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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Next Stop on the Pub (Art) Crawl: The Old Smithy in Ivybridge, Devon, England


I imagine a scene something like this: the pubkeeper comes out on the sidewalk to speak to the visitors staring at his sign. "Come in, come in," he says. "We're open!" But they just keep staring at the sign, as if they haven't even heard a word he just said. Finally one snaps out of his stupor and says, "Nah, we don't want a pint, we just came to see your pub's signs."

It could happen, you know. This old pub is in a village that was once on the main route between Exeter and Plymouth on the coast. The pub door opens right out onto the street. Mail coaches and freight wagons must have passed by here, bringing and taking all that would sail on the seas.

The coach road is now the A37 and the big motorway passed the village of Ivybridge by, and the smithy became a pub. Perhaps the smith went from tending the fire to tending the bar.  Someone somewhere along the way commissioned some worthy artwork to commemorate this building's hard-working origins. And it's well done.

The Old Smithy Pub Sign Ivybridge

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