1962 Anthony and Bob Kirkland in Bakewell, England

1962 Anthony and Bob Kirkland in Bakewell, England

The late evening summer sunshine slanted through the frosted glass windows of the Bell and Ivy. The Victorian limestone building dated back to the eighteen hundreds. The building in Bakewell had been in the Kirkland family for over a hundred years, the last ninety as the local pub. The people of Bakewell had come to judge the seasons by the changing colour of the ivy that clung to the exterior of the two story building. A large brass bell hung just inside the mahogany and glass door with the etched-glass Kirkland crest. It rang out across the town to announce Kirkland births and deaths. It had been rung twice in this generation, twenty-six years ago when Robert was born and four years later for Elizabeth.

The interior of the pub with the dark wood panelling and heavy tapestry curtains had changed little over the years. The current owner and publican Padraig, or Paddy as addressed by all; had spruced up the interior with subtle wall sconced lighting and wooden oak tables with red padded seats. Else it was all as it had been a century ago.

On an evening, locals and tourists alike crowded the bar at the Bell and Ivy. The Beer and Ale were the best; the food cooked by Paddy’s wife Maisie wholesome, and the atmosphere always cheery and welcoming. Paddy would be at the counter for a chat. Behind him on the back wall were the portraits of generations of champion Kirkland boxers. Paddy was always ready to show these off to tourist and local alike. The stories grew more colourful and outrageous with repeated telling as the beer flowed and the evening sped on.

The oldest boy in each generation grew up understanding that he would inherit the business and probably also be the pugilist of the town.

CONTINUE READING in the attached 1962 Anthony and Bob