Some history of the Manchester Inn at Dayhouse Bank in Romsley in the county of Worcestershire.


Click or tap here

This roadside tavern at Dayhouse Bank closed its doors to the public in 2014, the building subsequently being converted to residential use. I remember the pub being very popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Vehicles would be parked up in the road as the car park was generally full during opening hours.

Romsley : Manchester Inn at Dayhouse Bank [c.1980s]

In the mid-19th century the tavern was central to a cluster of cottages in which most people were engaged as nail-makers or agricultural labourers. Some worked in both depending on the seasons. Toiling in the fields or bashing hammers at an anvil was very thirsty work. Production in some of the busiest workshops could amount to more than 2,500 nails per day with each requiring up to twenty hammer blows. Little wonder therefore that the beer flowed freely at the Manchester Inn.

John Booth was the publican of the Manchester Inn at the time of the 1861 census. The enumerator recorded the 41 year-old innkeeper's birthplace as Hardwick. However, and it is speculation on my part, perhaps he misheard the publican and wrote this in error and added a 'H' to Ardwick, a place in Manchester? Certainly there was a John Booth born to Ann Booth at Manchester in 1820. His elderly mother Ann was living at the tavern in 1861. Was this the reason for the inn sign?

Romsley : Auction of Land and Cottage at Dayhouse Bank [1862]

The name of the Manchester Arms Inn was not recorded by the census enumerator in 1861. Published in the following year by the Bromsgrove & Droitwich Messenger, the above advertisement for an auction of a cottage and land at Dayhouse Bank shows that the inn was formerly known as The Spout. The immediate vicinity was indeed known as The Spout and nestled below Dayhouse Bank. The name is thought to derive from a spring to the rear of the pub. It would seem therefore that the Manchester Arms name was applied at a later date during the 1860s. However, the sign of the Spout Inn would emerge again in later years. Not that it ever went away - the local residents tended to refer to it by the older name. By the way, the Thomas Hill mentioned in the advertisment was an agricultural labourer who lived in the cottage with his wife Elizabeth.

John Booth was also recorded as a railway contractor. This line of work possibly brought him to the local area. His wife Ann was born in Romsley. The couple's daughter Emma, also born locally in the early 1840s, worked as a barmaid at the Manchester Inn.

John Booth probably bought the cottage, adding it to the others he owned close to the tavern, these being occupied by the Knight and Clews families. Certainly, the name of Betsy Hill is mentioned as an occupier in 1871. Another cottage was occupied by Isaiah Sheldon.

John and Ann Read were recorded in the 1841 census at The Spout. I am not certain whether the property was licensed at this time. John Read was recorded as a labourer, though many rural publicans during this period earned additional income from another occupation. What is interesting about the census document of 1851 is the name of Emma Read, his ten year-old granddaughter. By the time of the aforementioned 1861 census the Read, Hill and Clews families seem to interlink with that of publican John Booth. The 20 year-old barmaid, as daughter of the road contractor John Read, married Owen Clews at St. Martin's Church in Birmingham in February 1866. The couple moved back to Romsley where Owen Clews continued to work as a carrier whilst they lived at the Manchester Arms Inn.

John Booth died on New Year's Day in 1872, the running of the Manchester Arms Inn passing to his wife Ann and daughter Emma. However, as was the normal practice in those times, the licence was transferred to Owen Clews. In March 1874 he was appointed as an overseer for Hunnington. Other members of the Clews family were shopkeepers and market gardeners. The number of dwellings at Dayhouse Bank increased during this period.

Romsley : Clearance Sale of Household Furniture at the Manchester Inn [1881]

For some reason Owen and Emma Clews decided to leave the Manchester Arms Inn during 1881. The couple had a clearance sale at the tavern and the above advertisment provides a glimpse of the interior furnishings of the house, along with other items of the property. Note that the advertisement stated that the house was "better known as The Spout." Owen and Emma, along with their children moved to Birmingham where they continued in the licensed trade by running the New Inn on William Street in Ladywood.

