It has only just come to my attention that a planning application has been made for the demolition of the Park End pub in Park End Road to make way for six flats and eight houses (ref 09/01372/FUL). I have seen nothing publicising this fact, but the consultation period is over so there is probably nothing that can be done.
Firstly I must confess that I am neither a regular visitor to this pub, nor do I live locally to it. I am therefore in no position to complain if there are good economic reasons for its closure or if there are reasons that mean local residents are happy to see it go. On the face of it, however, it seems a shame. The area is already very densely populated and the Park End is the only local pub; when I visited in the name of research for my book (The Story of Gloucester’s Pubs if you haven’t been paying attention!) it seemed to have a good community atmosphere, although I’d heard that it has a bit of a reputation for being rough.
Aside from the loss of a valuable community facility, I am also concerned about the loss of irreplaceable pub heritage that would result from the destruction of the building. The Park End was build by Mitchells and Butlers at some time before 1872 and like many M&B pubs it originally had an adjacent bowling green where the Gloucester Bowling Club was established in 1897. Although the interior has undoubtedly been changed over the years, the pub retains an outstanding ornamental wooden bar and etched pub windows. I was surprised that it was not listed and I sincerely hope that, even if it is too late for the pub, the bar and windows will be preserved.
This blog is pretty much a copy of a letter that I have sent to the people responsible for listed buildings and to the Citizen, I’ll let you know if I get any response. If you are a local or regular at the pub I’d be interested to hear your perspective.