The Racecourse

The Racecourse Hotel on Littleton Road, Salford, is a piece of pub-going history that we look set to lose. It’s certainly a mammoth pub, of a scale that you simply don’t get these days. Built in 1930 by Salford brewers Grove & Whitnall to fund demand by the nearby racecourse (which closed in 1963) it features a myriad of rooms and an imposing central bar.

Recently CAMRA members were invited to tour the premises and see the areas usually off-limits to the public. These include the two large cellars that aren’t even connected and odd historical hangovers such as the jockey’s room complete with original shelving. It would need a lot of effort (and money) to bring it up to scratch, but the function room upstairs is one asset that could be exploited.

Owners Oakwell Brewery are set to call time at the end of the month and although there’s a chance of a new buyer stepping in, that would mean a major facelift. Anyone interested in pub history (and who isn’t) should try and get along to see this gem of a pub.

And unlike most pubs in the area, the Racecourse does offer real ale: with Bitter at a very reasonable £1.90 a pint. 


Curmudgeon said…
What is perhaps remarkable is that Oakwell have kept it going for so long. Most other such monumental pubs in similar locations are long gone. Very sad to see it go, though.
Paul Bailey said…
Ah, the Racecourse on Littleton Road. As you say Tyson, they just don't build pubs like that anymore.

I remember the place from my student days, when it served Grotty Greenall Whitley ales. It wasn't a regular haunt, but given the fate of other nearby pubs, such as the Kersal Hotel, Staff of Life (both of which were popular student hangouts), I was surprised to learn it was still standing, let alone open and serving cask ale.

Having survived for so long, I sincerely hope a sympathetic buyer can be found. Is there sufficient trade from the surrounding area to support such a large establishment?
RedNev said…
Oakwell has just closed the London Hotel in Southport which dates from 1866. They hadn't invested a penny in it for years and then said it wasn't viable. Coincidence, or a business plan?
Curmudgeon said…
They seem to have bought up a number of pubs of questionable viability, many of which have eventually closed. The New Victoria in Longsight is another example, plus the Weaver Hotel in Weston Point, Runcorn (which may still be trading).

See here for a list of their pubs.
Tyson said…
They are a strange outfit which you hear many rumours about. They are selling off all their pubs and the business itself may fold, I'm told. I'm always intrigued how they kept the only pub in Partington going when all the major pubcos were forced to pull out.
Dimpled Mug said…
Tis a classic there's no disputing, be a shame if it goes as it serves the local community well with bingo and church groups as well as drinkers!!
got a couple of recent pics here:
Dimpled Mug said…
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Dimpled Mug said…
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