Friday, 19 October 2012

Railway Tavern, Hoscar, closes

Regrettably, it's looking certain that the Railway Tavern in Hoscar will not reopen. The pub has been struggling for a while, despite being situated next to Hoscar station on the Wigan to Southport line. It had been a reliable real ale pub for quite a few years, with the Spring 2012 edition of Ale & Hearty reporting that it was selling Thwaites Wainwright and Greene King IPA, but at the same time stating that it was struggling to keep its head above water. On an earlier visit, the beers were Tetley Bitter and Black Sheep.

CAMRA opposed planning permission to redevelop the pub into residential accommodation, but their objections were overruled, so that is pretty much that. The pub dates back to the 1850s when it originally provided food and lodgings for the workers on the Wigan to Southport line. It was out in the sticks, really, with few houses nearby and just a bit too far away from Burscough to get much trade from there. While it was a cosy pub and popular with its regulars, there simply weren't enough of them to keep it going. I did anticipate that it might not last when I wrote about it after I had visited in February last year. Unfortunately I was right and we've lost another country pub in our area forever.


  1. This is a pub I have frequented for many years. Last time I was there they were not selling real ale. "We might have some at the weekend", I was offered smooth-flow, I declined and left.

    It's a great shame as it had the feel of a great community pub, the only problem being the community wasn't large enough to support it. Potential customers who may have gone there were being tempted into the Ring o Bells, the Ship and the Hop Vine. All three are in this year's Good Beer Guide, all offering a far wider selection of beers and all offering excellent food in a dedicated eating area. With such competition within a two mile radius and a high rent to pay, there is little wonder it failed to survive.

  2. When I lived in High Park, Southport over 40 years ago, this was a favourite destination when I'd bike there via the country route, over the moss. Just a basic Tetley pub then and I don't think it even had cask ale at that time but it was cosy and friendly. It's tragic but trade has been well down over the years, not all trains stop at Hoscar now and it's another victim of the on-going pub malaise.

  3. It's a shame because it was a decent pub but the decline in the number of customers over the past few years for various reasons have just brought about the inevitable. The Ring o Bells is OK but it isn't the drinkers that are keeping it open. Friday and Saturday nights are low in numbers and at the prices they charge - £2-70 min/pint when the HopVine is selling it at £2-20 or so, I'm not surprised the pub trade is dying.

  4. The pub is now boarded up with metal sheets!


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