IT is almost 20 years since one of Warrington's most popular landmarks was destroyed.

The historic Bay Horse pub was illegally demolished in early February 2005.

The popular pub was on Winwick Street and still is thought of fondly by many in the town.

Built in the mid 1850s it was a former Greenall Whitley pub before it was pulled down, although it was closed when the demolition took place.

Jan Kubelik, the Czech violinist, was one of the famous faces to stay at the Bay Horse around the turn of the 20th century.

While it was also a popular watering hole for many past players from Warrington RLFC.

And it was especially the hub of a thriving community in Warrington town centre at the turn of the 20th century.

The pub, a Grade II listed building and two cottages, were demolished on Sunday, February 13.

Developers should have got permission from the borough council before demolishing the three buildings on the corner of Tanners Lane and Winwick Street.

But they failed to do so.

The pub was built in 1796, but it was during the tenure of Ethel and Tommy Roberts during the start of the 20th century that some of the most famous people of the day were customers at the Bay Horse, including the Formby family.

In fact, the Bay Horse pub played an important part in young George Formby’s life.

When he ran away from stables in Ireland, where he was training to be a jockey, he ran straight to the Bay Horse pub and asked his ‘uncle’ Tommy Roberts to let him stay.

Apparently, it was a famous pub of the Formbys because they were able to take the children along to play with Tom’s kids while they had a drink.