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 .
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.