Rumours of Ludlow Wetherspoon quashed as clothes and bears company moves into Legion

Update 9 10 October 2016

I have objected to scheme because the details are not right.

I do not object to the change of use. But I am not convinced by the plan to paint the Victorian frontage mid-grey. The buildings of Mill Street are all light coloured. Dour grey, though currently fashionable, would look out of place. A stone colour might be more suitable. The British Legion sign should be saved and given to the Museum or Museum Resource Centre. There is no need for an illuminated sign on an already well-lit street.

I am disappointed that the company’s agents have not been able to meet me to discuss my concerns but we are trying to arrange a telephone conversation.

Main article 25 September 2016

I have lost track of how many times I have been told that the Wetherspoon pub chain is coming to Ludlow. When Woolworths closed, the gossips were certain that a Wetherspoon would open up any day. We got a Spar instead. When plans were touted to rebuild One Stop on Tower Street, the quidnuncs of Ludlow said it could only be a Wetherspoon. It won’t be.

And when the British Legion on Mill Street closed, the chatter in the bars of Ludlow was that Wetherspoon was at last on its way to Ludlow. Alas for those that enjoy the cheap beer and food upon which J.D. Wetherspoon has built its reputation, along with inconvenient upstairs toilets, the Legion will not become a pub.

Instead, the former Victory House Club will become a clothes emporium.[1] The ground and first floors will be a shop for Douglas Attire. The company sells clothing, bags and bears.

The second floor will remain residential.

The planning application from Coldwell Property Company states:

The applicants propose to extend their family business, currently in Llandeilo, with the addition of another shop – clothes, shoes, bags and accessories, in the town. The ground floor room will provide a display area and office. The large ground floor area to the rear will be the main shop floor. The first floor, previously the Club’s billiards room and store will be used for storage. The second floor, currently residential, is to be updated and reordered to create a 1-bedroom apartment.

victory_house_1

victory_house_proposed_front_elevation

I am happy with this scheme in principle, subject to Shropshire Council’s conservation officers being satisfied with the details. This building should be brought back into use otherwise it will become as decrepit as parts of the town walls. I would much prefer a new family firm to come to the town than yet another national or international chain. I am sure that neighbours on Mill Street will welcome that the Victory Club won’t become a noisy pub or night club.

But I am not convinced by the plan to paint the Victorian frontage mid-grey. The buildings of Mill Street are all light coloured. Dour grey, though currently fashionable, would look out of place.

There is no need for an illuminated sign on an already well lit street.

The British Legion sign should be saved and given to the Museum or Museum Resource Centre.

The stairs in Victory House feature a mural painted by Clun resident Bruce Bairnsfather. It shows a soldier in front of a ruin, inscribed “Old soldiers never die / they simply fade away” and is signed and dated “Bruce / Bairnsfather / 47”.[2]

bairnsfather_mural

The planning applications only mention this in passing. There have been suggestions since the Legion closed that the mural should be moved elsewhere. The mural is now an integral part of the building and think it should remain where it is. I am very reluctant to move history around without compelling reasons.

I think it would be helpful if there was a clear statement from Coldwell Property on the future of this important mural.

Notes

[1]. There are three planning applications for this conversion. 16/03891/FUL: change of use to retail. 16/03892/LBC: listed building consent for the same (Victory House is Grade II listed). 16/03842/ADV: a new, illuminated, hanging sign on Mill Street.

[2]. Wikipedia: Captain (Charles) Bruce Bairnsfather (1887 – 1959). Shropshire Star: Shropshire wall art drawn by ‘Banksy of the war’. Independent: The captain who gave Britain its ultimate weapon during World War One – laughter. Shropshire Remembers: “Old Bill” – The Shropshire Connection.

2 thoughts on “Rumours of Ludlow Wetherspoon quashed as clothes and bears company moves into Legion

  1. If you are a tourist area surely the walls should be maintained and upgraded Equally grey ? should only be used if it blends into the other buildings.

  2. A Wetherspoons In Ludlow would be great but I can’t see it happening . I would like to ask if you would like to see one in Ludlow Mr Boddington ? There are ‘spoons in Mkt Drayton Tewkesbury Leominster Bewdley Bridgnorth Ross on Wye and scores more in roughly similar size towns to Ludlow . Does the council have a view on this ? I do think This debate needs opening up….

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