The Woolpack – Salford

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Belvedere Road, Pendelton.

 

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Once one of five pubs to serve the area, an area of newly built and bustling estates, The Woolpack has finally called and served its time. Despite local residents’ moves to revive this once busy pub, it now stands lost and alone .

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Gene Houghton of Sycamore Court, Pendleton, said:

It was and will always remain the best pub in Salford.

When these doors closed last year a community closed with it. People come from near and far, everyone knew each other and it was a pleasure to go to.

The entertainment was second to none, especially on a Sunday afternoon. It was a fantastic place.

Bez Salford Garden photo by Steven Speed (2)

Even the well intentioned intervention of Happy Monday’s Bez and co has seemingly failed to halt the forces of free market economics and industrial decline

So in area now awash with the great unwashed and ever expanding student population, whose social needs are quite possibly met elsewhere, it remains decidedly:

Closed.

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The Flemish Weaver – Salford

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The transition of Manchester into a town was realised as the rest of Britain experienced an increase in population, due to trade and commerce, in the early thirteenth century. During this time Manchester was also granted an annual market, making it one of the most important towns in Lancashire. This, along with the arrival of Flemish weavers and cloth makers in the 14th century, marked the beginnings of Manchester as a major player in the textile industry.

Brown, Ford Madox, 1821-1893; The Establishment of the Flemish Weavers in Manchester, 1363

Following a wild flurry of activity in the ensuing centuries, wool and silk are replaced by cotton, in a whirl of spinning jennies, mules, flying shuttles and water frames – cottage industries are replaced overnight by the satanic mills of the Industrial Revolution. Subsequently international capital decides that its time to do one – so off they flounce in search of cheap labour and post-imperial commodity supply chains and markets.

The Cotton Club closes its doors forever.

The Flemish Weaver pub suffers a similar fate, built in the 70s to serve the Pendleton Estate – the tab end of post-war prosperity supplies enough tab ends and pulled pints to support several boozers.

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The slow burn of the free market has however, transformed the passing pub trade into a threatened species of ashen faced publicans and absent friends, disappearing in desperately diminishing circles, as time is finally called.

 

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The Flemish Weaver finally closed in 2014.

 

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The Sparrow – Collyhurst

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84 Thornton Street North Collyhurst Manchester M40 8JT

It’s too late, she’s gone
Too Late Too Late
It’s too late, my baby’s gone
Too Late Too Late
Wish I had told her she was my only one
But It’s too late, she’s gone

We spend much of our lives searching for something that once was.

There are maps, guides, street views that are as ghostly as the very destination you may seek, the past is an unreliable path to the present.

Walking up Thornton Street North, through Village Park, a city green space initiative, now largely untended and unloved, you can clearly see where The Sparrow was.

A former estate pub, a footprint.

Away from the white hot heat epicentre of the Northern Powerhouse, you quickly feel the chill of deindustrialisation. Full employment and newly built social housing the stuff of dreams and folk memory, as the future is buried beneath worn lino and entrancing entrance steps, seemingly leading nowhere.

 

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Primrose View – Oldham

Primrose View, 25-27 Ashton Rd, Oldham OL8 1JX

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Once there was an OB brewery here, OB – OK?

Fine Lancashire Ales, bought out by Boddington’s.

Closed down by Boddington’s.

Boddington’s was bought out by Interbrew.

Beer can and will eat itself – Boddies the Cream of Manchester, the transubstantiation of Monopoly Capitalism, it rises to the top, as another local brewery and its pubs sink.

Almost without trace.

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A poor do in the poorest of towns, the view was never primrose.

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The blanked, bricked and tinned windows, have a more than somewhat restricted view of an uncertain future, demolition or redevelopment, planning applied for 2014.

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Another new flue, that never arrived.

The Griffin – Heald Green

Wilmslow Road, Heald Green, Stockport SK 8 3BE.

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Once upon a time, some time ago –

Fields.

Lots of them, full of farmers.

Thirsty farmers in search of succour, or better still, bitter.

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Rough tracks cross the county, ready for the roadhouse ruffians to surface, and resurface as thoroughly modern thoroughfares.

No more back to back, back to basics culture, compact company cars are hereon in, carrying the weary worker back to these shiny suburbs.

You should see the estate they’re in.

A brand new boxy breed of boozer is created, for the blue collared, blue blazered clientele.

 

Post 1980 a fresh wave of affluence demands refurbishment, a squeaky clean ambience for the executive refreshment, entertainment environment.

Gone are the confident rectilinear volumes of modernity, to be replaced by an anonymous non-style style, a confused collision, a mismatched, mishmash mash-up.

Surrounded by plants.

The Three Crowns – Stockport

Manchester Road, Heaton Norris, Stockport. SK4 1TN

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In the 1960’s you were built as an estate pub by Boddington’s to serve the new housing developments at the top of Lancashire Hill, two large rooms separated by the bar.

You were transformed into the Cosmopolitan and latterly the Venue.

Applications were made for change of use to a takeaway and a carwash.

Neither would take, or wash.

In March 2009 you closed your doors to the drinker forever.

Like a seriously unwanted child you were snapped once and only once it seems.

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Prior to being boarded up and out.

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Then reinvented as luxury apartments.

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I’ve belatedly redressed your absence from presence, here’s my small gift to you.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Three Crowns, take a bow.

 

 

The Railway Hotel – Longsight

Berigan Close, Manchester, M12 4QT.

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Once there was a Railway Hotel here, once there was a railway too.

The nearby Longsight Shed teemed with Carriage and Engine Cleaners, Firemen, Drivers, Guards, Fitters and Shunters and all the requisite ancillary support staff.

Thirsty work.

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Firstly the first Railway Hotel disappeared, then the railway too.

Sidings once full of stock and sheds full of locos, stood emptier.

Ghostly.

Less spare capacity rolling stock, less cleaning and maintenance, less of everything.

The area was redeveloped, back to back terraces replaced by brand new homes.

The Railway Hotel reappeared, a brand new Boddington’s house for brand new people in their brand new homes, neat sleek and well, new.

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Through the 70’s, the final death throws of late industrial capitalism required far fewer hired hands, no more thirsty work for tired lads and lasses.

No more Railway Hotels.

Railway Hotel Berigan St

Tinned up and turned into a mini-market.

Through a succession of owners, the building has survived, as a retail outlet and multiple occupancy residential homes.

There are now virtually no pubs left in the area.

Making things poorer and poorer for the pourer.

Thanks to Dan Granata:

http://manchester-estate-pubs.blogspot.co.uk

http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass