Going Going Gone?

All of a sudden Bury seems to be experiencing the pub crisis that is sweeping Britain. The number of pubs, and we’re talking decent boozers here, that are closed and boarded is quite worrying. Of course, as everywhere, we’ve actually been haemorrhaging for years, but losses have been at a steady drip-drip rate. And with the odd new opening, and some of the old ones getting a second chance, it’s been easy to ignore the problem. Time was when you just waited for a new tenant to move in and see what changes that brought. Not anymore. Now you have to seriously wonder if they are ever coming back into use.
A quick look round illustrates the point. Up in Ramsbottom, you’ve got the Good Samaritan. Once a thriving local, its closure has to be ascribed to the mismanagement of Enterprise Inns. Seems they’re not actually interested in running pubs anymore. If that’s the case, then they should get off the pot. The longer it remains closed, the less chance there is of it coming back into use. It’s already a miracle that it’s not been vandalised. Realistically, thinking of the car park space, you have to think that ultimately it’s destined for more houses.

Further up, right on the main road, and part of the infamous “Rammy Mile” is the Old Dun Horse. A large Thwaites pub, it always had a reputation for attracting hardcore dickheads. Always did a good trade, though. It’s got a place in history, as well, hosting the annual Old English Gamecock Show on New Year’s Day. This tradition dates back to 1843 and is believed to be the oldest such show in the world. Interestingly, this actually replaced an even older traditional event-cock fighting, but I digress. Recently Thwaites spent not an insubstantial sum bringing it up to scratch and, amazingly, reintroduced cask ale. However, now there’s metal plates on all the doors and windows-apparently the licence has gone and it’s rumoured to be on its way to becoming a nursery.

Down in Whitefield, I’m informed that the poor old Albert has already met its nemesis, and is now just a pile of rubble. One of your basic community locals, the Albert was mainly famous for (long ago) its raunchy strippers and for being keg as long as anyone can remember. Still, one gone is one lost forever beyond the redemption of a return to cask. Not even your country dining pub is safe, it would appear. The Shoulder of Mutton in Holcombe village is deserted and in a state of disrepair. The villains once again: Enterprise Inns. These modern Sheriffs of Nottingham are offering it on a 3 year lease. Nothing wrong with that until you discover it needs £25000 spending on the roof. No wonder no one is biting their hand off. Meanwhile the rain pours in and its future looks bleak.

Even long standing giants of the Bury pub scene seem to be succumbing. The mighty Pack Horse at Affetside has been closed and boarded for some time now. This one we can’t lay at the door of the pubcos, however, as it's alleged that the long serving licensee has simply done a runner. Still, not good news. I’m hoping as this is a Hydes tied house, that the problem is only temporary. However, it’s been closed longer than I would have expected, so I will be watching that one very closely.

At this rate I may need to take up home brewing.


Tandleman said…
Good points well made Tyson. These hard time are getting harder too.
Stonch said…
"The number of pubs, and we’re talking decent boozers here, that are closed and boarded is quite worrying"

You say that, then go on to illustrate it by describing the closure of three pubs that sound crap...
Tyson said…

Well, the point was thriving pubs that are now closing. Quality didn't come into it. However, out of the examples, only the Albert could actually be described as "crap." As I say, the Old Dun Horse was recently poshed up and all the others are/were quality pubs.
dave said…
Unfortunately all too true in the present climate. Even dining pubs are not immune. I think we'll see it get worse before it gets better.

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