Sunday, June 11, 2017

Empty, Sad, Beerless And Skittle-Free

This is a scan of a negative I must have taken back in 1972. I can just about remember taking it - I would have been walking from Stoke-on-Trent station towards Newcastle-Under-Lyme, down Shelton Old Road. The pub on the left was the Cliff Vale Inn, the kind of nineteenth century alehouse that was so common to northern industrial towns. At one time it boasted "a splendid covered-in Skittle Alley", but that had long gone by the time I knew the pub in the 1970s. Sadly, it is not the Skittle Alley alone that is long gone, the pub itself closed several years ago. The building still remains - just about - but it is empty, sad, beerless and skittle-free.


  1. And here I thought you all across The Pond only played darts and quizzes in your pubs! Are there any pubs who still have skittles alleys?

    1. Roy, there are still a few - especially in the Midlands and South - but they are in decline and it is estimated that within a decade they all will have gone. Sad.

  2. It is a wonderful shot. I see a lighted car lot on the left side of the street. That is what was used for lighting back when I was a kid for all the rows of cars. Now they use stadium lights.

  3. Haven't heard the term "beerless" since my early drinking days over 40 years ago.

  4. Did you take any pics of Gasworks Alley in Shelton then? I don't think it had that actual name but its what everyone called it. Incredible looking bit of the Iron and Steel works. Now it's all call centres or something

  5. The American interpretation of "Skittle-free" is "without bite-sized fruit flavored chewy candies". Which though mistaken, is also sad.


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