Following the departure of Owen and Emma Clews, the licence of the Manchester Inn was transferred to Thomas Raybould in July 1881. However, his spell at the house was brief and the licence was transferred in October 1882 to Henry Collins. The innkeeper died in July 1883, the licence of the Manchester Inn being transferred to widow Caroline Collins. She was erroneously listed as Catherine Collins in a trade directory published in 1884.

Naser al-Din Shah by Abul Hasan Ghaffari [1859]

Moving from the Anchor Hotel at Wednesbury, Thomas Stayley started his spell at the Manchester Inn during 1885 with what was described as an "Open Day." It was an event that would see the publican, along with some of the local residents, facing the magistrates for drunkenness. At the court John Holberton, a solicitor based in Brierley Hill representing the landlord, told the Bench that "Stayley had recently taken to the Manchester Inn and, on the day in question, he had an open house, and a large number of people helped themselves to ale and other drinks." He told the court that "Stayley sat in the kitchen, and was very drunk, and, in reply to a question, stated that he had not received any money from the customers. Some of the people who had been to the house were found lying helplessly drunk in the road." John Holberton went on to say that "Stayley was for six years head gardener to the Shah of Persia, and had hitherto borne an irreproachable character." He stated that "when found by the police-officer, Stayley was suffering from the effects of a sunstroke. He had determined to leave the house, and under the circumstances he hoped the magistrates would forgive him." The Bench fined the publican and the other defendants 2s. 6d. and costs. Those out of pocket were Christopher Kerr, Henry Knight and Lydia and Walter Hill. John Lees and Lewis Hadley, labourers, were each fined 10s. and costs for being drunk and creating a disturbance outside of the public-house.

Click or tap here

With a natural spring as a water source it is possible that early publicans of the Spout Inn dabbled with home-brewing. When Arthur Hodgetts held the licence in 1888 he almost certainly produced the ales sold at the counter for he had been a brewer at Church Street in Halesowen.

Richard Wilson's spell at the Manchester Inn was brief. His licence was not renewed as the hearing coincided with another court case in which he was charged with receiving stolen property. From the evidence it transpired that he had asked the farm labourer Thomas Ashton to bring him some rabbits from the traps set on his employer's farm. This was the neighbouring Frederick Hill who went to the police. The local constable found that Ashton released the rabbits from his employer's traps and took them to the Manchester Inn, receiving half an ounce of tobacco for his trouble. The labourer was sentenced to 21 days' imprisonment whilst the magistrates committed the publican for trial. Superintendent Hardman subsequently opposed the renewal of Wilson's licence. Although he was subsequently acquitted at the Assizes, the publican was forced to leave the Manchester Inn as a result of his foolishness.

The Spout name became more prevalent by 1890 when Clara Barlow was the landlady. Born Clara Greswolde around 1838 at Knowle, she married the wheelwright and blacksmith George Barlow in August 1857. The couple established a home at Shrewley where their son Frederick was born. Clara suffered terribly in April 1869 when she was subjected to an indecent assault whilst walking along a lane to meet her husband. Henry Shaw was arrested and charged for the assault. It was alleged that following the indecent assault he had beaten her. However, in the court case his master, a builder named Harvey, gave him an excellent character so the jury acquitted him.

George and Clara Barlow later took on a 52-acre farm at Copt Green near Lapworth. George Barlow died in August 1890, not long after moving to Romsley. Indeed, he died in peculiar circumstances. He was in a drunken state one night when he locked his wife and the servant out of the house. Clara Barlow spent the night at a neighbour's house. On the following morning entry was gained around the back of the premises and, on Clara entering the bedroom, she found her husband dead in bed. At the subsequent coroner's inquest Joseph Clews stated that he had spent the evening with George Barlow and, by the time he left for home, the publican was so drunk he could not stand. The jury returned a verdict of "Death from suffocation, caused by excessive drinking."

