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The Silk Kite, Tamworth

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
Published December 26th 2015
Art Deco Pub Owes Much To History Of Electricity
There can be few more distinctive pubs anywhere than the unusually named The Silk Kite in the Staffordshire town of Tamworth.

But not to be outdone by its striking appearance, The Silk Kite, in Church Street, Tamworth, also has a compelling history to match.

The Silk Kite
The distinctive front of The Silk Kite pub


This Art Deco-style building has been a feature of Tamworth - and the surrounding area - since the mid 1930s when it was built for the Tamworth and District Electric Supply Company following the arrival of electricity to the town.

The impressive looking building, with its original imposing 45 foot clock tower, was designed to serve as showrooms and offices for the electricity company.

However, in the mid-1970s the clock tower was dramatically reduced in height by two thirds over fears that it was structurally unsafe.

The Silk Kite
The Silk Kite with its outdoor seating area


And, as the electrical company vacated parts of the building, Tamworth Council took over some of the offices, while a local museum stored some of its historic artefacts in the vacant electricity showrooms.

The pub that we now see on the site first took shape in 2002 when the ground floor showroom was converted into a Chicago Rock Café after the electricity company completely moved out.

And then, in 2009, pub chain JD Wetherspoon took over and re-developed the former cafe into the current pub.

The Silk Kite
Part of the spacious interior


All that remained was to find a name for the new pub and, so was born The Silk Kite which takes its title from the building's original use as an electrical showroom.

The Silk Kite is so named because of the experiment conducted by famous 18th century American scientist Benjamin Franklin, who proved that lightning is electricity by flying a kite in a thunderstorm.

The Silk Kite
A selection of the beers on offer


Today, the building still retains its striking, if reduced, clock tower, while the spacious interior provides plenty of seating in and around the main bar area where regular beers such as Sharp's Doom Bar, Ruddles Bitter and Abbot Ale can be found alongside guest ales.

The Silk Kite also boasts a splendid food menu at any time of day or day of the week, starting with their popular breakfasts served up to 12 noon.

The Silk Kite
The Silk Kite in Tamworth


The menu, which is available right up until 11pm, also ranges from 'pub classics' such as Fish and Chips and Beef and Doom Bar Ale Pie through to Paninis and Wraps, Steaks and Gourmet Burgers and Sandwiches.

Further information can be found by visiting www.jdwetherspoon.com/pubs/all-pubs/england/staffordshire/the-silk-kite-tamworth
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When: All year
Phone: 01827 305970
Where: The Silk Kite, 59-60 Church Street, Tamworth, Staffordshire B79 7DF
Cost: Beer from £1.95 a pint, wine from £2.50 a glass
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