I thought it was about time I recorded some of the remaining closed pubs of Brownhills, and here they are:
I guess the whole BrownhillsBob thing started as a result of my frustration at the fate of the former Warreners Arms; at the time it closed as a pub the town had already lost several pubs – the Station Hotel, The Wheatsheaf, the Railway Tavern, the Jolly Collier – and to see it converted insensitively to a MacDonalds, only to close shortly after and remain unloved, derelict and crumbling, was a tragedy. The fate of the Warreners Arms is worth further comment and I’ll return to it at a later date.
Since then, we’ve lost the Rising Sun, the Pear Tree, the Swan, and the Wheel. They weren’t particularly salubrious – indeed, some were rough houses in their day – but all were community meeting points. While they existed, people met within them and debated the issues of the day, played dominoes, watched sport, argued, fell in love or just got pissed and fell over. This loss of community – loss of focus – is due to several things. The rising cost of beer, the competition from supermarkets. The increasing mobility of society and the rise of the car and ‘family pub’. The smoking ban. Falling out of fashion. The death of the pie and pint generation.
On occasion I drank in all of these establishments – they all had their own character, their own regulars. What becomes of these things, and more importantly, what becomes of a community riven from the things that held it together?
Once we let it go, it can never be replaced, and we’ll all be the poorer.