AN historic Southsea pub that closed after a slump in trade is being turned into a house.
Time was called at The Taswell Arms, in Taswell Road after owners Enterprise Inns sold it to a private developer for an undisclosed fee.
Developers are gutting the Victorian local and converting it into a house for a single resident.
The building and the original exterior features will remain intact.
Graham Masters, 71, owner of Wimbledon Park Garage, in Wimbledon Park Road, Southsea, said he was glad the existing building wasn’t being pulled down.
‘It’s a shame to see yet another pub closing in Portsmouth,’ he said.
‘But at the same time I’m glad it’s not going to be knocked down. It’s a beautiful building.
‘Back in the 1970s it used to be quite a popular pub.
‘Unfortunately in recent years there’s been quite a lot of trouble.
‘I’m unsure as to why it closed.
‘But over the past 20 years its gone from manager to manager so that’s partly to blame.
‘People like a bit of stability in the ownership of a pub.
‘I’d say it had been going downhill for a while.’
Kath Birch, landlady of The Phoenix pub, in Duncan Road, Southsea, said she used to be a regular drinker at The Taswell Arms. ‘It used to be my little sanctuary,’ she said.
In recent years regulars at The Phoenix and The Taswell Arms have taken part in sack races and three-legged races around Southsea in aid of charity.
Kath added: ‘We had some great times with the locals at both pubs.
‘I don’t think The Taswell Arms was able to survive because it was too far off the main road. Like many pubs nowadays it just isn’t making the money.’
Ken Chaplin, 40, who lives next door to the former pub, said: ‘There was no atmosphere in there.
‘Whenever you walked past the place it looked quiet.
Jeff Purslove, 60, of St Ronan’s Road, Southsea, said: ‘I drank in there from time to time but it was nothing to shout about.’
Vicky Averis of Enterprise Inns said: ‘As part of the on-going development of our pub estate, we identify pubs that we feel no longer have a long term future in our estate with a view to disposing of them.
‘After careful consideration the decision was taken to sell the Taswell Arms.’