Hat & Feathers, Mason Street, New Cross. (c) Mace at flickr.
Further down Mason Street from the Red Bull was a great boozer, the Hat & Feathers. The pub was run by Bernard and Mary Armstrong in the 1970s and '80s, and the Hat & Feathers was a popular blue pub, with some memorable trips to Wembley starting out here. Barney went on to manage the Railway on Railway Road in Hollinwood, Failsworth, where he was Vice Chairman of the Failsworth Blues Supporters Club for a time. Barney's daughter Julie and her husband Malc still run the pub today.
Railway, Railway Road, Hollinwood. (c) Gene Hunt at flickr.
In recent years the Hat & Feathers had became known as the pub that "welcomed home a gangster". Eric Mason, one of London's most notorious gangsters from the Krays era, had made Manchester his base, and, the Hat & Feathers, his second home. After a stretch inside he had a celebratory home-coming in 2004.
'Death of a pub', Hat & Feathers, Mason Street, 2009. (c) BinaryApe at flickr.
The Hat & Feathers is seen in better days as a Threlfalls house in 1971. I nipped in here for a pint in about 2003, maybe 2004, just before it shut. Holts was the order of the day, as ever at a reasonable price, then £1.40 a pint.Hat & Feathers, Mason Street. (c) Adam B. at flickr.
Now surrounded by some of the best pubs Manchester has to offer - The Marble, Angel, Crown & Kettle, Smithfield, Fringe... - the Hat & Feathers sadly missed its chance to become part of the Northern Quarter ale trail.
Hat & Feathers, Mason Street. (c) Ancoats Forever Facebook.
The Society of Preservation of Beers from the Wood (forerunners of CAMRA) published a piece on the Hat & Feathers in their May 2005 edition of Pint In Hand. At the risk of this being lost in the internet ether, here it is:
Manchester still retains a good number of traditional back street pubs, unlike such places as Leeds, which has lost virtually all of them. One such hostelry stands on Mason Street, a short cut for folk travelling between the pubs on Rochdale Road and those on Swan Street. I draw your attention to the Hat & Feathers, one of the city's authentic inns. From what I could see from the tap, this is a triple roomed pub that still retains some original internal wall tiling, as well as proper leaded lights. Our resident expert declared these to be pre-1920s examples and therefore Art Nouveau as opposed to Art Deco. There is a brass foot rail for those energetic souls like myself who prefer to stand at the bar and please note the genuine snecklifter latch on the main door; unfortunately I didn't have time to do a more thorough survey of the pub. A touch from the days of my youth was the advert for the one-time almost obligatory Saturday rock & roll disco. I'd say the Hat is plainly popular with the locals to judge by the huge spread that had been laid on in a back room for a presentation to the pool team. The beer, Holt's bitter, was very good and it was a shame that there wasn‟t any mild on as well. Now for the gloom input: I am informed that the area around the Hat is to be redeveloped and we all know what that means – adios pub.