Declan’s small piece of Bainsford’s Big Bar

A teenager has his own mementoes of his community’s history – a finial and street signs from the former Big Bar building in Bainsford.

Declan Kennedy (17) has grown up in nearby Mungalhead Road and has always had a fascination to the landmark red sandstone building.

At the end of last year demolition work began after Falkirk Council deemed it must come down for health and safety reasons, after several near misses for pedestrians with falling masonry.

The building had become derelict after a major fire in 2005.

Despite several attempts to safeguard its future and carry out renovations, the building, which used to house the popular pub and flats, was deemed unsafe.

Declan, a pupil at Carrongrange High School, has been watching the work with a keen interest.

Dad David said: “Whenever we take the dog out for a walk or if he is in a car, we always had to go past the Big Bar. His mum Maggie used to think it was strange but it seems we have a real family link with the building.

“My dad Tommy Kennedy, along with my gran and grandad stayed in the top flat. Their livingroom was the big bay window, right at the top.

“They stayed there for a number of years while my grandad worked part-time in the bar while still working in the foundry during the day.

“Eventually he went full-time in the bar as the brewers wanted him due to his knowledge of the bar, especially the cellar. But eventually he went back to the foundry and they moved out of the flat.”

David said the bar was once the biggest in Scotland and rumour had it you could drive a horse and cart around it!

Declan’s interest came to the attention of Councillor Robert Bissett and he surprised Declan, his parents and sister Kirsten (14), with their own little bit of the Big Bar for their back garden.

Along with the finial stone and street signs, the councillor had a plaque made to mark Declan’s interest in the building.

The councillor said: “When I heard of his fascination with this building – and the family connection – I thought it was important to give him some memories he could cherish.”

Thanking Mr Bissett, David said: “This is a great thing for Declan to have and we are very grateful. He is now asking what will happen to the site so I’m sure his interest is not finished.”