Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Abbotsford bites the dust.

I showed this photo of The Abbotsford in a previous article on closed pubs in Wirral. There had been rumours that it was to be turned into a supermarket. Well if you look below you'll see that it has now gone forever the victim of one of those mysterious fires that break out without warning in empty buildings. The local council stepped in to order demolition on safety grounds.

Built in the mid 60's to a standard design favoured by the latter years of Birkenhead Brewery/Threlfalls who were already firmly under the Whitbread umbrella it was viewed as a prestige addition to the tied estate. Local industry was still thriving at the time with many thirsty workers emerging each evening from Cammell Laird and other large employers in the area.

Although it never sold cask beer as the ground floor cellar was filled with large tanks dispensing tasteless liquids and leaving no room to store casks, it was important to me. My Father was a pub manager for Whitbread in the nearby Star Hotel who applied to run the new pub but was deemed too inexperienced at the time. The Manager's job became vacant in 1973 and this time he got the job. So this was became my home for ten years. After my Dad had taken early retirement ten years later trade deteriorated as heavy industry was lost, unemployment grew and slum clearance reduced the local population.

Visiting the pub ten years ago it was going downhill fast. The original design of a large bar, lounge, best lounge open at weekends and outdoor sales was knocked into one vast soulless room driving away the more refined customers leaving behind a number of unsavoury characters. The most recent manager had been waiting for a new housing development to breathe life into the area but eventually gave up to concentrate his efforts into the nearby Derby Arms. So another 'community local' is no more.

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