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Blog: Save The Pump & Tap!

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ALARMING NEWS reaches me this morning that our new song Leicester's Trying To Tell Me Something may become out of date before it's even recording. As the lyrics say, "one by one each pub I've loved or played above has been demolished or turned into some flats", although they only "roofed over the Pump & Tap and walled over the stage". That was bad enough, but now it looks like it is under threat of DEMOLITION.

The full details are here. For those who don't know Leicester's Glittering West End, you enter it from the city side by walking under a MASSIVE old bridge which used to run trains to the old station. When the trains stopped the route was turned into a footpath which, until a few years ago, ended with a stroll over the bridge along to some steps which took you down to the Pump & Tap. It was a crazily IMMENSE structure for a footbridge, but BRILLIANT for that reason, and a unique part of the industrial heritage of Leicester. There was a plan a few years ago to build HOUSES on top of the bridge, as it was designed to support 1000 ton trains several times an hour, and all sorts of ideas flew around as to how the Pump & Tap pub could be integrated into it, but they came to nothing and the bridge was closed off as "structurally unsafe". This does seem a BIT odd - as i say, until 1968 (i think) it had handled 100 years of trains with no bother and since then had supported mostly drunken students heading home, but it APPEARS that this was done so that it could be left to decay and then demolished later down the line.

It's all a bit crappy really, not least because it is heavily hinted that once the bridge and the arches (which run behind the pub) are knocked down the Pump & Tap itself will have to go. During the 60s and 70s most of Leicester's older and/or most interesting buildings were knocked down to make way for a ring road and horrible dreary 70's unibuildings, most of which have been taken down THEMSELVES in the past few years, and now it looks like they're starting it up again. The centre of Leicester IS a LOT nicer these days than it used to be, but it is also rather heavily populated by those massive industrial estate buildings with the TILDE roofs, and it would be a crying shame to see one of the last remnants of the Victorian Past in that area get taken away without a fight.

And also, of course, it'd be bloody awful to lose my favourite remaining pub! Come on - i drank there for 14 years, it's a HERITAGE site!

Anyway, if you've ever been to Leicester and savoured the delights of the West End, you might want to sign the petition. I have!

posted 7/11/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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