Saturday, 26 February 2011

Closed pubs

Ship Inn, Haskayne
Fred and I were out visiting pubs about adverts for our local CAMRA mag, Ale & Hearty.  Two pubs we went to in Lancashire were closed unexpectedly:  the Ship Inn in Haskayne, an attractive canalside pub that has won many CAMRA awards, and the Blue Bell, just down the road in Barton.  I'm fairly sure the Ship will reopen, as I suspect the closure is due to the fact that the couple running it have separated, but I'm not so sure about the Blue Bell as it has been almost empty each time I have visited, but I hope my worries are unfounded.  This follows closely on my  recent post about the Railway in Hoscar, and the closure of the Ring of Bells in Lathom, about which the general view is that it won't reopen.  Our rural pubs seem to be having an even harder time than the town ones.

Closing pubs temporarily between licensees is a mistake, and it's certainly something that never happened years ago.  The danger is that regulars will find somewhere else to go during the closure and not return when it reopens.  I put it down to the fact that many pubs are run by property companies (called pub companies) with no real interest of the pub trade.  Pubs are just cash cows and licensees there to be exploited, and if the pubcos decide a pub isn't viable after all, they usually have a valuable piece of land they can sell.  Letting them take over our pubs after the Beer Orders of the late 1980s was like putting Herod in charge of the crèche.


  1. Another one closing at the end of this month will be the Beacon Inn. It's the pub further down the lane from the Prince William on the Beacon above Skelmersdale.

  2. It's a fast changing scene. Apparently the Ship was open the next day, but with no real ale yet, and the Ring of Bells is due to reopen again; but the Wheatsheaf in Croston and the Eureka in Ormskirk are closed - the latter boarded up, not a good sign.

  3. The Ring O Bells was bought by the same family that have the Eagle and Child at Bispham Green, I have no doubt they have similar plans for it.


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