As a widow, Clara Barlow was running the Manchester Inn [Spout Inn] with the help of her son Frederick. He was also a coal dealer, presumably bringing coal in from the Black Country and retailing to households around Romsley. He had married Elizabeth Taylor at Tanworth-in-Arden in September 1882. By the time of the 1891 census the couple had five children running around the Manchester Inn.

Romsley : Advertisement for Servant Girl for the Manchester Inn at Dayhouse Bank [1889]

To help with the domestic duties around the house, Clara Barlow hired Annie Hawker as a general servant in 1890. The fourteen year-old lived with her parents nearby at Dayhouse Bank. However, soon after taking on the youngster, Clara Barlow noticed that coins were missing from the till. This elevated to money being taken from a drawer so the landlady confronted Annie Hawker when she returned from Halesowen carrying some purchases she had made. The young girl admitted taking the money and she was subsequently arrested by Police-Constable Clarke who was stationed at Hunnington. She was remanded whilst awaiting her case at the Petty Sessions.

After their time at the Manchester Inn, the Barlow family moved to Essex and, later, to Kent.

A trade directory lists Aquilla Welland at the Manchester Inn, though his name was actually Wellings. He certainly managed the house at the end of the 19th century. In December 1898 he applied for a temporary transfer of the licence but Inspector Raybould opposed the application and put Police-Constable Pegg into the box at the hearing. He deposed that he had visited the premises since Wellings had been there, and found a number of persons of the boxing fraternity there. One man had recently been trained there for a fight that came off in Birmingham a few weeks ago. On hearing this the Bench refused the application. Aquilla Wellings must have appealed and been granted the licence as he was still the occupier at the time of the 1901 census. Born at Birmingham in 1850, the former electro-plater had lived next to the Wellington Inn on Pritchett Street, a public-house kept by his brother George. He was assisted at the Manchester Inn by his daughter Beatrice who worked as a barmaid. His wife Harriet, a member of the Shelley clan, remained in Birmingham and, along with another daughter named Minnie, kept the Pelican Inn on Great King Street. If this created a licensing issue it was resolved in September 1901 with the passing of Aquilla Wellings.

In May 1903 Edwin Fisher was summoned for keeping the Manchester Inn open during prohibited hours, a case compounded by the fact that the police found several patients of the Rubery Asylum in the house.

Romsley : Publican and Customers of the Manchester Inn at Dayhouse Bank [c.1900s]

Courtesy of Melissa Gibbons, this photograph possibly dates from the early Edwardian period. It is interesting to note that there is no livery for a large brewery concern at this time, suggesting perhaps that the pub was still independent. An advertisement shows that the house did sell Bass ales and Guinness Stout.

The licence of the Manchester Inn was transferred to John Doyle in the autumn of 1906. He managed to get himself convicted for allowing drunkenness on the premises before he died shortly afterwards in January 1907.

Not long after the coronation of King George V, Clifford Burrows and his wife Mary took over the reins of the Manchester Inn, the licence being transferred to him in September 1910. The Gloucestershire-born publican had previously worked as a market gardener for his uncle, work that took him to the village of Broadway where he met Mary Jackson. The couple were married at King's Norton in April 1906. They moved from the Manchester Inn to run the Crown Inn at Eckington.

I have not determined the full name of the licensee in 1912. However, his wife was named Julia Butler. She was a witness in a shocking case at Halesowen Police Court in November of that year. The case saw 37 year-old farm labourer Arthur Minton, along with his wife Alice, both living in a neighbouring cottage at Dayhouse Bank, charged with "neglecting their six children in a manner likely to cause them unnecessary suffering." P.C. Weaver told the court that he went to their cottage for the purpose of serving a summons on Arthur Minton for drunkenness, when he saw the children huddled around the grate." He told the Bench that "the children were in a dirty and neglected condition." He cautioned the parents and subsequently called at the house on several other occasions. The constable saw no improvement in the condition of the children. He stated that, on one occasion, "the baby, aged three months, was lying on the sofa, and the other children had filled its mouth with bread and it was choking and black in the face." He arrested the parents and when charged Alice Minton said that "she could not get any food because her husband only gave her 2s. per week." Julia Butler of the Manchester Inn said "the children appeared very hungry." Harriet Banner, another neighbour, stated that "the children had taken food from her table. She had seen them pick up crusts which had been placed in a tub for the pigs." The Chairman [Mr. J. G. Reay] said "it was the worst case they had ever had before the Bench. Defendants were lucky that they were not charged with a more serious offence." He remarked that "the officer's discovery was a fortunate one, for probably the child would have died." The Chairman concluded that "Brutes of the field would not treat their offspring any worse." Arthur Minton was sent to gaol for six months with hard labour, and his wife Alice was sentenced to two months.

