FALMOUTH’S leading waterfront pub the Chain Locker is undergoing a major upgrading due to be completed at the end of March next year, pending final planning approval.

St Austell Brewery PR manager Chris Knight said: “Once completed, this extensive project will not only quadruple the employment opportunities at the site but also ensure more long-term employment prospects in Falmouth by facilitating greater visitor numbers across the year, as well as greatly enhancing the positive visual impact of the locality.”

After the refurbishment programme the entire site will be known as the Chain Locker, with the Shipwright’s name for the other bar being discontinued.

When asked if the nautical memorabilia will still feature in the pub Mr Knight said: “Everything is planned to be returned to the pub to retain its traditional character and feel.

The quayside bar famous the world over was named the Chain Locker for a very good reason. Labourers who worked the coal schooners, coastal traders and coal carts around the quay in the early years were paid in a small room on the seaward side which is now part of the public bar.

Covered in coal dust and grime the men were paid by the stevedore Mr Jimmy St Ledger, who sat behind a zinc covered table in the pub.

The late Jock Drennan, the most well known landlord, who took over the pub in 1941 said the Chain Locker was a dirty part of the ship and he thought the bar should be called the Chain Locker – the rest is history.

Fixed to the ceiling is an enormous wooden eagle which is part of the funnel markings of the tanker San Veronico, part of the Eagle Oil fleet which often visited Falmouth for repairs.

In the entrance is a yellow board with the number 736 written on it. This is the slipway number of the Cunard liner QE2.

A maritime museum in its own right, this quaint waterside pub has long given up many of the nautical antiques that made it famous with mariners.

Captains of well known ships including Captain Dan Parker of the tug Turmoil, waterfront characters, lifeboatmen, salvage tug masters all frequented the hostelry where the ale was second to none.

Closing time was something to be remembered. The fog horn would sound, bells rang out, somebody blew into a sea shell and a ship’s telegraph was rung Full Away – happy days which luckily I remember well.