Watt a great theme for the 2019 Bo’ness beer bash

James Watt.
James Watt.

This year’s Bo’ness Real Ale Festival is taking pioneering scientist James Watt as it theme, particularly for the groundbreaking research he carried out at Kinneil.

The hugely popular two-day event will acknowledge this year’s bicentenary of Watt’s death, while paying tribute to his invention of a revolutionary improved steam engine.

The annual Bo'ness Town Hall event is one of the most successful of its kind in Scotland.

The annual Bo'ness Town Hall event is one of the most successful of its kind in Scotland.

It was secretly tested in a cottage in the grounds of Kinneil House before finally being patented.

The Festival will also implicitly acknowledge the special help Watt received from John Roebuck, founder of Falkirk’s famous Carron Iron Works, who lived at Kinneil House while the project was in development.

However Roebuck ultimately went bankrupt, and a new partnership with Matthew Boulton led to global take-up of an internationally successful invention often said to have powered the industrial revolution.

Meanwhile the ale festival on September 20 and 21 will have a separate tribute to Gaius Goodwin, a co-founder of the event, whose image will appear on the festival’s commemorative glass.

A Bo’ness Real Appreciation Society spokesperson said: “The festival this year is tinged with both anticipation and sadness.

“We lost Gaius (Guy/Gus) Goodwin, who died earlier this year in April.

“He was a good friend, a well-kent face in the town and will be remembered by many chatting and serving behind the bar at the festival.

“He will be missed, and we hope everyone visiting this year will lift a glass and toast his contribution to the festival.

“Without his untiring commitment over the last 19 years the festival would not have been the success it continues to be”.