Thatched House, Broad Street, Salford, 1961. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr .
The Thatched House beerhouse opened in a row of shops on Broad Street that used to face the still-serving Church Inn on Ford Lane. It is first recorded in 1834 and by 1911 it was a Walkers & Homfray house. After passing to Wilsons, the inevitable 1971 closure followed due to regeneration, but this is one boozer that didn't close without a whisper. In a Salford City Reporter interview in '71 just before closure, the landlord, Maurice Roberts, "said that his old customers were suspicious about the new [estate] pubs that the breweries were building and the beer they sold. New pubs were equipped to sell keg or tank beer, but Mr Roberts' customers liked to see the 'wickets' on the bar ."
This keg beer referred to was the bland, fizzy, filtered, pasteurised beer that the large breweries mistakenly believed would replace cask ale in the '60s and '70s. Tank beer wasn't quite as bad as keg, being brewery-conditioned, but it wasn't real ale as we know it. Most old-style keg beer has been phased out, but the ever-popular nitrokeg smoothflow offerings in so many pubs still shows that you can't account for taste, or the power of effective marketing. The recent revival of the real ale scene in the UK has been followed by a small but noisy resurgence of "craft" keg, and although the prices can be eye-watering, quality seems to be there, unlike the old days.
2. Salford Pubs Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).