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22-01-2016, 15:29
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Sad news, although not entirely unexpected, that the Jack and Jill in Brinnington has closed its doors (http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/last-pub-brinnington-closes-after-10768760) after around sixty years of trading. It was the last pub serving this large estate – the Farmers Arms and Cheshire Cat have both been closed for many years, and the Horsfield Arms, on the main road at the other end in front of Robinsons’ packaging plant, shut a couple of years ago and has recently been demolished.
It was a long, rather elegant single-storey building that architecturally could easily have passed for a primary school from the same era. Certainly it was very different from the grim, brutalist estate pubs of a decade later. I hadn’t been in for years but remember it retaining many original design features. To Robinsons’ credit, they are marketing it without any restrictive covenant, and say “The pub will be offered for sale on the open market and we fully support the property being sold as a licensed premises.” I’d be very surprised if anyone did come in to buy it as a pub, though.
The classic estate boozer is now a rapidly dwindling species, and you have to wonder, as I discussed here (http://pubcurmudgeon.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/estate-of-disgrace.html), whether it was a misconceived concept from the start. Of course, wet-led pubs in working class areas were always going to be hit particularly hard by the smoking ban, but there’s more to it than that. Maybe there could be scope for specialist operators such as Amber Taverns to make something of them, whereas they don’t really fit in with Robinsons’ business philosophy which is to aim for a much more up-market appeal. In the past few years they have closed or sold probably about a quarter of their estate, mostly from what would be called the “bottom end”.
But never mind, a new micropub one-twentieth the size has just opened up in a location nowhere near Brinnington, so all’s well with the world really.

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