Once a familiar sight on council estates throughout the nation, post-war clubs were.
For lots of people they hold fond memories as an important part of communities and a location where “everyone understood everyone.”
Its been a particularly hard year for clubs – however prior to the pandemic, the estate clubs decline was typically a sign of changing areas and social practices.
To get a better idea of the role bars played on council estates in Merseyside we spoke with regulars who visited them and had a look at those that are still around today.
However over the last couple of decades these pubs have actually started to vanish off the map, as they are replaced by flats, supermarkets and houses, with numerous of them now demolished.
” I met my spouse there in 1989 – it was a dazzling bar”
The Oyster Catcher in Leasowe
Both Juliet and Paul grew up on the estate and were regulars at The Croft which opened its doors in the early 70s.
” My partner utilized to enter there through his teenagers, he knew everyone. When we got engaged people in the club were purchasing us a beverage.
Juliet Wenham has fond memories of The Croft bar on Halton Lodge Avenue in Runcorn, as the place where she satisfied her partner Paul on Christmas Eve 1989.
The building has actually considering that been demolished after plans were sent to change the pub with either sheltered real estate or stores and flats.
Juliet told the ECHO: “It was a really good, safe pub for all ages – a great deal of people on the estate went there.
The club closed its doors in 2014 and soon became a target for anti-social behaviour and criminal damage, including an arson attack in May in 2015.
” If you were going into Runcorn old town you d have a few in The Croft and after that go to the club or anywhere you were going.
” I satisfied my partner there in 1989. It was 10.30 pm on Christmas Eve and we got wed simply over a year later.
” It was a dazzling bar and it truly great for the community, we were actually unfortunate to see it go.”
” Its not almost opting for a beverage its about socialising and fulfilling people”
The production of Speke Estate began in the 1930s however it wasnt up until the 50s and 60s that public centers including a series of stores on the Crescent began opening.
Speaking of the clubs decrease and eventual closure, Juliet added: “I believe when the owners Kenny and Joan left, it decreased the nick.
Site of previous Croft Pub on Halton Lodge Avenue, Runcorn.( Pic Andrew Teebay).
( Image: Andrew Teebay/Liverpool Echo).
Speke Estate is an example of another area where pubs played an essential part in bringing the community together.
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A variety of bars do still exist on estates in Merseyside and although they are presently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, locals are looking forward to visiting them when they reopen their doors.
” There was an old fella that utilized to enter The Croft who had dementia. His wife used to provide him a few quid and send him off for a drink. Everybody knew him and was nice to him.”.
” It was definitely fantastic. There was a correct community who had lived there for many years.
Its clear from speaking with Juliet that The Croft was much more than simply a pub, with the owners putting on home entertainment and occasions for the entire estate to get involved in.
Do you run a council estate club in Merseyside thats still going strong? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Molyneux, Westhead Av, Kirkby has because been remodelled into a Best One shop.
We have actually launched a Facebook group to bring you more photos, fond memories and memories in one place.
” It was a neighborhood center. My other half was on the football team there for a while.
” It sent me to Alton Towers and Belle Vue many times in the late 60s and early 70s. In the 80s and 90s, the mantle fell upon us and for lots of years we raised money to send the kids of the Leasowe estate on yearly camps to Royden Park, then Anglesey and as far as Settle. Somehow they always discovered their method back.
” Pubs now have a great deal of outside area where individuals can opt for a ciggy however they didnt truly then.
The Windmill – the Beechwood estate.
She said: “The Dunnies is non-profit making. We simply like a good turnover to save a few bob. None of us get paid – I get an honourarium however everyone on the committee is voluntary.
Like lots of council estates across the country, bars were as soon as a crucial part of the community.
The pub closed more than four years earlier, however work began to redevelop the website in 2015 into a Heron Foods store and a number of flats.
Guy strolling down a street in the domestic suburban area of Speke in South Liverpool, showing the real estate obstructs in the background. 21st November 1973.
With its high-rise tower blocks, it was normal of council estate preparation at the time.
” To those that didnt consume in there it was a place of horror with tales of pure malevolence, to those that did, it was lots of things; the most raucous home of enjoyable I have ever been to. The tricks and practical jokes played on the consumers by one another might fill a book.
The Leather Bottle in Halewood was on Leathers Lane and closed in 2006.
