This was The Enterprise. The Parson Street boozer was quietly demolished a few months ago and it is now a building site.
The pub is the latest victim of this apparently pious ‘we’re all middle class now’ Blairite era where the smallest hint of crime or deviance is seized on by politicians, the media and willing moralising stooges claiming to represent “the community” and recycled into some kind of crazed moral panic about anti-social behaviour and the imminent collapse of ‘decent’ values. (If only… )
Then someone, somewhere cashes in.
The pub was raided by police in October 2005 and a small quantity of drugs seized. The unashamedly down-home, working class boozer was then closed down and never reopened amidst a whispering campaign of dark deeds and ne’er-do-wells.
Most of this was bollocks. I know someone who’s been married 30 years and had their wedding reception there. People got engaged there, people probably died there. Shit. Some people even went there and got pissed! The real crime here is that it was a working class boozer – a local pub and a much loved one at that – in an area being gentrified.
The impressive building was sold to developer Linden Homes in December 2006 and demolished soon after. Another piece of Bristol’s working class history not worth saving according to the architectural experts and the professional planners.
Now we learn that Linden Homes are to build luxury flats on the site as part of their Bedminster “urban renaissance” project – Bemmie’s the new Battersea dontchaknow?
And without a trace of irony they’re calling this new development ‘Space’. The one thing you can guarantee the occupiers won’t have very much of as they cram 44 flats on to the site.
Not that Linden or their buyers give a toss. “Bedminster [is] developing [a] booming rental market and a potential for house price growth that exceeds the rest of the city,” they say. Code for “we can make loads of cash from investors and buy-to-let purchasers.”
And their only comment on the community they are destroying for their fast buck: “Space is on the former site of The Enterprise Inn pub, which had a very poor reputation locally and has now been demolished”
The Enterprise is far from a one off. Wedlocks at Ashton is now under serious threat – “the pub was troublesome to local residents” the developers allege. The Albert’s gone from West Street. The Hen and Chicken on North Street has been sold. Remember The Venture Inn? That’s been empty for four years now. The Fighting Cocks at Hengrove? That’s flats.
Now The Blogger learns that even Bristol’s near-mythical boozers are under threat. St Judes’ Naval Volunteer was recently sold and Bedminster’s Apple Tree is said to be hanging on in there with just a month-by-month lease. Where will it all end? At a wine bar on East Street no doubt.
Anyway I’m off for a pint at The Raymend before some middle class tossers with a fist full of government funding and a stupid acronym for a name turn it into a community fucking resource.
Here’s to local boozers!