Romsley : Map extract showing the location of the Manchester Inn at Dayhouse Bank [1923]

Click or tap here

The road on which the Manchester Inn traded was a key route between Halesowen and Bromsgrove, two centres of nail production in the old days. The traffic passing along the old road would have brought important trade to the Manchester Inn. Traditionally, those journeying along the route would be on foot or driving a cart or waggon. However, 'new' innovations saw different modes of transport passing in front of the tavern. Being near the bottom of the slope from Romsley Hill, the road could be dangerous. There was a notable casualty in the summer of 1913 when Ashwell Crane was brought into the Manchester Inn following a terrible cycling accident.

Bromsgrove : Ashwell James Crane of Sidemoor

One of the most well-known residents in Bromsgrove Ashwell Crane was a County Councillor who traded as a baker and confectioner, living with his wife Lucy at Sidemoor. He would often travel by bicycle to Halesowen, generally calling in for a quick glass of ale at the Fighting Cocks Inn where he had befriended the publican Edwin Salt. On returning home, his front brake jammed near the bottom of the hill and he was thrown over the handlebars of his machine. He was found at around 8pm by John Hall, a labourer of Long Lane at Halesowen, whom he told that he must have applied his brake too sharply. Suffering from concussion, he was conveyed 50 yards to the Manchester Inn where the publican George Smith gave him a little brandy whilst his wife bathed his head and applied bandages. Although he seemed to be recovering at his home, Ashwell Crane had a haemorrhage on the brain and died a few days later.

George Smith had only been at the Manchester Inn a few weeks when the accident occurred. However, by August of the following year it was revealed that he was horrible to his wife Jane. He was summoned to appear at Halesowen Police Court for "persistent cruelty to his wife." Representing Jane Smith, the solicitor Mr. Glover told the court that "the married life of the parties had been one long catalogue of extremely cowardly assaults, which culminated on August 19th with the woman leaving her husband." He added that "they had been married for ten years, and during the whole of that time complainant had hardly been free from bruises." It was stated that the publican had "attempted to throw his wife out of the window, struck her with the butt end of a gun, knocked her down with a wooden mallet, and tried to strangle her." Jane Smith told the Bench that, on the day she left on account of his cruelty, "some words took place over some clothes, and he had caught hold of her by the throat and threw her down and kicked her on the hip." She also stated that on "the night before she threw a hat out of the window that he had been putting on her head, and he caught hold of her and threatened to throw her through the window." Jane Smith also spoke about other assaults. On the 19th she caused a wire to be sent to her parents at Smethwick, and her brother fetched her and the children away in a motor car. Her brother, George Crisp, punched the publican when he arrived at the Manchester Inn. The magistrates fined him for his actions. However, they did grant a separation order with maintenance payments of 25 shillings a week.

Romsley : Advertisement for the sale of the Manchester Inn at Dayhouse Bank [1916]

The above advertisement for an auction of the freehold of the Manchester Inn shows that the public-house was leased to Showell's Brewery, a firm based at the Crosswells Brewery at Langley. The freehold was being sold following the death of the owner George Parker.

