Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Falcon, Kay Street

Falcon Hotel Kay Street Bolton

The Falcon in the late-1920s when it was owned by William Tong & Sons Ltd of Blackshaw Lane, Deane. Tong's was taken over in 1923 by the Warrington brewery of  Walker Cain Ltd who commissioned photographs of their recently-acquired pubs.

The Falcon was situated on the corner of Kay Street and Turton Street but was a casualty of road improvements when Topp Way and St Peter’s Way were extended in the eighties.

The pub dated back to 1803 [1] and was one of 21 pubs owned by William Tong & Sons Ltd, whose Diamond Brewery stood on the corner of Blackshaw Lane and Deane Road.

It was a rounded corner pub although the room on the left next to the entrance to the pub had less of a curve than the vault to the right of the entrance where the bar was also rounded in parallel with the curvature of the outer wall of the building.

There were also two back rooms one of which was regularly as a meeting room by a number of local societies.

It was a good local’s pub in a working-class area and in its final years it served cask Tetley Mild and Bitter that was kept well enough to merit inclusion in a number of editions of the Good Beer Guides during the eighties.

The pub closed in early 1987 when, along with the Peel on Higher Bridge Street, it was demolished to make way for the extension to Topp Way. There was some scepticism about the scheme – a correspondent to the Greater Manchester beer drinker’s magazine, What’s Doing, pointed out that similar plans over the previous 15 years “had come to nought” [2]. However, within a few months of the plans being made public a closing date was set. [3] Licensees Keith and Helene Partington, who had been in charge of the nearby Spread Eagle, when it closed its doors for final time some six years earlier, moved to the  Bowling Green on Blackburn Road.

Nothing remains of the site of the Falcon. It was demolished soon after closure along with neighbouring properties. The top end of Turton Street was subsequently widened so anyone driving along Topp Way and then down Turton Street towards Tonge Moor probably drives through the space once occupied by the Falcon. The area to the rear of what was the pub is now occupied by the Bolton Gate retail park.

[1] Bolton Pubs 1800-2000, Gordon Readyhough, published by Neil Richardson.
[2] What’s Doing, the Greater Manchester beer drinker’s monthly magazine. July 1986 issue.
[3] Bolton Beer Break, published by the Bolton branch of Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale. November 1986 issue.

The site of the Falcon Inn. The pub was situated on the corner of Kay Street and Turton Street roughly where the traffic lights are in the centre-left of the photograph. Copyright Google Street View. Image dated April 2012.

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