In the past few weeks news has come through that they have closed the Royal Oak on High Street in Stockport town centre – scene of this unhappy episode – and the imposing Bull’s Head on Stockport Market Place. The Royal Oak had obviously been a “dead man walking” for some time, and the Bull’s Head has never really seemed to find a niche in the twenty-seven years I’ve lived in Stockport.
It is an impressive building, and you do wonder whether, in such a central location, some other pub owner could not make a go of it. However, the once-thriving Market Place drinking scene is now a shadow of its former self, with Bambooza (formerly Yates’s) and Sam’s Bar firmly closed and the Pack Horse seemingly struggling. The town’s centre of drinking gravity seems to have switched more to the Crown – Magnet axis further west.
Most of the dead wood in the local Robinson’s estate now seems to have been culled – but you do have to wonder whether further pruning might be on the cards. There are one or two pubs in the general Marple/Bredbury/Romiley area that appear a bit run-down and underappreciated.