Express & Star

Bilston hits the headlines after historic pub blaze and 'overlooked' towns announcement

Bilston has been in the news this weekend with a suspected arson attack at an historic high street pub and the town being named as one of more than 50 "overlooked" towns.

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The road outside the Greyhound and Punchbowl pub remains closed after Saturday's fire

The Greyhound and Punchbowl was extensively damaged by a blaze on Saturday morning. The blaze at the distinctive timber-frame building which dates back to the 15th century, is being treated as suspected arson.

The town was also in the headlines due to Bilston being named as one of more than 50 "overlooked" UK locations which will be given £20m over a ten year period to help regenerate high streets and tackle anti-social behaviour. The news was announced of the eve of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

The blaze at the pub is being treated as arson

Shoppers in Bilston gave their reaction to both and shared their thoughts on what it might mean for the town.

Betty Norman, from Bilston, said she felt sorry for the owners of the pub on the high street.

She said: "If I do go to pubs it is normally for a meal like Sunday lunch but the building itself was historic and it is awful to see any building go that way especially after what happened at The Crooked House.

"I hope the money from the Government is spent wisely, I think the fact it will be coming in over ten years is encouraging as it will be earmarked for different projects. I think the market is great and Bilston High Street is fine but it does need some new shops and investment."

Betty Norman