While it’s name may suggest nautical links, the Ship Inn in Blaxhall is in fact so called for its connection to sheep – or as they would have been known in the Suffolk dialect, ‘ship’.
On the Sunday night before the shearing season started, the Blaxhall Company of Sheep Shearers would gather at the village inn. The shepherds of all the flocks the company proposed to shear during the ensuing week would be summoned to the inn and the process of “allotting the sheep” would begin. The captain of the company would arrange with each shepherd the day that would suit him best for shearing; and the shepherd would undertake to have his flock ready on the appointed day. Having made their arrangements for the week the company would disperse.
This was just one of many important roles the Ship Inn played in Blaxhall life. To this day the inn remains an important part of the village community and many of the traditions George Ewart Evans observed, such as step dancing and folk singing, continue to be practised.