Sale paves way for flats on pub site
A HISTORIC pub in Tunstall could be turned into flats after being sold for £60,000.
The Cheshire Cheese in High Street has been sold at auction after closing this year.
The former pub, thought to have stood on the site for more than 120 years, could be demolished to make way for one-bedroom apartments.
Councillor Lee Wanger, below, said he had been told that developers were at the auction in Manchester this week, with a view to creating homes on the site.
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He said: "Flats there would be as good as anything else on the site. It's very unlikely that a pub will re-open there because it's a known fact that they are struggling in the wake of the smoking ban."
The independent councillor added: "There was a time the pub, like others in the area, was packed with locals but that wasn't the case in its later days. It was the right thing to do to put it on the market."
Local historian Mervyn Edwards said the pub had once been the hub of a community, serving workers from the nearby pot banks on their way home from work.
He said he had found evidence of the pub's existence stretching back to 1889 but it was highly likely it went back further.
He added: "The place was very lively right up until the 80s. It had pub games and a function room for 50 people."
Alan Boulton, aged 58, of Chell, said he remembered getting his first pint in the Cheese. The community government officer said: "I remember it having one of the first jukeboxes and it was pretty busy then with all the workers from the pot bank.
"Nobody likes to see pubs go but they aren't the same places they were back then. Nobody goes to pubs in the middle of the week and their role in the community has changed."
Kev Sutton, aged 53, of Tunstall, said: "The best thing they could do is redevelop that area because there's nothing there now. The potteries are gone and the people that used to work there are gone, so the pubs stand no chance."
The building was sold by auctioneer Eddisons at the same time as the Grade II-listed Top Bridge Works. The 2.13 acre site in Newcastle Street, Longport, sold for £73,000.
A spokesman for Eddisons said there had been a lot of interest in both sites, but the buyers had not yet revealed their intentions for the old pottery works. The site, believed to date back 243 years, has a Grade II listed bottle kiln within the main courtyard.
Burslem historian Fred Hughes said he hoped whoever took over the listed building reflected its rich heritage in any future developments.