Gudbuy T' Jane George

And so another Bury drinking institution bites the dust. The George on Market Street has finally given up the ghost and will reopen shortly as a party supplies/card shop. No one has obviously told them that the £300 million development (the biggest outside of the Olympics) is actually on the other side of town. Oh well.

With the demise of the George, only three original town centre hostelries remain open. But let’s not get too nostalgic for the George: it was never one of the greats. It was always a bit of a plodder beer wise and had a reputation as a “fighting pub”. For many years, a paddywagon used to park alongside at the weekends and had its fair share of “characters.”

Still, I would have thought it was viable as a pub. It’s got a good location in the centre of town, close to the travel interchange and always had a decent trade. Problem is that it’s been abused over the years. Firstly by Whitbread who changed it from a reasonably smart multi-roomer to an open plan format. After that, it went gradually even more downhill, with a succession of owners who didn’t know really what to do with it.

So, not too many tears, then. More a sense of frustration that it never reached its obvious potential. It did have its moments, mind. Who can forget the Sunday afternoon meat raffles? The mid-afternoon lock ins? Not forgetting my ten pint Stella lunchtime session whilst at college-it was for a bet, ok. However, undoubtedly its greatest historical came when I, on being informed that Stella had gone up to £1, confidently proclaimed that they had lost the plot, as “no one sane will ever pay a pound for a pint of beer." And I think you'll find I've been proved right.


Cooking Lager said…
Indeed you have. 40p a can in tesco and £3 a pint pubs shutting. No one want to pay more than a pound and no one has to.
Curmudgeon said…
I often walked past the George when I worked in Bury but never actually crossed the threshold. Pubs like that often seem to fall between two stools – they have gone away from being a traditional boozer, but can't really cut it in the youth market either. The Chestergate Tavern in Stockport (which like the George has a potentially good location) seems to be in the same situation.
TIW said…
Ah, the meat raffle. Benchmarker of one of my favourite type of pubs. See also: racing results on Ceefax.

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