THE JUNCTION Pub has proudly stood in Hulme for countless years.

Whilst the area around the pub began to be redeveloped into the £140 million Birley campus for Manchester Metropolitan University, the pub stuck to its traditional roots.

However, numerous factors have now come together, forcing the pub to close its doors for good.

As seen in the comparison below, the pub once stood proudly in the heart of the Hulme region of Greater Manchester. It was known then as the ‘Grand Junction Hotel’ and had three floors.

It was, and still is, located just a stone throw from the once popular Hulme Hippodrome- a 3000 capacity theatre and music hall.

There are even rumours that the hotel and Hippodrome shared an underground tunnel, allowing guests direct access to the venue from the hotel and vice versa.

The decline of Hulme

In fact, according to John O’Donnell, head of the Campaign for Real Ales (CAMRA) in Hulme and Trafford, Hulme alone had around 40 traditional pubs in the 1950s and 1960s. However, with the closure of the Junction, there is now only bars in the area.

“It’s a real shame to see another pub close its doors to the public, especially in this area,” O’Donnell admitted.

“I moved into the area itself 15 years ago and it’s sad to admit it, but it seems to be on the decline massively in terms of this sort of thing.

“Don’t get me wrong, Hulme itself is great. There are new houses appearing all the time, there’s the new multi-million pound university campus and so on. But places like the Junction are left isolated by the changes around it.

People are also more inclined to go to bars instead now too- in fact one opened across from the Junction not too long ago.”

“We’re going to have a meeting with Hydes Brewery and Les, the landlord, within the week actually.

“For the sake of the area I hope we can come to some sort of solution, although something did have to be done as it couldn’t continue the way it was.”

What went wrong with pubs?

In recent times, the pub had been something of a hangout for locals, with several nights being themed around live music.

However, due to some external factors, this pub- much like every other- has struggled in the last few years.

The 2007 smoking ban, coupled with the rising price of a pint and beer tax, has started to drive away potential customers from traditional pubs.

It is factors such as this and the increasingly cheaper option to drink at home, that have ultimately led to the worrying statistic of 27 pubs closing across the UK each week in the past year.

Not all hope is lost yet

Despite the UK paying close to 40 per cent of all of the EU beer duty, steps from the government are being made to try and protect the beer and pub industry.

A spokesperson from the treasury told The Independent: “The Government continues to support the pub and beer industry across the UK. That’s why we took action at Budget 2015 to cut the tax on a typical pint of beer by a penny for the third year in a row, to cut duties on spirits and most ciders by two per cent, and to freeze duty on wine”.

A report last year found that had Chancellor George Osborne not cut beer duty in 2014, another 1,000 pubs would have closed.

In a statement on CAMRA’s website, they say: “It’s pleasing to see that our campaigning to protect community pubs is having an effect, with closure numbers reducing. Local pubs are vital to their communities and the wellbeing of their users.

“As well as reducing tax the government can continue to support these pubs by strengthening national planning regulations and supporting local groups seeking to list pubs as Assets of Community Value.”

Over the years, as with many pubs, the ownership of The Junction has changed hands a few times.

However, it was purchased by Hydes Brewery, a Salford-based firm, around 30 years ago and stayed in their hands ever since.

A spokesperson for the Brewery confirmed that there were immediate plans to meet with the Campaign for Real Ale to try and come up with a solution to save the property.

By Jordan Stewart

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