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Stafford hotel buys back ancient receipt it first handed out 250 years ago

By Jack Averty | Stafford | Entertainment | Published:

An ancient hotel receipt is heading back to the venue where it was first handed out 250 years ago after being sold at auction.

The Vine Hotel, in Salter Street, Stafford, snapped up its own receipt, dated January 23 1767, for £85 at the 'nerve wracking' auction.

The receipt recorded a payment for supper, breakfasts, ale, hay for the horses, corn and servants.

It was found tucked away in a chest of drawers by auctioneer Charles Hanson.

Clare Evans, the general manager at The Vine, said she 'had to buy it' as soon as she heard the receipt was up for auction.

She added: "It was nerve wracking bidding at auction because I’ve never done anything like that before. I was over the moon when we were able to buy it.

“The brewery supported me to buy it and set me a budget but I would have bought it myself if they hadn’t. I plan to frame it with an explanation of how it was found and put it on view in reception.

“It’s an important piece of history. It shows how much times have changed and the rich history of our venue. Some parts of the building date back to the 14th century.

“I have only been here five years, which is a drop in the ocean when you think how old the Vine is. It is the oldest pub in Stafford.”

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The receipt went under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire on Saturday July 1 with an estimated price of between £20 to £30.

Mr Hanson said: “It’s wonderful that this piece of history has gone back to its rightful home.

“We found the receipt in an old walnut chest, which dated to the early 18th century, under the lining at the back.

“Though badly worn, the receipt is still very clear – in January 1767 two suppers were enjoyed for a shilling along with two breakfasts for eight old pence, ale was consumed at four shillings and tuppence, horses' hay at two shillings and eight old pence, corn at two shillings and eight old pence and servant costs were a shilling.

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“This overnight stay, which in modern days might be seen as bed and breakfast, includin dinner with fuel for the horses, came to a grand total of 12 shillings and tuppence.

“This receipt was written seven years into the reign of mad King George III, 22 years before the French Revolution – and 60 years before Queen Victoria came to the throne.

“As an auctioneer, I often ask our clients to check drawers and, following a recent large find of gold sovereigns in a piano, we always check furniture to ensure nothing has been left following a house clearance.”

Jack Averty

By Jack Averty
Senior Reporter - @javerty_star

Reporter with the Express & Star, based at head office in Wolverhampton

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