'I'm like a local hero': Man restores Black Country pub which was target of vandals

By Jamie Brassington | Dudley | Dudley entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

A 200-year-old pub building which fell into disrepair has been transformed into a eye-catching £400,000 home.

Pail Bailey at his newly renovated house which was formerly The Good Intent

Paul Bailey, 50, spent four years restoring The Good Intent in Upper Gornal, Dudley - which became the target of vandals after it closed in 2004.

They would break in while Mr Bailey slept there during the renovation causing him to have "six months of sleepless nights".

But after much hard work and dedication, the former pub, on Vale Street, is now on the market as a luxurious four bedroom property.

The Good Intent pub is now an eye-catching house

He said: "Me and my daughter kept walking past it for a couple of years while on our way to my mom's for Sunday dinner. And bit by bit, it kind of made sense to renovate the property.

"I had built a house before and renovated one in Gornal. It was sat there looking tired and sad."

He acquired the two-storey property - equipped with a cellar - for a "bargain" price before investing more than £100,000 of his own money into the renovation, he said.

Mr Bailey, from Lower Gornal, also sold his own home to fund the project.


Although it is an old building, the interior is completely new and modern. The house boasts four double bedrooms and two bathrooms.

It does retain its old wooden beams which stretch across the ceiling downstairs. It also has a cellar from its yesteryears as a pub.

Mr Bailey spent four years renovating the property

Before it was a pub, The Good Intent was a series of three cottages which were built in 1820.


About one hundred years ago the site became a pub, said Paul.

At one time, it is believed a small dance school was located on the site too.

Since its closure in 2004, the building has been closed and boarded up.

How the pub used to look

The neighbours have appreciated Mr Bailey's renovation project as it has put an extra "£10,000" of value on their houses, he said.

It has also tackled anti-social-behaviour that was going on in the vicinity which involved drug taking and drinking.

"I'm like a local hero," he said. "The guy next door but one he said 'you have put ten grand on my house'.

"It was a lovely street but there was this eyesore on the end. It was boarded up for nearly 10 years.

"One of the neighbours was mugged on the alleyway at the back before I bought it.

"There was kids, they would be playing music late at night, they would be smoking weed, drinking.

"I had to kind of clean the area up."

A lounge area
One of its four double bedrooms
The kitchen

He continued: "I spent three months doing the flat up upstairs because the kids had broken in.

"They had ripped the roof off. Everything that could be smashed was smashed. The radiator was ripped off the walls. The pub downstairs was trashed.

"I was living here while they were breaking in. It was a nightmare. I had a cricket bat and baseball bat by nearly every door.

"I don't think I slept properly for six months."

The back garden
The back garden

Now the project is complete, Mr Bailey is looking for another old property to renovate.

He said: "There are too many properties being pulled down. All the old buildings are being lost."

To view this house, visit

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at


Top Stories


More from the Express & Star

UK & International News