Thursday 27 November 2008

Newport Pub Closures

Since Labour have come to power in 1997 the following Newport pubs have closed:

Simpsons, High St, Closed – empty building

Chartist Arms, High St – closed – premises converted into a restaurant

Carpenters Arms, High Street – closed – freehold for sale

Lloyds, Cambrian Rd, became Jarcals, then Tesco Extra

Breeze, Cambrian Rd, closed, lying empty

Newport Brewhouse, Market St, now a nightclub

Trout, Market St, became Can-Cans, closed, building derelict

Ale House, ex-Sovereign, John Frost Square, closed and demolished

Welsh Prince, Commercial St, closed – premises converted into a Thai restaurant

Langtons, Charles St, closed – premises auctioned 11.08

King William IV, Commercial St, closed – derelict building

Scrum Half, Commercial St, closed, retail premises

Westgate Hotel, Commercial St, closed, part retail premises

Royal Exchange, became Harveys in Pill, Commercial Rd. Closed, building derelict

Mariners Hotel, Commercial Rd, closed

Welcome Home, Commercial Rd, closed, residential accommodation

Black Horse, formerly Celtic Bar/Falcon, Commercial Rd

Waterloo Inn, Alexander Rd, closed and re-openend as a restaurant and hotel

Cumberland house, Courtybella Tce, - closed -residential

Orange Tree, St Michael St, - closed and demolished

White Hart, Tredegar St, closed, business unit

Old Rising Sun, Malpas Rd, closed, building derelict

Pentwyn House, Bettws – closed

Chaplins, Caerleon, demolished, residential development

Three Salmons, Rogerstone, now an Indian Restaurant

Jolly Roger, Rogerstone, now an Indian restaurant

Globe, Rogerstone, closed awaiting change of use to residential permission

Victoria, Corporation Rd, closed – converted into restaurant

Crown Inn, Albert Avenue, closed

Friendship, became Harveys of Ringland, -closed

Seven Styles, was Lliswerry Hotel, closed and demolished, residential development

King, Somerton, closed, awaiting demolition, residential development

Black Horse, Somerton, closed, awaiting demolition, Tesco Extra

Pullmans, Spytty, demolished, KFC on site

New Inn, Bishton, now residential

Under threat

Roman Lodge Hotel, Ponthir Road, - planning permission applied for conversion to apartments

Hereford Arms, Maindee, planning permission applied for residential apartments

38 pubs have closed in Newport since Labour came to power in 1997. Taking this number in context in the previous 18 years under Conservative Governments only 14 pubs closed down in Newport. It is a fact that in the last 11 years of Labour rule we have seen more pubs close in Newport than in the previous 30 years.

Pub openings:

Dragonfly, Cardiff Rd,
1995 Wetherspoons, became John Wallace Linton
1999 Godfrey Morgan, Maindee
2002 Tom Toya Lewis, Commercial St
Banc, Maindee
Page, High St


Seven, was Yates Wine Lodge, converted from the Tredegar Arms, High Street
Walkabout, converted from the Queens Hotel

All the above apart from the Dragonfly are superpubs. Is there a connection here? If we believe the statistics the Government are pushing out then alcohol consumption is up – then is the reason - the superpub? Okay they can offer us exotic African bushmeat made to look like a steak, cheap drinks and cheap coffee but let us think of the true cost of these modern-day gin palaces. The places are so large that the management cannot keep on eye on what the customers are up to – selling illegal cigarettes, drinking too much, causing trouble, selling drugs etc, so that these places have to rely on bouncers, sorry security staff and CCTV to do the job. At weekends you won't even have a proper glass to be served out of and have to put up with plastic, sorry polycarbonate, as we now have to call them. Great idea, apart from the fact that the glass washers are designed for washing glass, not plastic, so these polycarbs become easily scratched on the inside and the resulting pint you are served takes on the appearance of something served from the sloptray. Oh and if you do want to glass someone, they still allow bottles over the bar or you can scold them by throwing hot coffee over them. But look on the bright side, if you are the victim of an attack at least it will be on CCTV and you can rest assured that it will feature on a staff training DVD for years to come.

Newport City Centre has always had the touch of the Wild West about it, it's exasperated now as on Friday and Saturday nights we now have uniformed marshals patrolling the town. Marshals! I did not think that anything could get lower down the food chain than a PCSO. What ever happened to the old days (well about 10 years ago) when uniformed police officers used to go into pubs at night? Some of them were even doing their job and not just collecting a large envelope of donations for the Gwent Police Widows and Orphans Fund.

Nowadays the police are to be seen in their cars and vans parked in strategic, well-hidden, places around the City Centre, just waiting for that moment when they can jump out, arrest someone and spend the rest of the night in the nice warm police station, drinking coffee, eating kebabs and doughnuts and colluding as they write their note books up together. Sorry, they call it doing paperwork.

It's coming up to Christmas, the season that really brings the nutters out. I for one will not be drinking in superpubs this year and if I do pop out for a drink I will be supporting real pubs. Samuel Smith's Brewery will definitely be doing well out me this Christmas. Seasons greetings and have a pint in the Murenger, the Haven in a Superpub Ghetto.

Join the Campaign to Save the Pub at:

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