Saturday 12 November 2011

Never coming back

I was saddened to see recently as I was passing that the Railway at Heatley near Lymm was in the process of being reduced to a pile of rubble. I wrote about it earlier here. This former Boddingtons’ house had been a long-standing Good Beer Guide entry and was one of the very few remaining traditional, multi-roomed pubs in the area. The main bar, with fixed wooden benches lining the walls facing the counter, was one of the most congenial drinking spaces I knew. And that particular part of the pub had been non-smoking by choice long before the ban. Most pubs I know that have closed have, to be honest, at least in their latter days, been pretty dismal. But this had been a damn good pub almost to the end. It featured in the 2008 Good Beer Guide, which was published at pretty much the same time as it closed.

It closed its doors forever in the Autumn of 2007 (I wonder what could have happened earlier that year to cause that – Ed). For a while it featured in the sidebar as a touchstone of whether we were going to see any kind of revival of the pub trade. But, despite being situated in a prosperous area with no shortage of nearby housing, it was not to be. None of these people who are always bleating about what great opportunities there still are in the pub trade were prepared to put their money where their mouth was and take it on. Now any chance of that happening has gone. Outside the urban bubble, this is the reality of what is happening to so many pubs in the wider world.


  1. Many more to follow if what I saw the other night is normal.
    Pub 1, nearly empty, flat Guinness £3.50.
    Pub 2, 4 punters, 2 members of staff that both walked away on my arrival. Left.
    Pub 3, warm spurge Guinness £3.50. No chance.
    Pub 4, the much maligned Wetherspoons, quick service, good pint and cheaper.
    Most pubs seem to be clueless on how to treat the few punters about. Don't be surprised if they never return.

  2. Anon 18.40 and Wetherspoons ??

    Sad how do you do when an Englishman ends up having a night out in the Dens of Despair
    My local "spoons" is the rendevous of half deads ,half wits and
    various depressents not to mention benefit legions of the damned
    Check out the mutants on the machines and the tables with
    the crinklies nibbling with loose teeth
    Just Sad Cafes with Alcy license.
    Not fit for purpose

    Enough said on Englands decline

    We shall remember

  3. "Check out the mutants on the machines and the tables with
    the crinklies nibbling with loose teeth"

    You are a thoroughly unpleasant little snob, aren't you Anon?

  4. I don't know Stockport but this sounds like a sad loss. However, can it really be blamed on the smoking ban, given that it closed just after the ban came in and the place already had a non-smoking bar? Don't get me wrong; I loathe and detest the fact that I can't light up in a pub but it strikes me that there might have been other issues with this pub. Posting this from a position of supreme ignorance; any enlightenment would be welcome.

  5. It's not actually in Stockport, it's here about 15 miles away. It's impossible to say that the smoking ban was the sole reason for the closure of any pub, which is why I phrased the comment as I did, but I suspect with this one it may have pushed it over the edge.

    I heard a rumour that a new licensee had alienated some of the existing clientele and it could have been that that, combined with a post-ban drop-off in trade, made the pubco decide it was no longer viable. It was on Fleurets website for sale for quite a while but obviously found no takers as pub. The site will probably now be redeveloped for housing.

  6. Sorry PC, should have registered that this pub was in Heatley not Stockport. Agree that an idiot landlord can do massive damage to a pub. However, we come back to a subject you have covered before; where have the gin & Jag brigade gone? I don't know the area where this pub is/was but it sounds like a well-heeled place which could support a good pub.


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