The White Horse – Eccles

110 Gilda Brook Road, Eccles, Salford M30 0DX

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This was a pub, now it isn’t.

This is a pub with history.

Beverly Callard her story:

A make believe Coronation Street Rover’s Liz MacDonald, in a real life bar.

Situated at the head of a seriously urban dual- carriageway, hard by a motorway roundabout, a quintessential Sixties Boozer. Pale brick two-storey heart, with lower level lounge extensions.

Once a Robinson’s house, now like so many of their estate, divested of lustrous gold branding, festooned in the Sainsbury’s Local colours of burgundy and orange.

Their orange is a mix of two Pantones – 60% Pantone 021 and 40% Pantone 804.

They seem less forthcoming about their background shade of red.

Things didn’t work out for Bev – as the Manchester Evening News, so sympathetically reported.

“Bev Callard took over the pub in 2005 and later bought the Gallery in Hale Barns.

But she was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2008 after the pubs went bust leaving the couple with debts of £150,000.”

Subsequent tenant Bernadette Harvieu fared little better, she took over the pub after winning £250,000 with a National Lottery scratch card, however –

“I couldn’t afford the prices Robinsons were charging for their beer and brought in beer so they have told us to leave.”

The Queens Arms – Audenshaw

Guide Lane, Audenshaw, Manchester M34 5FF

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A survivor – The Queens.

Despite the addition of several porches, pergolas, hanging baskets and assorted picnic tables, its solid brick two storey soul, and lower level bar areas, remain intact – unrendered and unwhitewashed.

The northern elevation clearly retains some sense of its original self.

Branded now as “Manchester’s Finest Carvery” – it was busy on my early afternoon visit, gaggles of grey-pound clutching customers spilling out of serviceable saloons, coupés and shooting-brakes, into the waiting warmth, of this timeless temple to heated meats.

“Never fails in giving excellent food at reasonable prices. The vegatables for the carvery are kept in hot water so the do not go hard and dry from standing under hot lamps. The roast potatoes are devine. Give this restaurant a try.”

I went in once – once upon a time.

Dog and Partridge – Heaton Mersey

Didsbury Road, Stockport, Cheshire SK4 3AG

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Just down the road from my home on Didsbury Road, stands a pub on Didsbury Road.

The Dog and Partridge once an estate pub, clean lines, bare brick, fur coat no curtains.

You know the score.

Over time a boozer gets ideas about itself, ends up getting rendered and whitewashed by the Brewery’s guileless gentrifiers, who possess the unwholesome taste of a past their sell by date bag of pound shop crisps.

Not satisfied with the Farrow and Ballisation of our culture, we now have to contend with the Argosifiers too.

Where will it all end?

I’ve never been in, thieves have though!

A masked gang were frightened off from a Stockport pub by the landlord and landlady. 

Officers describe the gang as wearing dark clothes and balaclavas and carrying large knives.

Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Machent said: “The landlord and landlady were understandably shocked to be confronted by these three intruders in balaclavas. Thankfully neither of them was hurt, but we want to stop these men from doing this again.”

Harehill Tavern – Hattersley

35 Hattersley Road West, Hattersley SK14 3HE

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Last pub standing, serving the windswept streets of Hattersley.

Busy on a Monday afternoon, following a festive family Bank Holiday Sunday Fun Day.

“You should have come yesterday.”

The Landlord’s Mum suspicious at first, then warmed to the idea of my interest in their boozer.

She busily tidied the front yard, following the previous day’s session of intense al fresco smoking, berating the local chuffers, and satisfied I wasn’t from the Council.

– I never am, I’m from everywhere.

They’re doing alright.

The Peaks Hotel – Ashton Under Lyne

Gorsey Lane, Hazlehurst, Ashton u Lyne OL6 9AU

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The land beyond beyond – where Greater Manchester almost, but not quite, gives up.

But not quite.


On the edge of the Pennines, high atop an almost hill – stands the appropriately named Peaks Hotel.

A boozer I knew as a lad, an ever open off licence serving cider to miscreants, who thought nothing of jumping their fence, to steal empty bottles, exchanged for pence, from the very place whence they came.

A boozer I knew when older for an evening pint with my Mam and Dad, waiter service from the ever efficient tall and slim, white coated Les – complete with free and easy organ accompaniment.

Drinking undrinkably fizzy glasses of Toby light and Brew X.

Now white faced, blank eyed and alone it stands with its back to Hartshead Pike.

A proud brooding building.


Chapman Arms – Hattersley

Stockport Road, Hattersley, Hyde SK14 3QF


Another *overspill* amenity that bit the dust.

Empty drip trays filled with evaporated tears.

Another of Robinson’s Estate, to exit yet another estate.

The Chapman Arms stood by the bypass – passersby no longer stopping by.

The darkened windows and doors sheeted with blank plastic, reflect a distorted, sadly spiralling view of an uncaring world.

Desperately attempting to hang on to some sense of itself, as a shop, take away or café – a series of doomed alter-egos failed to ensure sufficient cash, through a dormant silent till.

Talk is of flat conversion or flattening.

No future.

Four in Hand – Hattersley

Hattersley Road East, Hattersley SK14 3EQ

four in

Hattersley – above Hyde beyond Manchester.

Created as an *overspill estate* to ease inner-city housing congestion, hopefully affording a more amenable, rural life.

Seven of its 1960’s tower blocks were demolished in 2000, Tameside Towers is next.

Hattersley – once home to Ricky Hatton.

I chatted to former resident Keith – he’d been happy in his home in the sky, buying binoculars to watch the passing airplanes and birds.

Since rehoused in a nearby maisonette, there is much less to see.

Or do.

The estate once had five pubs, now only one remains – not the Four in Hand.

A boarded up bricked bunker of a boozer,  elevated and nestled against the flats.

The wind now whistles, little else.

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