Wednesday 16 February 2011

Another one bites the dust

I was taken aback, although not entirely surprised, to see the Four Heatons pub on Didsbury Road in Heaton Norris boarded up during the course of yesterday. In the morning, going to work, it still looked open. In the evening, returning home, the boards had gone up.

It is (or was) one of two pubs within easy walking distance of my house, although not the one I tended to frequent. It was built in 1971 as the Moss Rose to replace an old pub of the same name further down towards Stockport town centre. Despite the unprepossessing modernist exterior inside it was more congenial and comfortable than you might have expected.

It was built with separate cellars for mild and bitter, and I remember many years ago being taken down into the cellars by the licensee and being shown the impressive rows of barrels (and I mean barrels) on the stillages. Twenty years ago it was thriving and shifting large quantities of Hydes Light and Bitter through electric meters. More Light than Bitter too in those days. Unfortunately after that it started to go downhill, not helped by one or two licensees who struggled to get a grip on it.

In the early 2000s, in an attempt to revitalise its fortunes, it was renamed the Four Heatons and given a surprisingly smart refurbishment, although the exterior still didn’t give a proper impression of what was inside. However, this didn’t seem to do much to stem its long-term decline, and recently it always seemed very quiet, so its final closure in hindsight looks inevitable. There comes a point where you start to sense the “smell of death” about a pub. Note the smoking shelter on the right-hand side which was added post-2007.

Apparently the site is now to be redeveloped as flats. This now means that for a substantial area of housing, much of which is quite prosperous, there is now no pub within half a mile.


  1. Half a mile!. Luxury. Mind you it depends on what you call a pub.
    I have about 4 miles to get to anything that even resembles a pub now.

  2. So, you can expect an entirely new selection of friends at your 'local of choice' which, ironically, has now become the only local you can chose.

    The dreadful status quo for so very many.

    I sympathise.

  3. In practice it's often been remarked that the closure of one pub in an area doesn't noticeably generate more trade for the others.

    The other pub I referred to is in the opposite direction from my house and so actually not all that close to the Four Heatons.

    Half a mile is significant because surveys have shown that most people won't walk to a local pub beyond that distance.

  4. the four Heatons will be missed although I have never been in the store I run the Best One convenience store a little further down the road. the closure of the pub has had a positive effect on sales but that is niether here nor there when you can bet a pound to a penny that the site will end up in the hands of Tesco wich will see an end to the small convenience store were every customer is an indevidual not to mention the four heatons were prety good customers too

  5. It is sad that the pub has closed. We were regulars in there and we all use to meet up especailly on a sunday and the older people who cant walk far use to come in for a game of cards. Now its shut we all have seemed to drifted apart and dont see each other as often and a few havent even bothered to go out as the pubs are to far for them to go.
    It is a real shame!!!!

  6. Yes, very sad. In its day, it was a true community local. And your post underlines the point that, when a pub closes, many of its customers will be lost to the pub trade entirely. They won't necessarily just redistribute themselves to other pubs.


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