TWO historic Wigan pubs face differing futures, the Post can reveal.
While one looks to be on the verge of a new life within the borough’s burgeoning foodie scene, the other will remain firmly within the drinks industry.
The century-old The Queen’s Head at Finger Post in Aspull is being sold by Britain’s biggest pub company which has confirmed that it is today already in the final stages of selling the premises for internal redevelopment as a restaurant.
Meanwhile the historic, architecturally important former Magee Marshall brewery-owned Pagefield Hotel (latterly The Famous Pagefield) is said to be “between tenants” with no imminent threat of permanent closure.
Drinkers at the once very popular Queen’s Head in Aspull were shocked when the tenant announced that he was putting the beer towels over the hand pumps for the last time just over a fortnight ago.
He told regulars that he was being squeezed by the “impossible” margins of the wholesale price of beer asked by landlord pub company Punch Taverns and the monthly lease deal he had been asked to agree to.
And the rate of beer tax being levied by the Government was “killing the golden goose for good.”
This imposing pub is situated on one of the key routes into Wigan from Yorkshire and the M61...a location which has apparently been a key factor in its rapid disposal. It was built by the former Oldfields Brewery of Poolstock, which was also well known as distillers of its own Glenmore and Sunburst whiskies.
It was also once one of the biggest brewers in the area with almost 80 pubs across the town – including the existing White Lion and Railway at Whelley and the Black Bull in Hardybutts – plus no fewer than 11 off-licences. A spokeswoman for Cheadle-based commercial estate agents Jeremy Rubin Ltd, which is handling the sale on behalf of Punch Inns, said that there had been “strong interest” in the pub premises.
She said: “We are hopeful that we will be in a position to exchange contracts between the buyer and our clients within the next few weeks.
“The building is under offer and it is our understanding that the prospective investor is intending to acquire the premises for use as a restaurant.”
English Heritage Grade II listed, The Pagefield Hotel in Gidlow Lane is believed to have closed earlier this month.
It has had a series of tenants in a comparatively short time, despite once being one of the busiest “wet” houses in the Springfield area of Wigan.
It was built in 1902 for the former Magee, Marshall and Co brewery in the striking Free Renaissance style complete with art nouveau stained glass windows and five-sided corner turrets. A spokesman for owner Admiral said an announcement about new tenants was “imminent.”