Crumbling historic Walsall pub set to be torn down as soon as next month

The former Buffet Island on Queslett Road in Great Barr. Photo: Ashley Preece
The former Buffet Island on Queslett Road in Great Barr. Photo: Ashley Preece

Plans have been put forward to Walsall Council planners to demolish the old Buffet Island, on Queslett Road, which has sat empty for more than two years.

Applicants Avison Young said the building is in a poor state of repair and, if permission is granted, demolition work could start as early as next month.

Once the building is taken down, the site would be cleared, levelled and fenced off to keep it safe.

Despite the fact it has been disused since early 2020, people on social media expressed their sadness at the potential loss of the building.

Prior to it being refurbished and opened as an ‘all you can eat’ Chinese, it was a popular pub – latterly known as The Trees and before that, Schofields.

Social media contributors said it was popular with US servicemen when they were based in a camp nearby during the Second World War.

Eddie Harris said: “Been there since Pheasey was built. I’ve seen pictures of American soldiers drinking in there when it was a pub in 1944 before they went across to France.

“Be a shame to lose some history. Plus my dad played darts there in the 80’s when it was The Trees.”

Sue Ford said: “My mom said the Americans used it as a Naffi during the war. They had socials there with locals think.

“I went on my first date with my husband 54 years ago when at the side of the pub there was a disco. Mom and dad celebrated their Golden Wedding there in 1999 .

“So many happy memories , even going to Buffet Island with family. Shame it has to go but life moves on. Housing is needed but families please not another HMO.”

Patricia Griffin added: “What a shame. Could it not be used as a Youth Club/Community Centre or something to benefit the local area? Or even turn it back into a pub.”

Robert Hillcox said: “That Buffet Island was great! What a shame. The pub previously to that put on some good bands. Times have certainly changed.”

And Karen Bishop added: Why cant’ the building be used for something else? It’s got history – I thought Americans stopped there in the war?

“I also thought it was listed. Such a waste of money when the building could be used for something useful but still keep the history.”

Avison Young said: “The site is a former ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet style Chinese restaurant. We understand that the use ceased in early 2020 and has not reopened.

“We therefore submit this Prior Notification for Demolition and intend to begin demolition of the building once approval is granted.

“In respect of site restoration, the building will be demolished to ground level, with excess material removed from site.

“The site will then be levelled to make a safe level surface and fenced for public protection.”

Express & Star Walsall