnight in which, if necessary, to make arrangements for the removal. Trusting you will pardon my troubling you and will hoping that you will give the matter your kind consideration.

I remain,

Yours Truly,

From a typed transcription, unsigned and undated. Probably written by Thomas Henry Mellor when he was 16 in 1918. Thanks to John Young, former landlord of the Saracen's Head, for the source.

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