Wednesday, 16 February 2011

End of the line for the Railway?

On a trip of West Lancs pubs for the Good Beer Guide, we stopped at the Railway in Hoscar.  The landlady was temporarily not in and the couple of regulars who had agreed to keep an eye on the place until she came back must have had heart attacks when they saw our coach pull up.  This is a cosy little country local right next to the railway station.  The handpumps showed Tetley Bitter and Black Sheep: most of us opted for the latter, but it almost immediately ran out, so Tetley it was, as these regulars couldn't change the barrel.  I never cease to be surprised by the popularity of Tetley's, considering how insipid, tasteless and boring it seems to me.

The landlady returned and the Black Sheep was put on.  She told some of our group that she was leaving the following week and the pub would be closing.  Whether the closure is permanent or not wasn't clear, but even if the pub company did intend to replace the licensee, the supply of people willing to try running a pub with all the massive risks that now entails is, it seems to me, beginning to dry up.  Fewer willing mugs with the dosh to gamble.

I hope this little rural pub can get back on its feet, but with the small number of customers in there on a Saturday afternoon when we arrived, it's not promising.


  1. Smoking ban or pub companies? I know where I'd put a large chunk of the blame.

  2. Me too. Those who say the the smoking ban is the root of all evils in publand seem to forget its introduction coincided with the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. People were going to stop going to pubs anyway.

    Most pubcos have done little or nothing to help beleaguered licensees.

  3. Prior to this couple taking over the Railway I used to call in most tea times. The trouble was they tended to open when they thought people wanted to eat rather then look after what was a very good early doors trade. Sometimes it was open, sometimes it was closed. As soon as the Hopvine opened and the Ship aka Bloodtub started getting better people re-located, my self included.

  4. That doesn't seem good business sense to me. More like shooting yourself in the foot.


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