Ex-pro boxer's Bamber Bridge pub is counted out after more than a century pulling pints

A pub once run by a former heavyweight boxer seems destined for a new life as an apartment block.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 10:08 am
The Peter's Bar has a long and colourful history.

The Peter's Bar, in School Lane, Bamber Bridge looks to have pulled its last pint after owners revealed it couldn't make ends meet.

The alehouse, previously known as Tommy Tucker's Bar after the boxer who used to be landlord, closed its doors to drinkers in summer 2020 and has fallen into a poor state of disrepair.

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Plans have gone in for six apartments in the old pub.

Now a planning application has gone in to turn the three-storey Georgian building into six apartments.

The bar shut down after the untimely death of its popular landlord Peter Mullen in April last year. A report by an investment consultancy says the business is no longer viable as a pub.

Attempts to get a new tenant failed in December. It was then offered for sale at £195,000, but no-one came forward wanting to operate it as a pub.

The report by Manchester-based Jenics says: "We can demonstrate that Peter's Bar is not sustainable as a wet-led community public house. Over several years Peter's Bar has been unable to achieve sustainability."

Boxer Tommy Tucker (left) shaking hands with former LEP sportswriter JA Brierley, alias Perseus.

Amongst the reasons cited were running costs, limited scope for developing new income streams, changing drinking habits generally and all topped off with the impact of Covid in the licensed trade last year.

The building was originally a house for a family of grocers in the early 1800s.

It became the School Lane Hotel in Victorian times and one of its landlords was former pro boxer Tucker who eventually took over running the pub after his career in the ring ended in the 1930s.

For years it was known as Tommy Tucker's Bar and one of its most recent landlords, Mark Seel Neville, was jailed for 26 years in 2010 for masterminding a £14m cocaine smuggling ring.

The apartment plans show four two-bed and two one-bed flats. A planning report says: "The majority of the building is in major disrepair and as such it is clear that the building is financially unviable to operate due to the extensive maintenance and repair work required to keep it in operational order, in particular the roof works that are leaving the building open to the elements.

"The loss of a pub and a business is unfortunate for the community, however it is demonstrated that there are alternative facilities for the community within close proximity. The local residents still have the use of five drinking establishments, all within an 11-minute walk of Peter's Bar."

Tommy Tucker, real name Thomas Fletcher, was a Bamber Bridge fighter who had a professional career between 1929 and 1934 as a heavyweight. Of his 26 pro bouts he won 11.

His name was legendary in the Preston are where he won fame as the gentleman heavyweight boxer of the north.

The name Tommy Tucker came from his childhood when he had a stammer and he was forced to say the nursery rhyme Little Tommy Tucker over and over again,

He worked in the mill and was also a local Methodist lay preacher.

The bout which drew the biggest crowd was against giant Australian Jack O'Malley who beat him on points in front of around 7,000 people at Preston North End's Deepdale Stadium.

A father of five, Tommy later went on to be a professional wrestler before taking over the School Lane Hotel where he died in 1959 aged 57.