Mystery of baby shoes found in attack of historic Mitton pub

The shoes found under the floor boards at the Aspinall Arms, Mitton
The shoes found under the floor boards at the Aspinall Arms, Mitton
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FOR centuries they quietly lay undisturbed and undiscovered.

Until Simon Forster, owner of The Aspinall Arms, Mitton, took to his historic attic, lifting floorboards to lay new cabling and being startled to uncover two baby blue shoes. “They were clearly very old and I asked Ribble Valley historian Frank Watson to come over, take a look and perhaps tell me something about my mysterious find,” said Simon.

Simon Forster from the Aspinall Arms, Mitton, with the shoes found under the floor boards

Simon Forster from the Aspinall Arms, Mitton, with the shoes found under the floor boards

Frank explained: “Hundreds of years ago, burying a single child’s shoe was not uncommon in buildings with dark, often troubling pasts. Strategically placed to ward off evil spirits, normally they would be put behind hearths.

“It’s very unusual and puzzling not only to find two shoes together, but to find them in the attic. It seriously makes you wonder what malevolent spirit goings-on took place at The Aspinall all those years ago that scared occupiers into seeking this kind of double protection?”

Simon’s find was back in 2007, but when Steve Ireland, director of Optu TV, came across the story he too was captivated by the enigma of the hidden shoes.

“Normally our production company spends its time interviewing stars of sport,” said Steve.

“Having just returned from Monaco to film an interview with Usain Bolt I came across this Ribble Valley tale of mystery and was hooked immediately. I wanted to learn more and tell the unexplained tale of the hidden baby blue shoes.”

Having begun filming at the Aspinall Arms, it quickly became apparent the inn did indeed have long and often dark history.

Steve explained: “It was suggested that, given the building’s past, we bring in a medium and we were lucky to get Patricia Davies to come along and give us an interview. She told us the place was exceptionally ‘busy’ and she was extremely receptive to a great deal of paranormal activity.”

Steve Ireland added: “I’m normally sceptical of such things, but even during filming, a number of strange occurrences took place that I find hard to explain.”

As part of the documentary, the tiny and delicate leather shoes were shown to Northampton Museum, which boasts the largest shoe heritage collection in the world and where Rebecca Shawcross identified them as “an interesting example of two individual and well-worn children’s Latchet shoes from the 17th century”.

The World Premier of the documentary, which unravels the mystery of the shoes, takes place at The Aspinall Arms on Saturday, October 29th, accompanied by a full evening of psychic and paranormal events and Hallow’een fun hosted by local Ghost Walker and folklore expert Simon Entwistle.

For details and tickets visit {http:// www.ahauntingexperience.co.uk|www.ahauntingexperience.co.uk}, or telephone The Aspinall Arms 01254 826 223.