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Greater Manchester - Withington

Two star - A pub interior of very special national historic interest

This pub is currently closed (since 01/09/2018)

Closed since 2018, supposedly whilst owners Sam Smiths find a new manager, but this is an inordinate length of time even by their standards which raises obvious concerns.

Listed Status: Not listed

520-522 Wilmslow Road
M20 4BT

Tel: (0161) 445 4565

Real Ale: Yes

Nearby Station: Mauldeth Road

Station Distance: 1300m

Public Transport: Near Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

UPDATE MAY 2024  The pub has been closed since 2018, supposedly whilst owners Sam Smiths find a new manager but this is a long period even by their standards.

This is one of relatively few surviving post-war interiors built or refitted between 1945 and 1970. Work of this period became unfashionable, with the result that it was usually later altered or destroyed. Here it dates mainly from the early 1960s when the pub expanded into the shop next door and gained its part stone frontage. The left-hand bar formed the original pub and the ply-panel bar counter is likely to date from the 1930s. However, the bar-back shelves, quirky fire surround faced with cobblestones, and also the radiators with wood surrounds have a distinct 1960s flavour. The lounge has full-height, characteristically c.1960 corrugated wall panelling. Its counter, with its leatherette padded sections, is a 2002 copy of the lost Sixties original – Sam Smiths of Tadcaster, the owning brewery, has a considerable track record for reinstating features removed from their pubs in less enlightened times. The fixed seating is original as is the random-coursed green slate fireplace.

The Turnpike (formerly the Wellington) was originally half its current size and consisted of two rooms and a passageway. Then in c1962 a former confectioners shop was purchased and the two roomed pub we now see was created. The frontage is of stone with brick at first floor level and is clearly from c1962 but parts of the building could be older. The bar on the left, the Vault, is in the original pub premises and has a bar counter of ply panelling that looks more 1930s than 1960s but the bar top is a modern replacement. The bar back shelves are attached to panelling that looks very 1960s and there are two large mirrors above. The unusual floor to ceiling fireplace surround is made from cobblestones, and was added in the 1960s. There are two radiators with distinctive 1960s wood surrounds.

The lounge on the right in the former confectioners shop part has all but one section of wall with 1960s full height panelling. In the corner where the panelling is missing I was told that there was a ‘hanging gardens’ feature with plastic grapes etc. hanging from the wooden trestles that are common in 1960s builds/refits i.e. part of the original interior has been lost. The bar counter whilst looking 1960s with its leatherette padded sections only dates from c2002, when they also replaced the bar top and re-upholstered the fixed bench seating. The bar back shelves are attached to panelling that looks very 1960s and there is a row of six mirrored panels above. The false ceiling over the counter with its modern lighting could be a later addition. The floor to ceiling 'random’ green slate fireplace surround also dates from the 1960s.

Full Description