Magic Sticks

April 16, 2008 at 11:32 | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

The Majestic Hotel

The Majestic Hotel (or Magic Sticks, as it is often called) has been a landmark and meeting place at the junction of Duke Street and Michaelson Road since time immemorial. That splendid iron and glass awning may look shabby but to be fair, it doesn’t look any shabbier than it did forty-odd years ago when I first remember it. The Majestic’s cavernous and rather insipid bar closed down a few months ago, and the space subsequently reopened as a pasta and pizza joint which seems to be very popular. A much smaller bar seems to be in the process of fitting out. Through the window I have noted handpumps on the new bar, so this may be a hopeful sign.

The Majestic has been celebrated in verse, by local poet Robert Straughton. Barrow didn’t only build ships for other countries, it trained the crews too, and during their training they spent time in Barrow with their ship. Because of its proximity of the shipyard, the Majestic was a popular watering hole for sailors, some of whom later found themselves on opposing sides as in the Falklands/Malvinas conflict. Straughton wrote:

Barrow-built carriers and Barrow-built subs
Hunted Barrow-built frigates
Santísima Trinidad bore Barrow-trained men
Sheffield was her sister
Their crews sank
Pints together in the Majestic Bar



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  1. This may be my second comment, the first doesn’t seem to have got through! I’m posting to make sure you keep the blog going, Rosie! Great photo and comment, as usual!

  2. It’s the first I’ve seen, Anne. Glad you enjoyed the show anyway.

  3. It was good to hear the radio interview and your choice of “Walney Island Discs”!

    You’re right – it is nice to get blog comments from other people – I wonder why there are no comments on Bill Clark’s blog site?

  4. I love all that iron work!

  5. Ahhh, fine awning indeed, but did the great Willie Horne ever dine there?

  6. Dine? I doubt if he dined there but I think it goes without saying that he and his teammates drank there from time to time!

    I rather imagine the Barrow RLFC team celebrating their 1955 triumph with fish and chips on the way home from Wembley.

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