Tuesday, 9 August 2016

In the space of a week two more Manchester pubs close their doors .........

Now you go away for a few weeks on holiday and while you are away they start shutting down some of your favourite pubs.

Mother Macs
It started just days after we arrived on the Adriatic coast with the news that Mother Macs on Back Piccadilly had closed for a refurbishment which made me wonder what the new design would be like and if in the process those gruesome newspapers stories of dark deeds that had gone on in the pub would vanish from the walls.

It is a pub which for all sorts of reasons I had never visited but was on my to do list to visit after Italy.

This was partly out of curiosity but mainly because it features in the new book on Manchester Pubs.*
Peter long ago completed all the paintings of the pubs and I am deep in telling their stories.

And unlike other pub books we want to tell the stories of the people, the building and the area they are situated in

Hardy's Wells
And in the case of Mother Macs that might have included the gruesome story from the 1970s along with a delightful story of the barrow boys who traded along Back Piccadilly but have now long gone.

But at least the pub will reopen unlike I suspect Hardy’s Well on Wilmslow Road which according to yesterday’s Evening News has closed with no promise of it a reopening.**

Now I remember the place as the old Birch Villa with fond memories.

It was one of the very first pubs I drank in back in 1969 and it was a lively place with plenty going on in each of the small rooms that made up the pub.

But the life and interests of a young student living in south Manchester meant that other places took my fancy and I never went back.

In the years afterwards it was a place you passed on the bus and that was pretty much it.

And then more recently I happened to be on that stretch of Wilmslow Road at the junction with Dickinson Road and clocked that the pub was now Hardy's Well, complete with pub garden, telephone box and a poem on the side of the gable end.

The poem by Lemn Sissay which has taken pride of place on that gable end  for over 20 years now also faces an uncertain future.

If as some fear the building is demolished then the poem along with this two hundred year old pub will be lost and that will be one of those very sad stories to include in the book.

Location; Manchester

Picture; Mother Macs, and Hardy’s Well, © 2013 Peter Topping, Paintings from Pictures,
Web: www.paintingsfrompictures.co.uk
Facebook:  Paintings from Pictures

*A new book on Manchester Pubs, https://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/A%20new%20book%20on%20Manchester%20Pubs

**Hardy's Well pub is shut down, CHRIS SLATER, August 8 Manchester Evening News, http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/hardys-well-curry-mile-closed-11717209

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