Smuggling in the 21st century at the Falcon!
“When I first knew the building it was in a very run-down condition. The hotel was pretty moribund. The Park Hotel had taken over from it and the pub was run by Stefan Motyka, born in Poland in 1919. He had been a member of the Polish Free Forces during the War and told improbable stories about his exploits in Italy, and the Falcon was decorated with some of his war memorabilia. He kept a not very good pub. (Pub landlord 1975) But he had the great advantage of speaking Polish and when the Port developed a timber importing trade, whereby ships came twice a week from Gdansk laden with timber to Wivenhoe, Stefan began a very active vodka smuggling business. Stacks of timber were hollowed out and vodka was put there. The odd case here or there didn’t matter, but when it got to trailer load of quantities the Revenue decided this was beyond a joke! Staked out the top of the church and caught him red-handed. So Stefan went to jail and the brewery decided to put the property on the market.”
Resource: Wivenhoe Encyclopedia (www.wivencyclopedia.org/)
See also: The Smuggler’s Century: the Story of Smuggling on the Essex Coast 1730-1830. Click here