Showell's Crosswells Ales

In the 1920s the Manchester Inn was kept by Edward McLoughlin. He had served in the Royal Air Force towards the end of World War One. He married Lily Scarrott in July 1929. The couple later moved to Worcester where Edward worked as a motor mechanic, possibly utilising skills he had learned in the military. At the outbreak of the Second World War the McLoughlin family were living in Bath Road at Worcester; Edward was in the R.A.F. Reserve. The licensee of the Manchester Inn at this fearful time was Harry Mills, a former electrician from Sparkbrook. He kept the pub with his wife Mary whom he had married in 1905. He passed away in December 1941.

Romsley : Manchester Inn at Dayhouse Bank [c.1958]

I suspect that this image dates from the late 1950s. At this time the Manchester Inn was operated by Butler's Springfield Brewery based at Wolverhampton. They had taken over the public-house as part of their acquisiton of Frederick Smith Limited of Aston. They were themselves acquired by Mitchell's and Butler's in 1960 which is why the 1980s image at the start of this page displays M&B livery on the building.

Letterhead of Frederick Smith's Model Brewery at Aston [1950s]

In later years, and up until its closure in 2014, the Manchester Inn was operated by Punch Taverns. In the Spring of 2001, an attempt was made to give the tavern a new lease of life by tenants John and Maureen England. They invested all their savings in a complete refurbishment of the building in a bid to combine pub tradition with contemporary surroundings. I took some photographs of the place after the refurbishment but they are of rather poor quality as it was early days for digital cameras!

Romsley : Manchester Inn [2001]

John and Maureen England took over on October 31st 2000. Hailing from Ladywood in Birmingham, they had been running pubs for 30 years. Indeed, they were no strangers to this neck of the woods - they had previously managed The Sun, along with a 12-year spell at neighbouring Illey where they developed a reputation for pub meals at The Black Horse. The Manchester Inn is not a million miles away from Belbroughton where they also managed The Talbot. They first met at school were childhood sweethearts. Married in 1967, they had two sons, Tony and Ben, and a daughter, Nicola. John was originally an instructor at the GKN Engineering Training School at Smethwick. After managing pubs for Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries Ltd. and Ansell's Brewery Ltd., the Manchester Inn was the couple's first leasehold pub.

Click or tap here

Licensees of the Manchester Inn

1861 - John Booth
1872 - Ann Booth
1875 - Owen Clews
1881 - 1882 Joseph Raybould
1882 - 1883 Henry Collins
1883 - Caroline Collins
1885 - Thomas Stayley
1887 - James Cavigan
1888 - 1889 Arthur Hodgetts
1889 - Richard Wilson
1890 - George Barlow
1891 - Clara Barlow
1893 - Frederick William Wimbush
1895 - William Everitt
1897 - George Grimley
1898 - Mr. Quarterman
1903 - Edwin Fisher
1905 - Albert E. Whitley
1906 - John William Doyle
1910 - Clifford Thomas Burrows
1912 - Mr. Butler
1913 - George Smith
1925 - Edward McLoughlin
1932 - Philip Watson
1939 - Harry Luther Mills
Note : this is not a complete list of licensees for this pub.

Mitchells's and Butler's

Related Newspaper Articles

"Nathaniel Bollard, nailer, Halesowen, pleaded not guilty to stealing a bottle of brandy from the house of Owen Clews, on the 29th June. Mr. Selfe prosecuted. Prosecutor deposed to missing the bottle. He afterwards found a piece of the label of the bottle. Prisoner was in his house that day. Mrs. Clews corroborated her husband. W. Taylor, horse-breaker, Romsley, said he saw the prisoner go in the direction of the bar between five and six in the afternoon. Hannah Hunt, Romsley, deposed to prisoner coming to her mother's house with a bottle and some brandy in it. He afterwards broke the bottle. Peter Knowles swore prisoner said to him, on being charged with the theft, that he did not steal it - that Mrs. Clews gave it him. The Jury found him guilty. Sentence deferred."
"Alleged Theft at Halesowen"
Worcestershire Chronicle : July 18th 1874 Page 8

