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Last toast from pub regulars as West Bromwich Wetherspoons calls time

It's a case of last orders at West Bromwich's Wetherspoon pub as resigned customers bid a fond farewell to the chain.

Pat Hickman has been visiting the premises for 44 years
Pat Hickman has been visiting the premises for 44 years

The historic Billard Hall, in St Michael's Street, is among more than 30 earmarked for closure by the chain due to economic pressures. It is due to close on Sunday night with staff relocating to other branches.

The Billiard Hall Wetherspoons in West Bromwich

The watering hole, formerly home to billiard and snooker clubs, was popular with town centre workers and a group of about 20 senior citizens met there regularly to socialise.

However, customers enjoying a last pint there over the weekend say they were hopeful the property owner would be able to find fresh purpose for the premises, situated opposite the bus station.

Pat Hickman, 60, a milkman, said: "I've been coming here since I was 16, when it was a snooker hall. I've been coming here all my life.

"We know someone's taking it over, but we don't know what they're going to do with it.

"There's only The Sandwell across the road left. We'll be left going further and further out of town to get a pint. The price for a pint is going up plus we'll have to pay taxi fare to get home."

SANDWELL COPYRIGHT TIM STURGESS EXPRESS AND STAR 19/05/2023 The Billiard Hall Wetherspoons in West Bromwich closes for good on Sunday. Gordy Bradley..

Gordy Bradley, 60, a refuse collector, of Stour Street, Greets Green, said: "I've been coming here from day one from when it opened in 1998 and I'll be here on Sunday when it closes.

"I've come here regularly over 25 years. It's closing, but it's reopening as something else we've heard.

"We will miss the Wetherspoon brand here, but there is another down the road to be honest."

Gary Stanley says cheers as Wetherspoon bows out of The Billiard Hall

Gary Stanley, 47, of Summer Street, says The Billiard is the latest in a long list of public houses to suffer a similar fate in recent decades.

"There used to be lots and pubs in the town. I can count about 20, but there all gone except four.

"There were about six nightclubs up here. The town has gone to wrack and ruin. Nobody cares. People don't want to come up here any more.

"There's too much trouble, scrapping and drugs. This place has changed hands that many times and it's gone down and down over the years," the scaffold worker, says.

John Johnson outside Wetherspoons The Billiard Hall in West Bromwich which is closing on Sunday

John Johnson, 68, of Albion Road, a retired engineer, says: "I used to come and play billiards when I was younger, then pool when that came on the scene. I pop in sometimes as it brings back memories of what the town centre was like back in the day."

Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: "The pub’s final day for customers is Sunday. It will be closed from Monday."

The pub is among two in the region to shut. The Malthouse off New Road in Willenhall, closed in March and the site also known as in The Dale is currently up for sale.

Between 40 and 50 staff worked at each branch and these were due will be retained by the firm at its other pubs in the region.

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