Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Shakespeare to be demolished?

I've heard a rumour that the Shakespeare, Southport's local hard rock pub on Scarisbrick New Road, may be closed down and demolished to make way for new homes. 
The Shakespeare (formerly WD Suttons, and before that the...er...Shakespeare) hasn't sold real ale for years and had been closed down once already.  It reopened in April last year as a live music venue with a Harley Davidson in the window, and it's been dubbed the Shakespeare Bard Rock Cafe with its own Facebook group. However, since late last year the live music seems to have been stopped, perhaps as part of some wind-down. Not looking good.

Many years ago, the Lunchtime Legends, the band I play in, was performing in the function room upstairs. The beer was Moorhouses Pendle Witch (5.1%), but they only had a Premier (3.7%) pumpclip ~ no one believed me when I pointed this out to them. Not until next morning, that is. I think it was the liveliest gig we've ever played. I really doubt our style of music would suit the current clientele! On another occasion I was asked to play Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" at my friends' wedding do, also in the function room.

It's not a pub I'd be inclined to go into nowadays, but it would be a shame to see it closed and knocked down.


  1. In 1969, this was the venue for the very first Ceilidh (country dance & song)that the Bothy Folk Club ever held. The High Level Ranters were the band. It's also been a temporary home to the Club over the years when refurbs etc. meant a brief move from the 'Blundell.'
    I spent some great times there in the '60s, when it was a Greenalls pub (I knew diddley squat about beer then) and my 30th birthday crawl kicked off there - ooh, a year or two back! I've been to many a social function upstairs like RedNev too.
    There is some fabulous Victorian heavy, ornate tiling in the hallway and up the stairs which in itself deserves preservation. The billiard room boasted at least two full size tables, maybe three? accessed via the Virginia Street side entrance and at one time there was a bowling green - where the filling station is now I think.
    This is distressing news, despite the state the pub has lapsed into over the past 10 years.

  2. You're right about the tiling, but I'm sure it will all just end up as part of the rubble.

  3. It could have done with more support

  4. Perhaps, but isn't that true of most pubs that close down? Sadly Southport has lost several pubs in recent years.

  5. So now it sounds like the floppy rabbit won't be put to death after all, with the councilmeisters resisting the chance to put it out of its misery.

    So Harley-Davidson continue to receive great, free publicity. And the Visiter continues in its bid to become the funniest local newspaper in the history of printed organs. Was it me, or did anyone else notice the atrocious gaffe manifesting itself in the main caption on the Shakey story in last Friday's Vis.


  6. I saw the gaffe too ~ nothing new there, I'm afraid. The Vis reports that the pub isn't to be knocked down, hence the "saved from bulldozers" headline, but the article makes clear that demolition hasn't been ruled out by the owners.

    I also read in the same edition the Vis has extended its "support local businesses" campaign to Churchtown. Well done Vis ~ printed in Oldham!

  7. Its still standing and there was live music there untill 2011. Factual reporting by both you and the vis ;)

  8. My heading had a question mark and I made it clear that I was reporting a rumour that I had heard. A question and a rumour do not constitute facts, so - logically - I got no facts wrong. I am glad the building is still standing, but as it's an empty pub on a large site on one of the main roads into the town centre, I'd say it is still very much at risk..


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