"Arthur Hodgetts, landlord of the Manchester Inn, Romsley, was charged with keeping his premises open during prohibited hours on the 23rd ult. Police-Constable Clarke said he found four young men in defendant's house at four p.m. He found that the men had only come two miles, 810 yards. The person in charge told him that they said they had walked four miles. Arthur Reed, William Reed, Charles Jones, and Thomas Lee, all of Fairfield, were charged with being on licensed premises during prohibited hours. Defendants said they thought they had walked the required distance. All defendants were ordered to pay the costs."
"Charge Against a Publican"
Dudley Mercury, Stourbridge, Brierley Hill, & County Express
January 19th 1889 Page 5

"An inquest was held by Mr. A. H. Hebbert [Deputy Coroner[, on Wednesday last, at the Manchester Inn, Romsley, upon the body of Mary Goodman, aged 37 years, who died suddenly on Sunday morning at the above inn. Richard Wilson, landlord, gave evidence to the effect that deceased was living at the above inn, and on Sunday last a number of strangers called, and in the afternoon a disturbance took place between them. The deceased sent for Police-Constable Clarke, who came at 7.30, and whilst the officer was arresting one of the ringleaders the whole of his companions began to assault the officer. Deceased was standing outside the door at the same time, and she suddenly fell down. The officer sent for Dr. Ker, who on his arrival at 9.0 o'clock pronounced life to be extinct. Deceased had been suffering from ill-health for some time, and had been attended by a doctor from Wolverhampton, who told her that her heart was affected. She had come to reside at the inn during the last seven weeks and had been better than she had been for years. Mrs. Mason, mother of the deceased, corroborated Wilson. Police-Constable Clarke said he was called to the disturbance on the day in question, and on going to the house deceased met him and told him that there had been a row, and that she should die. On arriving at the house, he attempted to take a man named Parker into custody, and Parker's companions assaulted him. During the disturbance he noticed the dead fall, but he thought it was only a family fit. Dr. Ker gave evidence to the effect that he made an external examination of the deceased's body, but could find no bruises. From the general appearance of the body he had no doubt that deceased died from Syncope, brought on by excitement. A verdict of "Death from heart disease, caused by excitement," was returned. Three of the men who took part in the disturbance were charged at the Halesowen Police Court, on Monday, with being drunk and disorderly and assaulting the police, and were remanded till Tuesday next. Their names are Alfred Parker, Arthur Oliver, and Charles Smallwood, and all reside at Harborne."
"A Public-House Disturbance"
Bromsgrove & Droitwich Messenger : June 15th 1889 Page 5

"Frederick Wimbush, landlord of the Manchester Inn, Romsley, was charged with selling adulterated whisky on the 16th ult, and was fined £1. 2s., including costs."
"Adulterated Whisky"
Bromsgrove & Droitwich Messenger : September 16th 1893 Page 8

"An inquest was held on Friday in last week by Dr. Hebbert [Deputy Coroner], at the Manchester Inn, Romsley, concerning the death of Ellen Mary Cotterhill, aged five years, who died from burns. While placing coal on the kitchen fire the deceased's clothes became ignited, and she ran into the street, and the wind caused the flames to spread. She sustained shocking injuries, and death subsequently took place from shock. A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned."
"Shocking Death of a Girl"
Bromsgrove & Droitwich Messenger : November 16th 1895 Page 5

"John Christie, of Old Hill, and William Darby, of Hill, were charged with stealing a collie dog belonging to James Hurley, of Wildmoor. Thomas Hurley said he was the prosecutor's son. On Sunday, 19th July, at 8.0 p.m., he was in the Manchester Inn, Romsley, when the prisoners came in. A conversation took place about the dog being clever in certain tricks. Directly afterwards the prisoners left the house, and the dog was then missing. The dog was worth £1. Police-Constable Price stated that on the 17th inst. he saw the prisoners with the dog at the Sun Hotel. Afterwards he received information from Hurley, and he went to Christie's house, where he saw the dog tied up. Christie said the dog had followed him, and he put it in the trap. Darby, when arrested, said he knew nothing about the dog. Christie gave evidence and said the dog followed him and he put it in his trap. He did not know it was prosecutor's. Darby denied all knowledge of seeing the dog, as he was asleep in the trap when going home. The Bench fined defendants 20s. and costs each."
"Dog Stealing"
Bromsgrove & Droitwich Messenger : July 23rd 1904 Page 5

