THE KING ALFRED HOTEL - Walney Island
Ocean Road, Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria LA14 1HA
See also: Vickerstown
During 1899 the 'Isle of Walney Estates Company' applied for a trading license for a public 'free' house to be constructed on Ocean Road / Promenade, that would be named 'Vickers Arms', both this and all their subsequent applications were to be rejected. Although public refreshment was offered to the Vickerstown estates folk in the form of a converted house at Gatacre Street, the company owning the estate, Vickers Sons & maxim took a decision that two 'community' hotels should be constructed instead, the names of which would be the 'King Alfred' and the other, the 'King Edward on Douglas Street. We know today that only the King Alfred came to fruition as the escalating costs of the Vickerstown estate signaled the 'death knell' for the Edward.
The 'Victorian gothic' styled 'Alfred's' official opening ceremony executed by Earl Grey heard by those attending, the hotel opened as 'HMS King Alfred' after a locally constructed first of class warship. The King Alfred Hotel opened it's doors for business for the first time during 1904 when it came under the control of the Public House Trust for both Walney & Barrow Island after they successfully applied for and gained a 'restricted' license, itself proving a relief to the company after earlier applications for a public house license had been rejected. Whilst being under control of the Public House Trust for Walney & Barrow Island much of the revenue was transferred into the Vickerstown Societies funds.
1920 saw the transfer of the 'Alfred's' ownership into the hands of Thompson's. As well as changes of ownership the building itself has undergone many a change, the most recent 'major' change has seen the two rooms of the lounge and bar become open plan making one large room. There is a bowling green to the north side of the hotel, a play area to the south and car parks to both front and side, the south side car park itself has also been added only recently.
The front of the King Alfred looks out directly over the BAE SYSTEMS Marine Barrow berths giving it an excellent vantage point for dynamic ship launches, most recently those of HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark. During a period of closure and fears for its survival the King Alfred was sold and subsequently the doors reopened in 2015.
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