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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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 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

 

Jack and Jill – Brinnington

Brinnington Rd, Stockport SK5 8AD

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High on a hill, above Stockport town centre sat the Jack and Jill.

Built in 1954 to serve the emerging nearby social housing estate.

A curved brick frontage overlooking the Goyt Valley.

Classical Moderne with a splash of Brut – it’s all over.

In happier times it served the Community.

 

 

I returned to find:

Tinned-up doors and windows, no sign of a sign.

No sign of signs of life, save the landlord of eight years packing up to leave for pastures new, The Friendship in Romiley.

“I want flat caps, darts and dominoes, its got a bowling green too!”

I asked if the Jack and Jill was to be demolished?

“It’s up for sale.”

No amount of vinegar and brown paper, I fear, will put Jack back together again.

Jill perpetually tumbling.

After.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Swinging Sporran – Manchester

78 Sackville St, Manchester M1 3NJ

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South of the border down Manchester way, on the wrong side of the Tweed:

– sat The Swinging Sporran, closer to the culverted Medlock than thee.

What’s in a name?

The decontextualised allusion to outlandish Bamforth innuendo and Caledonian capers.

The Swinging Sporran now, no longer swings.

It began as an abrupt end to a multi-storey car park that wanted to go on forever.

A sociable adjunct to the Umist campus and a suitably Modernist companion in both style and demeanour, bunker like brick blocks just about topped by a residential core.

It became home to live music and DJs of every stripe, enough to induce spots before your very, very wavy eyes.

With thanks to http://www.mdmarchive.co.uk

The Swinging Sporran becomes The Retro Bar, having acquired a kiosk and coffee bar along the way, and an over elaboration of signage and detail that incautiously disguises its original spare aesthetic.

You can if you wish, escape through a door, climb the stairway to the stars, and gaze at the campus below, hurry though.

Nothing lasts forever.

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The Clarendon – Collyhurst

27 Pinehurst Rd, Manchester, M40 8QB

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I’m turning a corner.

I’m turning a corner in my life, I’m turning a corner.

Into Pinehurst Road.

The Clarendon is a shock and a pleasant surprise, an open elevation of slabbed precast concrete, exterior steel spiral staircase attached.

A central residential block, with single storey lounge and bar extensions, surrounded by sufficient space to circumnavigate, marvel and snap with consummate ease.

Laura the current tenant comes out to chat, she’d worked there for some eighteen years, and when the pub fell empty just before Christmas, she decided to take it on. Determined to maintain continuity for a community pub which she, and hopefully others valued.

Never an easy undertaking.

We went inside, a clean orderly and cared for interior, warmed by a single Calor Gas heater.

“It’s too dear to put the heating on all the time.”

Good luck Laura.