IN an odd way, this is the story of four ivy plants. The plants went into the ground along the front of the Nag’s Head pub, Ainley Top, in 1922, along with a neat row of flagstones along the pub’s frontage, carefully laid in place by Sam Clough.
Sam had become the landlord of the pub after bidding £1,000 for it at a town centre auction.
He was a landlord of some note, having run the Stansfield Arms at Apperley Bridge, on the Harrogate road out of Bradford, and the Clough House, Clough Lane, Rastrick, only coincidentally with his surname, several years previously.
Much of this was due to his wife Sarah: it seems as though the pair were a formidable team.
Sam died suddenly in the same year the purchase of the Nag’s Head went through. His widow Sarah, as we noted last December on these pages, took the pub over.
With help in the earlier years from her daughter Mary Ellen, known as ‘Nellie’, she ran it until her death in 1960.
Those iconic ivy plants are still flourishing 88 years later, as are innumerable members of the Clough dynasty.
Sam, from Doncaster, and Sarah, from Barnsley, married in 1897 and had five children – Thomas, Edith, William, John and Mary Ellen.
The eldest, Thomas, who took up farming and brought children Harold and Muriel up at Warren House Farm, Ainley Top, now a cattery.
Harold’s sister Muriel Clough was an expert horse-rider, farmer (winner of the Young Farmers’ calf-rearing contest at a Honley Show in the 1950s), and an excellent pianist.
“She was the talented one in our family,” brother Harold Clough of Oakes says proudly.
But Harold himself was a talented singer, taking part in numerous Mrs Sunderland Musical Competitions. Later and until recently, he was a tenor with Huddersfield Choral Society.