( Image: Garstonian).
In the 80s and 90s, the mantle fell upon us and for many years we raised money to send the kids of the Leasowe estate on yearly camps to Royden Park, then Anglesey and as far as Settle. None of us get paid – I get an honourarium but everybody on the committee is voluntary.
The saying “never consume in a flat-roofed club” was coined, however for numerous they hold fond memories.
” We had some terrific bars like the Fox and the Flying Saucer and the Orient which is still there today and there had to do with 4 or 5 social clubs at the time.”.
Many of them were located at the heart of neighborhoods, next to stores, churches and neighborhood halls.
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When its closure was announced back in 2016, routine Andy Dunn had fond memories of the club which he shared with the ECHO.
In the post-war years thousands of pubs were integrated in areas consisting of housing estates and cities damaged by wartime bombing.
In spite of the decline in the number of post-war clubs throughout the region its not all doom and gloom.
On the other hand in Speke, on the edge of the estate youll discover club and social club The Dunnies.
Speke Estate – the Fox and the Flying Saucer.
” There was an old fella that used to go in The Croft who had dementia. I was 14 years old at the time, The Oyster Catcher (Snatch) has actually been my second house since. I have many great and bad memories.
The council estate pubs that are still standing today.
The Beechwood estate, initially referred to as the Ford estate, was integrated in the 1960s to house people moving from the North End of Birkenhead with the aim of providing a much better standard of living.
The former Windmill club on Fourth Avenue/Deeside Close in Beechwood, Wirral.
The Johnny Todd on Whitefield Drive in Kirkby is an example of a estate pub that has stood the test of time.
Ever since, the location has changed drastically, with the demolition of tower blocks and the building of new cost effective houses by private developers.
” Its my life really.”.
Andy said: “I had my first pint courtesy of my papa Alec Dunn in 1976. I was 14 years of ages at the time, The Oyster Catcher (Snatch) has been my second home because. I have lots of great and bad memories.
Speaking to the ECHO in a previous interview, Kevin Mcardle, 64, remembered his memories of maturing on the estate with his family from 1958 until the 1980s.
As peoples social practices changed, and Spekes Dunlop tyre factory closed in 1979, the club progressed into something various and its still going strong today.
The Oyster Catcher in Leasowe.
The previous Oyster Catcher, in Leasowe, Wirral, was a council estate bar that was at the heart of the local community for 55 years.
” It was like a maker for raising cash for charity in the very first 50 years of its life.
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Its reasonable to state that The Oyster Catcher always had a little a track record but it quickly ended up being a crucial part of Leasowe life.
It will include photos, stories and fond memories connected to Merseyside.
During the period from 1954 up until around the mid-1980s, more bars were developed than in any other period in English history.
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” My other half utilized to smoke and he reckons they eliminated off the club with the cigarette smoking ban.
The Oyster Catcher in Leasowe.
” If we had the cash thats what I would do – I d establish a pub.”.
” For all the bad tales, I and my buddies have a hundred great ones.”.
There were 4 bars on the estate at one time – consisting of The One OClock Gun, The Corsair, The Windmill and The Seven Styles – but all of them have actually closed down now.
It initially opened its doors in 1961, almost 40 years after the council had created new drain systems, roadways and real estate on the estate.
Kevin stated: “I dealt with my mum and dad and my dad worked at Dunlop Factory like a lot of people did at that time.
Speaking to the ECHO last year the clubs treasurer, Mary Banks stated shes seen other, relatively prospering, clubs shut down around her – however she works difficult to ensure The Dunnies still offers a hub for the regional community.
Opening its doors in the 60s, today the club is owned by regional business person Tom Nash, who also owns other pubs across the region consisting of the Coach and Horses in Maghull.
The location grew from a little village surrounded by farmland with a population of around 400 individuals, to one of the largest council estates in the nation.
She stated: “Its not almost opting for a drink its about hanging out and meeting individuals.
Mary Banks is the treasurer of The Dunnies social club in Speke.
Countless pubs were integrated in the post-war years.
The Dunnies first began as Dunlop Sport and Social Club in the early 1950s, with its own tennis team, bowling group and football team.
Starting out as a barmaid at 19, working behind the bar up until she was 40 and working as treasurer given that 1996, Mary has actually put her heart and soul into this club.