"Walter Ganderton and Henry Douglas, labourers, of Rubery, were charged with being drunk and refusing to quit the Manchester Inn, Romsley, also with assaulting Police-Constable Price; and Ganderton was further charged with assaulting Henry Wood. Mrs. Whitley, wife of the landlord of the Manchester Inn, said that on Saturday night last the two men came into her house and called for drink. They were drunk and she refused to serve them. She ordered them off the premises, but they refused to go and used bad language. They were on the premises for half-an-hour, until Police-Constable Price arrived. Police-Constable Price stated that that when he got to the Manchester Inn the two defendants wanted to fight him. They were very disorderly and refused to go home. He had considerable difficulty in handcuffing them, but ultimately, with the assistance of two men, they were secured and driven in a cart to Halesowen Police Station. Whilst he was handing them into custody they both struck him several times about the body. He could still feel the effect of the blows. Henry Wood, of Catshill, corroborated, and said that on going to the assistance of Police-Constable Price, Ganderton set about him. Both prisoners, who had bad records, pleaded guilty to all the charges, and the Bench fined them 40s. and costs for assaulting the police, and 10s. and costs for refusing to quit, and Ganderton also 20s. and costs for assaulting Wood. In default of payment Ganderton was sentenced to ten weeks' hard labour, and Douglas to six weeks hard labour."
"Row at Romsley"
Bromsgrove & Droitwich Messenger : July 2nd 1905 Page 2

"Regulars of a pub which shut its doors in 2014 have had their hopes of re-opening it dashed because, they say, the building was left to deteriorate. Ed Claridge, of Dayhouse Bank, and three of his friends were on a mission to bring The Manchester Inn, in Romsley, back to life after Punch Taverns sold it on August, 26th, this year and it was up again for auction with CP Bigwoods. But when Ed, Eammon McGowan, Charlie Waldron and Leigh Powell went to see the pub last Wednesday [October 7th], they were shocked to see it had not been secured properly and had been 'ransacked.' The 61-year-old said the copper piping had been stolen, the kitchen had been completely ripped out, the ceilings were coming down and the floors were buckling. "We were absolutely devastated," he added. "When it first closed in October last year you could have opened it the next day, now it is completely wrecked. Punch Tavern strikes again, they have absolutely no interest in the communities where their pubs reside and we are thoroughly disappointed in their lack of concern." Mr. Claridge estimated it would cost between £200,000 and £250,000 to make the inn fit for purpose again. "We had the money in place to buy the pub but it is clear it had been left to rot. It is now cheaper to just knock it down." He claimed it looked like Punch Taverns had not secured the premises properly, alarmed it comprehensively or provided security over the last 12 months. "These burglaries were not done on one occasion but over a long period of time. This was people going in and out and helping themselves to what was there." On the auctioneer's website it stated the council was open to the land being recommended for housing. "It is such a shame that the community is going to lose yet another pub," added Ed. Paul Richards, the president of Redditch and Bromsgrove CAMRA, said: "We hope the Manchester Inn will continue to remain a pub. It will be a shame for the community if it does go because there are not many pubs in that area. We would urge the local community to get together and get the Manchester Inn listed as an asset of community value." We approached Punch Taverns for a comment and a spokesperson told us: "To confirm, Punch Taverns sold the freehold of the Manchester Inn in August this year." The auction, where the Manchester Inn is listed, will take place at 11am on Thursday [October 22nd] at Aston Villa Football Club. The guide price for the building, which is lot 29, is in excess of £185,000."
"Regulars' hopes of buying the Manchester Inn,
Romsley, dashed by deterioration"
Bromsgrove Standard : October 15th 2015

Click or tap here for more information

Click here to visit the W3C Markup Validation Service