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Home > Cheshire > Kent Green > Bird In Hand

Bird In Hand

Bird In Hand, Kent Green

Picture Source: Chris Barrett


 

The Bird in Hand was a remarkably unspoilt canal-side beer-house. It was run by an old couple (mostly by the wife...) and was notable for its utterly unchanging interior; a cramped room with ancient settles, coal fire and a couple of Britannia tables. If you were particularly lucky you may be allowed to sit in her parlour, another small room overlooking the towpath and Macclesfield Canal. Toilet was outside across the yard. The old lady sourced the beer from a barrel settled in the cellar and brought it up to the bar in porcelain or tin jugs. Sadly she died in the 1990's and the place is now a private house (I'd guess it closed in c.1998). In the right light the legend "Bird in Hand" can still be made out (albeit painted over) on the gable wall.
Neil Collins
 
Four of us took a narrow boat round the Four Counties Ring immediately after graduating in 1977.
One of our guidebooks recommended the Bird in Hand in Kent Green, accessible from the canal, or by footpath from the road. No car access.
It was exactly as described on this website - just like a kitchen from the 1950s-60s, and the elderly lady collected beer from the cellar in a jug.
We brought out a pack of cards but she said cards could not be played and suggested dominoes.
The others had not heard of “5s and 3s” and I quickly explained it to my mates, adding that that is what is played in pubs – we were all Maths graduates, so not a big problem!
As we played, some locals arrived and gathered around to watch. They must have thought we were quite slow.
When we finished our game, four of them said “all draw a domino, two highest play the two lowest”. By some miracle (?), they drew both the two highest and the two lowest, and we were able to watch how quickly seasoned players lay their dominoes and score on the pegs. We also realised how a mix of us and them would have been acutely embarrassing, finished our drinks and returned to the boat for a game of cards.
Eric Bridgstock (May 2016)
 

 
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Other Photos

Bird In Hand, Kent Green

Picture Source: Chris Barrett