Affordable homes finished on site of former Walsall pub once used by Slade

A plaque shows the site of the pub the homes have now been built on
A plaque shows the site of the pub the homes have now been built on

Housing provider Longhurst Group has transformed the previously derelict site at Stephenson Avenue, Beechdale, Walsall, with the two-bedroom homes, which have been made available on an affordable rent basis.

The site, which was once The Three Men in a Boat pub, was most recently the group’s offices on the estate, but had stood empty since 2015 when they were relocated to Stephenson Square.

The homes, which were partly funded through money received from the sale of 40 Longhurst Group properties through the Voluntary Right to Buy pilot in the West Midlands, have now been handed over by contractors and new residents have started moving in.

Marcus Keys, executive director of growth and development at Longhurst Group, said: “I’m delighted to see these homes completed and handed over to the group.

Work under way last year. Photo: Longhurst Group
Work under way last year. Photo: Longhurst Group

“We’re committed to providing the homes people want, where they’re needed most and by delivering 12 affordable homes on Beechdale in Walsall, we’re addressing a need for additional housing and helping to improve the community.

“The site, which was once our offices and previously a pub, had stood derelict for a number of years and had become a magnet for anti-social behaviour, so it was important for us to transform this site.

“The homes are smart and modern and I’m sure they’ll prove popular with our customers who’ve already started moving in and making them home.

“I’d also like to thank residents living nearby for their patience and understanding during the works.”

As well as delivering the new homes, Longhurst Group has also unveiled a commemorative sign at the site marking its history as the former The Three Men in a Boat pub and the important part it played in the West Midlands music scene.

Rock legends Slade rehearsed at the pub
Rock legends Slade rehearsed at the pub

The N’Betweens included Slade members Noddy Holder, Don Powell, Dave Hill and Jim Lea.

Rock history was made in March 1966 when Noddy, Dave, Don and Jim played together at the pub Boat’ pub near Noddy’s house in Walsall.

Mr Keysd: “We want to improve the communities in which our customers live, but at the same time we’re mindful of not erasing their history.

“That’s why we felt it was important to commemorate the history of this site through its time as The Three Men in a Boat pub and also our offices by way of the plaque at the front of the development.

“We know how loved the pub was by many of our customers and residents of the estate, so I hope this can act as a permanent reminder of those happy memories.”

James Tyson, Project Manager at Longhurst Group, added: “This scheme has been a great example of effective teamwork and I’d like to thank all members of the project team who’ve worked harmoniously and collaboratively through the many challenges that the pandemic has brought us, in order to reach this finished product.”

Express & Star Walsall