Smuggling and The Queen's Head, Blyford
This was more of a way of life than anything else in the 17th and 18th centuries. A number of Inns were the centre of smuggling tales and of course ghost stories were bandied around to keep nosy people away. There were the Hadleigh gang and the Sizewell gang and the local Inn that had a smuggling pedigree was the Queen’s Head at Blyford.
The story is told that when John Key was landlord in the early 1800s, the Inn was used as a hiding place for contraband.
One day they were warned that the custom men were on the way so they rubbed mustard and turpentine on the arms of their daughter Mary Jane. When the customs arrived they were invited in but told their daughter was very ill. They opened the door and after one look left in a hurry!
Mary Jane it seems later married and lived with her husband in Nowhere House, opposite Brook Farm. It is said that she gave her husband a sword that her father, John, had taken from a dragoon. Naturally they say that ghostly footsteps are heard on the floor of the first floor bedroom. It’s a good story anyway.