Saturday, 26 February 2011

I told you so

Shown to the right are four pictures of the Four Heatons (the former Moss Rose) in its current sorry closed and boarded state. This was the second-nearest pub to me and, while I never thought it was the best pub in Stockport, or even the best of the two, over the years I have spent a fair bit of time in there and drunk plenty of beer. I also carried out the surveys for its inclusion in the Good Beer Guide for six consecutive years from 1995 to 2000, although it didn’t go in solely, or even primarily, on my say-so.

And now, it’s gone for ever, obviously battered by the general long-term decline in pubgoing, but undoubtedly to my mind kicked over the edge by the smoking ban. For a while in the mid-2000s, after its refurbishment, it seemed to do OK, but since July 2007 it has clearly been in a downward spiral. It may not look at all promising now, but in its day it was a very decent pub with a healthy trade and a strong community following.

Obviously sad news, but am I entitled to feel a twinge of self-satisfaction in saying “See? I told you this was going to happen, and you wouldn’t believe me!”?

The banner on the third picture advertises “Kält Lager £1.99 all day every day; Hydes Original Bitter £1.99 Mon-Thu”.

The fourth picture, taken through the fence, shows the abandoned smoking shelter.

5 comments:

  1. The snap of the "smoking area" says it all - bit pathetic really given the efforts that some pubs have gone to to accomodate smokers. Having said that, some pubs that initially installed outside heaters are now turning them off to save money. How short-sighted is that!

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  2. The smoking shelter was actually better than you give it credit for - if you look at the first picture, you can see an extensive lean-to alongside the right-hand side of the pub. Also I think one or more tables have been removed in the final picture.

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  3. Anon: The only smoking area I've ever felt comfortable in cost £40,000 and is in Central London. Venues for rich people can afford such things but the ridiculous terms of the Health Act dictated that pubs were never going to be able to look after their smoking customers properly. As such, why make the effort? If it's cold, it ain't getting used, that's all there is to it.

    Just as with minimum alcohol pricing, the lobby groups who claim they are trying to help the less well off have only derogated lives for them, while the rich are fine, thanks very much.

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  4. 'it was a very decent pub with a healthy trade and a strong community following.'

    Sums it up for me. Community's was the job taken by Hazel Blears. We don't have one any more.

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  5. The wooden boards have recently been replaced by metal ones, making it look even more of an eyesore.

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