Club cries 'foul' as pub is demolished

ONE of the area's best known football clubs has been thrown into chaos after the facilities it has used for years were demolished without warning.

Ardsley Celtic's changing rooms and shower block were on land attached to the White Horse pub in Main Street, East Ardsley.

But developers who recently bought the pub sent demolition workers in last week to raze both it and the football's club's facilities.

The unexpected move has left Ardsley Celtic with the massive problem of having no showers or changing areas, which they must have because of FA regulations.

The White Horse, also known locally as 'The Peg', closed some time ago and was put on the market. It was bought by Panorama Living Ltd, of Manchester.

When the pub was still trading it had a gentleman's agreement with Ardsley Celtic which meant it used the changing rooms and showers on its land for free in return from the club getting its catering from the pub and bringing in plenty of custom on matchdays.

A spokesman for Ardsley Celtic said this week that the club was having ongoing talks with the developers to see what could be done.

Coun Jack Dunn (Lab, Ardsley and Robin Hood) said he was furious that the football team had been left without its facilities.

"Apparently the demolition men said they weren't aware the facilities were still in use but the club had new showers put in not that long ago, it must have been obvious it was in use," he said.

"It's a terrible loss to the community but in real terms they (the developers) had the right to demolish it because it's not a listed building. It will be interesting now to see what goes up in its place.

"It's a big disappointment for the village and the club. The pub has a lot of memories for the village. There used to be community meetings held in there and it was always a good, pleasant pub.

"Sadly it's a sign of the times and I'm just sad for the football team because they're in a good league and they have a tremendous record."

People in East Ardsley have also expressed their disappoinment at the loss of the pub itself.

James Hopton, who lives nearby, contacted the Observer and Advertiser to express his anger at the demolition.

"It's a nice old building and they've just gone along and flattened it," he said.

"Someone came along and put fencing up around it last week but we never realised what was going on. Nobody around here had any idea they were going to pull it down, nobody knows anything.

"We presumed the building was listed but it wasn't so permission wasn't needed for demolition.

"We've lost the old East Ardsley school and now this has gone as well.They're just knocking down every nice building in the village and sticking houses and flats up in their place."

Nobody from Panorama Living Ltd was available to comment on the matter before the Observer and Advertiser went to press.