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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

The best of rivals

THE Queen’s Arms is going strong after several centuries but it used to have a rival at Biggar Village on Walney.

Biggar’s alternative watering hole was called the New Inn – even though it gained its drinks licence as early as 1869.

It must have seemed new compared to its near neighbour which has part of its building dating to the mid-17th century.

Some of the beams in the Queen’s Arms are said to be from ships wrecked in the Spanish Armada of 1588.

Until the New Inn opened, it is likely the Queen’s had no formal name – it didn’t need one.

There are records of a beerhouse at Biggar in 1753 when it was run by Jeff Hool.

By 1858 a John Spencer is noted as an innkeeper in the village.

The New Inn was bought in 1929 by Barrow-based drinks firm James Thompson.

Thompson’s had their own range of beers which were brewed under licence by Hartley’s at Ulverston.

The Barrow firm also supplied fizzy drinks in bottles and blended its own spirits.

Biggar’s New Inn served its last drinks on April 18 in 1973 and is now a private house.

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