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Pub regulars speak of dismay as West Bromwich Wetherspoons up for sale

Regular patrons of a Wetherspoons pub which has been put up for sale have said it will be a big loss for the community.

Terence and Louise Harris fear the impact of the loss of the pub on West Bromwich
Terence and Louise Harris fear the impact of the loss of the pub on West Bromwich

Two well-known Wetherspoon pubs in the Black Country are being sold off by the chain as part of 32 nationally which are facing the axe.

These are The Malthouse in New Road, Willenhall, and The Billiard Hall, in St Michael's Street, on West Bromwich's Ringway.

Between 40 and 50 staff work at each site and will be retained by the firm at other pubs in the region, with the pubs running until they are sold.

Regular customers of The Billiard Hall expressed their affection for their local haunt, and fear the impact it will have on West Bromwich.

Michael Whatmore visits the pub virtually every day and has been a regular for over 50 years

Michael Whatmore from Tipton visits the pub virtually every day, having been a regular for over 50 years.

"I used to play billiards in there, a long time ago. I was 18 - I'm 72 now," he said.

"We'd have boozers here when we had that cheap beer at 50p a pint."

Michael lost his wife in the pandemic, and his sister and mother have also recently passed away.

For him, The Billiard Hall is a centre of community, where there's always a friendly smile.

He added: "It's a loss for us because we all meet up here, so what are we going to do now?"

Steve Page says the pub going up for sale is a great loss

Steve Page from Smethwick also loves the atmosphere at the pub, and tends to visit around four times a week.

The 68-year-old said: "Of course it's a loss, what else have you got in West Brom?

"It's my favourite Wetherspoons. There are a lot of characters in there. There's never any trouble and it's always a good pint."

The Billiard Hall in St Michael's Street, on West Bromwich's Ringway

Husband and wife, Louise and Terence Harris, pop into The Billiard Hall "every so often", and like Steve, fear that West Bromwich's offerings are dwindling.

Louise said: "There's not a lot here is there? There's not a lot here at all, and this pub's alright. If we do pop into West Brom, we always pop in here for a quick drink."

Carol and Jack Turton have been visiting the pub for years

The pub will also be missed by Carol and Jack Turton from West Bromwich, who pop in for a hot drink.

"We've been going in for years," Jack said, with Carol adding, "He'll definitely miss it. There's a regular crowd in there every day."

The Billiard Hall was converted from a gaming hall, and opened as a 'Spoons' in 1998, retaining its classic facade from 1913.

Councillor Bawa Singh Dhallu, who represents the area on Sandwell Council, said: "It's a big blow because a lot of people go to The Billiard Hall for a drink.

"They enjoy their drink and because it's near to the bus station, they can have a drink and then get on the bus. It's been very very useful for the public and I think most of the public will not be happy with this news.

"To my knowledge, it was a good business and to close a businesses in the centre of West Bromwich is never good. We want to attract more businesses into Sandwell and we don't want businesses to close down and go away."

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