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.