Ali and Nicola have kindly allowed these original photographs in their possession to be reproduced here. Some of the recollections are from a document written by Rod Parker to them, giving some of the local knowledge of the pub.
Bishop's Sutton up until the 1990s had two pubs - the Ship Inn, which was considered to be a 'Country' pub (in Rod's description: "chintz sofas, no one armed bandits, no children, no lock-ins, 'genteel'), and the Plough, which was the Village drinking hole ("a beer and a night out playing darts, dominoes, shove ha'penny, bar skittles, or just a natter"). It is unsure when it was originally built, but the earliest photographs in the current owners' possession date back to 1905/1910 -ish. It has been very difficult to pin down exact dates.
Just as difficult to pin down is the exact date of the fire that destroyed the original building. The back of one of these two extraordinary postcards is stamped 1938 - so we can be sure of anytime between 1915 and 1938...
It is clear that the whole village turned out, and I suspect many a folorn look at the loss of what was at the time the village hub. Sheddy Holder, who was in the pub at the time, told Rod decades later that The thatch caught fire, possibly from sparks from a passing traction engine, and all hands were mustered to move the beer barrels to the opposite side of the road outside Malthouse Cottages.
The building was rebuilt completely in the late 1940s, with a front porch area which was later filled in.
It is not known when this photograph was taken, but on the back it is dated 1956 with the name of the owner of the BSA parked in front - sadly the name is illegible.
By the late 1980s, and a succession of licencees, the pub dwindled. It was not a food pub, and according to Rod when the bypass was built in the late 1980s traffic began to wither away. 1993 seems to be a best guess as to the final closure of the pub, and the eventual later conversion into a private home.