Saturday, 7 November 2015

Down at the Whalley Hotel on a day in November

It will be almost 40 years since I sat in the Whalley Hotel.

I remember it was a Sunday in mid August and we had been invited for a meal with a couple I didn’t know.

It was not the best of times and I can’t remember anything about the meal or the people we were visiting, which only leaves the pub.

We were in the big room looking out on Withington Road and what struck me was the intensity of the sunlight shining in through the bay windows and the way it picked out the dusk flecks.

Not much I know as a memory of a pub which has stood across from Brooks Bar for generations and is now closed and will in the fullness of time become a set of flats.

The curious in me wonders at just how the conversion will go and how long it will take before people begin to forget it was ever a pub.

Now it is easy to slide into a condemnation of the demise of the pub and it does sadden me, but pubs the size of the Whalley struggle so survive in the face of the spread of bar culture and cheap alcohol from the supermarkets

And so it has joined the Mersey Hotel and the Princess and no doubt more will follow.

A few like Alberts' on Barlow Moor Road moved from being a hotel to a pub and now operates as a restaurant.

Others like the White Lion in Withington and the Feathers have become shops and the fate of others is to be demolished.

At least this way the building will survive and that for me is good enough.

Pictures; the Whalley Hotel one day in November 2015, from the collection of Andy Robertson

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