This Coseley canal side pub was already serving the Priorfields ironworks on the opposite side of the Birmingham Canal Navigation when the London & North Western Railway line opened in 1852. The extra custom from the nearby goods and passenger stations and next-door’s rapidly expanding Cannon foundry provided even more drinkers for Richard Thompson’s thriving tavern.
One hundred and fifty years later the picture has radically changed - industries have closed, rail users disappeared and the canal left to the occasional leisure boat. The Boat is closed and in sad decay.
The derelict buildings, situated on the corner bounded by Havacre Lane and Biddings Lane, suffered a final indignity in February 2007 when an illegal cannabis factory, set up in some of the rooms, caused a fire. Damage to the roof and windows exposed the interior to near terminal decline.
Although the historic pub is for sale its future is uncertain. Business use would be speculative and residential use only possible after substantial renovation. Sadly demolition beckons for another Black Country watering hole. [With time running out Coseley Civic Trust is appealing for a sympathetic restoration of the site.]
Update: Demolition took place in November 2008. Some material was reclaimed for future use.