The licence for The Broadway was finalised on April 11th 1958 having been transferred from the Waterloo Inn at Oldswinford. The brewery were seemingly content to sacrifice the trade from the dilapidated Waterloo Inn in order to secure increased takings at The Broadway.
The Broadway later formed part of the Bass empire. Being an estate pub, and a little off the beaten track, I did not have a drink in here until the mid-1990's by which time the building had been sold to Enterprise Inns. If I remember correctly Old Speckled Hen was the order of the day at the bar.
"The tale," as they say in boxing circles, "is in the tape." And the statistics do not lie. Looking at the long list of licensees between 1977 and 1996 suggests that this has not been a place that has enjoyed any decent continuity. 1991 was a particularly peculiar year when no less than six licensees stood behind the counter for a spell of serving beer to the locals. Did they not bond with the locals or did the locals not like them?
Two men suffered serious injuries in the brawl and one was today said to be in a
critical condition in intensive care.
Police later sealed off the road between the pub and Shenstone Avenue while they
carried out a painstaking investigation of the scene. Shops including a
convenience store, hairdressers and pharmacy in The Broadway were closed and
residents ordered to stay in their homes while police carried out house-to-house
inquiries and a fingertip search.
One worker from the One Stop store, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s
like a ghost town and very frustrating. All we’ve been told is we’ve got to stay
The pub, in Broadway, which has played host to live music performances over the past year, is on the market for £345,000 after it closed on February 4th.
"We didn't just shut the pub out of the blue. Our regular drinkers knew for a while what was happening," said Mrs Johnson. "It is a sign of the times I'm afraid but I feel if we had been supported more by the local community then maybe this would not have been the case. We had good functions but at the end of the day you need people coming in for pints every day."
"Most people are now buying cans from off-licences cheaper and then places in town are open later in the nights meaning people don't come down the pub anymore at the start of a night out. It wasn't the brewery's fault that we closed either. It just happened and it's a shame that it had to go like this."
Musician Bobby Johnson, who played with his Jentle Jazz band at the venue last month and had been hoping to set up a regular jazz night, said it was a shame the venue had closed. I thought we would make it a regular event and it's a good place to play at." said Bobby, 80.
Retired gas works engineer, Peter Beardsmore, 58, who lives near the pub, said: "It's sad because it has always been there and is part of the community."
Paul Reilly of estate agents Christie & Co., confirmed the pub had "just" gone on the market. It is being marketed as having "some potential to redevelop the site for residential use or retail subject to planning."
The Broadway is one of a number of pubs that have closed down recently in the borough. The Thorns, Quarry Bank, closed last month and the Mount Pleasant, Kingswinford, closed in January leaving 25 workers out of a job.
No one from the pub's owner, Enterprise Inns, was available for comment."
The Broadway Inn, Norton, was recently sold to new owners, and speculation has mounted among people living nearby about what it might be used for in the future. The previous licensees, Jane and Keith Johnson, who took over the pub in June 2010, closed it in February and later revealed that they had struggled to make ends meet.
The pub, on the corner of The Broadway and Windsor Road, was put on the market for £345,000 and Paul Reilly, of Christie & Co. estate agents, confirmed that the sale had now been completed, although he declined to reveal who had purchased the building.
An application has new been made to Dudley Council by Dudley-based SEP Properties Ltd., of Stone Street, to extend the function room but not to change the use of the pub.
One letter of objection, from a couple in Windsor Road, has been sent to planners, complaining that local residents have put up with years of noise, litter and nuisance from the site. It states: "There are a lot of elderly residents living The Broadway, Whittington Road. Heath Farm Road and Windsor Road who should be able to have some peace at night, not the blaring music, banging car doors, shouting and swearing and people sitting talking and smoking until the early hours of the morning."
Dudley environmental protection officers have reported concerns that noise from the larger function room may adversely affect neighbouring residents. They are recommending that if the application is approved, the building should be constructed in a way to prevent excessive noise from spreading.
One local resident who did not wish to be named, said: "I've seen pub tables outside but when I asked some men in vans who were there whether they were being taken in or coming out they wouldn't tell me."
"It's all very hush hush, although from the plans put into the council, it
doesn't look like it's to go change form being a pub," the resident added. No
one at SEP Properties was available for comment."