As you may know from my previous blog and subsequent Citizen article, the Park End is likely to be demolished in the near future. There is currently around a year left to run on the lease, but planning permission has been granted to pull it down to build houses and flats. I was therefore inspired to take some photographs before it’s too late.
On first appearances the bar is very basic and a bit down at heel. The landlady is the first to admit that it needs a lot of work doing to it, but this is unlikely to happen when plans are afoot to knock it down.
Most people don’t see past this first impression, but look at that bar – it’s amazing!
And clues to the age of the pub can be found in the beautifull etched windows and the wonderful gold leaf advertising picture on the bar….
The initials on the window are H.M. & Co and the advert is for Cragganmore Scotch Whisky “bottled by H. Mitchell & Co Ltd, Cape Hill, Birmingham.” Obviously then the pub must date back to before Henry Mitchell merged with William Butler in 1898. This fits because the earliest date I found for the pub was when it was a beer house in 1872.
Other features abound: behind the back bar is a reminder of the days when there was a bowling green out the back…
And there are more original interior windows and mirrors than you can shake a stick at, as well as some great ornate tiles which are apparently somehow clipped into place rather than stuck in the normal manner.
Apparently the owner cares nothing for these things, so when the bulldozers move in they are likely to be broken up and thrown on a skip. A tragic loss of some superb craftsmanship and part of our pub heritage.