I was in the Conservative Club in Three Tuns Lane, Formby, a couple of years ago. I'd gone there for a CAMRA meeting, and when I rolled up, the others looked surprised and said, "We never expected to see you here!" I can't remember what real ale was on, but it was fine. After the meeting, one of the club's officials was explaining to us that there were plans to sell the ground floor to Wetherspoons and move their club upstairs. I can see why, as it is a big building that must have been stretching the club's finances, and I suspect that their choice was either to do this deal with Spoons or to close.
Finally, around two years later, planning permission has been granted. I had occasionally been wondering why there'd been no progress, but it turns out that Sport England had objected to the plans because they involved the loss of the bowling green. However, it hasn't been used for over twelve months and there is now no money to restore and maintain it, so on that basis planning permission has been granted. There will be an extension added to the building and the bowling green will become a family beer garden.
The loss of another bowling green is a shame, coming not very long after the loss of the one at the London Hotel, now being demolished for housing, but the addition of a Spoons to Formby is welcome. Some Formby people don't like the idea, possibly influenced by some of the myths that surround JDW pubs, perhaps with a dash of nimbyism as well, but in a couple of years' time, they'll probably be wondering what the fuss was about.
The way the building appears now and the proposed frontage can be seen here.