Saturday 20 June 2009

Time gentlemen please!

I recently drove along the A627, the main road between Ashton-under-Lyne and Oldham, and was struck by the fact that along its four mile length there seemed to be more closed pubs than open ones. For most of the way it runs through areas of traditional terraced housing, but it’s still heavily populated and except right at the northern end has not fallen victim to dereliction. But, despite this, the majority of the pubs along there are now closed, and I’d like to bet most of them have shut their doors in the past two years. The potential customers are still there, but the pubs no longer have much appeal for them. The events recounted in this story of a working-class local are only too typical of the demise of thousands of pubs up and down the country.

And I note that the first comment refers directly to Ashton:

My town Ashton u lyne (once a garrison town) was a hub for the local SE Lancs area. 100 pubs, clubs, discos, bars, taverns catering for every taste. Now a wasteland, venues boarded up, part closed, empty, dead or part filled with the living dead. Even the salvation army has stopped selling the war cry. Wetherspoons has managed to attract the lost souls from the closed pubs, an Enterprise pub has reopened as a Kamp Karaoke venue. A thugs den does "late sessions", take a Rottweiler or a tame gorilla Outside the bingo hall an handful of old ladies brace themselves against the ever prevalent Pennine gusts. The young slither into the tenements where cider and Smack abound.
The last couple of sentences almost sound like a Ted Hughes poem!

1 comment:

  1. Martin, Cambridge22 June 2009 at 20:38

    Yes, it's very sad. I'd add that this stretch also runs through some particularly country park (Daisy Nook), which would grace most parts of the country and bring in a lot of pub custom (suspect there's more meals served in the IKEA). There's a few good Robbies pubs to the east of the 627 though.


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