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Developments sites on tap

Developments sites on tap

The George has been slain by the economic dragon stalking the

Black Country.

The former hostelry at 34 Birmingham Road, Oldbury, yet another pub to fall on hard times, is to go under the hammer at the latest SDL Bigwood auction.

Described as “a prominent, freehold public house with further development potential”, it has a guide price of £120,000.

The auction takes place on October 31 in the Holte Suite at Aston Villa Football Club, starting at 11am.

But The George is in good company as reduced leisure spending, cheap supermarket beer and the smoking ban continue to make life difficult for pubs and clubs.

The Waterloo Hotel, Shireland Road, Cape Hill, was a Grade II listed Edwardian hostelry which was renowned for its beer and food.

Built as a flagship pub-hotel in 1908 for Mitchells & Butlers whose brewery was nearby, and dominating a corner site, it boasted a lavish Baroque front and extravagantly fitted-out inside.

Unfortunately, shut for several years, it has seen better days but will still be one of the star lots.

SDL Bigwood director Ian Tudor said: “It is a very sad place these days, totally vandalised from top to bottom, including most of the roof.

“For anyone who knew it in its heyday it is a great pity. There will be a lot of nostalgia. Let’s hope it goes to a good home.”

The guide price is just £50,000.

When it was still in operation, real ale campaigners CAMRA described the pub thus: “The astonishing feature of the interior is the tile work.

“It covers the walls of the public bar – and even the ceiling. There are bands of green, blue, cream and salmon with highly decorative motifs and descending wreaths.

“But the really spectacular room is the Grill Room in the basement. This is the restaurant and features walls and ceilings extravagantly tiled with a frieze of galleons. On one side is the original servery and on the other a cast-iron grill – this superb Edwardian survivor is still fired up and used to cook the grills. The pub also doubled as a commercial hotel and at the top of the stairs you will find a small cubicle that was used by a night-watchman.”

The Birmingham and Black Country business communities enjoyed many a ‘lost’ Friday afternoon

on the premises, particularly in the 1980s when long lunches were still in vogue.

The pub was on the site of a one-time off-licence called Waterloo Stores, which was owned by Titus Mason, of the famous Mason’s pop company.

Also entered for the auction is a former neighbourhood office at Powis Avenue, Tipton.

The vacant freehold premises have a guide price £70,000-£80,000.