Feature: ‘Always place for a good pub in Ilkeston’ despite a difficult time in town

Scott Ryder behind the bar of the Three Horseshoes
Scott Ryder behind the bar of the Three Horseshoes

There was a time when Ilkeston had plenty of pubs, all of which did a roaring trade.

But times have changed and there has been a shift in the town’s pub scene in recent months.

The Gallows Inn - one of the closed pubs in Ilkeston

The Gallows Inn - one of the closed pubs in Ilkeston

While some of the town’s pubs are still doing well others have closed. Three pubs - The Gallows Inn, The Brewery Tap and The Needlemakers’s Arms - have all closed within weeks of each other in the last two months alone.

Scott Ryder runs the Three Horse Shoes on Derby Road. They have recently started selling craft beers and ciders, including six draught ciders, five craft ales and 30 whiskeys. The pub has recently been renovated at a cost of £60,000, including room for extra pipes.

Scott, who runs the pub with wife Lisa, said: “I knew if I didn’t do it in Ilkeston someone else would.

“There are a few pubs in Ilkeston closing at the moment so you have to have something to draw people in. I think there will be more casualties in the town, it’s tough. Obliviously places do close and people will migrate to other places. It’s a tough industry but, touch wood, we’re doing ok. There’s a circuit in Ilkeston, including The Poacher and the Burnt Pig. There’s always place for a good pub.”

Pubs that have either opened or been revamped in 2015 include The General Havelock on Stanton Road, The Burnt pig Ale ‘ouse on Market street and Hogarths gin palace on South Street.

Hogarths, formerly the Charter, opened in April and specialises in a huge variety of flavoured gins. Owner Ian Eyre, who runs the pub with his partner Amy Clifton, said the aim of the pub was to breathe new life back into the town.

Micro pub The Burnt Pig ale ‘Ouse prides itself on its real local ales from Ilkeston and the surrounding areas. Since it opened in May owner Simon Clark already has plans to expand due to its popularity.

The General Havelock was taken over by Rebecca Rutherford and partner Shaun Dalton in March. It was converted into a rotisserie and cafe following a refurbishment.

This all suggests that pubs now have to have a ‘pull’ something different that will bring customers in.

Mandy and Richard Muir had just that when they opened The Brewery Tap on South Street in 2013. But now they have closed the Ilkeston pub. On their Facebook page, they wrote: “It is with deepest regret that we hereby confirm the closure of The Brewery Tap micro pub with immediate effect. Those that know us will know that this was tough decision for us to make and also that we are not ones for a fuss, hence the quiet exit.

“On a positive note though the decision was made as the brewery has trebled in size in the last six months and with our other pub going to seven days a week we unfortunately had to sacrifice something as we were becoming far too over-stretched.”

The closure comes after The Gallows Inn on Nottingham Road was sold at auction in the summer. It is now closed and mystery surrounds who the new owners are. The Advertiser made a request via auctioneers Graham Penny to speak to the new owners about their plans for the pub but they were not prepared to comment. The Needlemakers’ Arms in Kensington Street is also currently closed.