Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Kingsleys Snooker Club & The Broken Drum

Kingsleys Snooker Club.
The Old Musgrove Maltings
Hitchin Street
As a town with a rich history of brewing Baldock was unsurprisingly the home of several Breweries, and Maltings.  Places all over the town, and which included in many of these establishments a connection to at least one of the towns many pubs.  Places like The Star, and The White Horse for example, but an interesting one is a place that became a pub.  Two pubs in fact, and one that is still open during this time of writing.  

This place is the Old Musgrove Maltings.   

A place that now in it's bulk exists as a housing complex, but was originally built in 1680.  An inscription that is still present on the side of another part of the building.  On the remaining pub the Broken Drum (The Khoi Khoi). As history goes the rest of the building (Kingsleys snooker club) it remained a Maltings to some point in to the 19th Century, until a decline in trade led to it falling into disrepair.  It was reopened in the early 20th Century as a furniture emporium.  A business that still remains in part to this day, under the name of Gearys.  Although the main part was sold in the early 1980's, and reopened in 1986 as the Billiards, and Sports Bar that would in its most recent times become Kingsleys Snooker Club.    

A place that closed in early 2007, and which has only just this year been redeveloped following its sale to Barwood Homes.  Although the main business, of a sports bar, wasn't the last thing that was to occur on these premises.  In fact after Kingsleys closed - its connected business 'the Candles Health Spa' upstairs became the Pendulum Naturist Spa.  It was closed after the revelation of it's involvement with website Suburbanswingers.co.uk, and a convienient Health and Safety check closed its doors for good later that year.  

The Broken Drum
31 Hitchin Street

'The Broken Drum', also known as 'The Baldock Wine Bar', is a common drinking spot, situated around the center of Hitchin Street.  Named after the tavern in Terry Pratchets 'Discworld' series of books, the original site was a former Green Grocers, but was prior to this formerly linked to the old 'Musgrove Maltings'.  Opened in 1981, despite a petition, mainly from other licensees, opposed to the effect another bar would have on their businesses. Its original intention as a new business was to cater for middle management and professional office workers, and was a request approved sometime in 1980.

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