Derby winner memento hoofs it home from Oz!

Kettledrum Inn manager Sophie Withnell with the hoof donated by  ex-pats visiting from Australia.

Kettledrum Inn manager Sophie Withnell with the hoof donated by ex-pats visiting from Australia.

First published in News Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

A POPULAR pub is proudly displaying a strange piece of history following a visit from a couple of ex-pats.

The Kettledrum Inn, at Mereclough, Cliviger, has long shown a pride in the Epsom Derby winning horse it was named after.

Regulars have, in the past, brought in pictures and articles relating to the horse’s famous victory in 1861 – but now the pub is displaying what is thought to be one of the horse’s actual hooves.

Staff at the Red Lees Road inn said they were delighted when two visitors from Australia visited to give them the item. Ex-pats Harry and Diane Crompton, originally from the area, said Kettledrum’s hoof, which had been made into an inkwell, had been passed down through generations of Diane’s family.

However, it wasn’t known how her ancestor had come to own the item.

Kettledrum was owned by Charles Towneley, of Towneley Hall, Burnley, and trained at Dunsop Bridge during his racing career.

St Hubert’s Church, in Dunsop Bridge, was paid for by the Towneley family with the horse’s winnings, and there is a painting of a horse on the ceiling above the altar which is thought to be Kettledrum.

The horse died aged 27 in Hungary after being sold and put out to stud.

Pub manager Sophie Withnell said: “They were here visiting family and were very pleased to see we were open as we were being refurbished on their last visit.

“It was a surprise to see what they had for us, but they just said they would rather it was here, where people could see it. They thought it was a waste being with them and just stored away.

“It’s really sparked conversation in the pub. Everyone thinks it is really unusual. People have given us pictures and articles and we like to promote our history and people like to see it.

“We will be adding the hoof to our collection of display items and want to have it properly framed and mounted. The plan is to put it at the end of the bar where everyone can see it.”

The public house was new in 1861 when Kettledrum had his victory at Epsom and was renamed after the winning horse the same year.

Regulars at the local have included ex-Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and ex-Burnley FC boss Stan Ternent, who name-checked the pub in his book, Stan The Man: A Hard Life In Football.

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