Doctor Who News Manchester's Lass O'Gowrie as it appeared in Scream of the Shalka

Published on January 2nd, 2014 | by Christian Cawley

Lass O’Gowrie Doctor Who & Arts Pub Venue To Close

It’s completely accurate to say that we report this with a heavy heart and a tearful eye. Manchester’s superb and award-winning pub the Lass O’Gowrie is closing this weekend.

Home to countless Doctor Who events over the years – as well as a monthly meetup for fan – The Lass is jointly a victim of the closure of the old Oxford Road studios of BBC Manchester and a brewery that seems completely unaware of the wider implications of its decision (the reaction to the new on Twitter today has caused an avalanche of tweets and retweets).

Now, let’s be honest a moment: we’re big fans of Lass chieftan Gareth Kavanagh, his Vworp events and the Vworp Vworp! magazines he produces with Colin Brockhurst. Gareth has appeared on the podKast several times, helped with the formative development of Kasterborous Magazine and contributed several articles and interviews to this very site.

On a personal note, I’d call him a top bloke and a friend.

So we report this with both disappointment and bias. In fact, it might be better if you get your facts from The Publican’s Morning Advertiser, with whom Gareth recently spoke, and find out just why Greene King brewery is hardly covering itself in glory by ending relations with the Great British Pub Award 2012 Pub of the Year winner.

It’s a sad time for Doctor Who and arts fans in Manchester, as The Lass has been home to many productions over the years, and even by chance appeared in The Scream of the Shalka!

We’re assured, however, that Gareth will continue to produce events and plays. So if you want more like Midnight, Robots of Death or An Unearthly Child live on stage, all is not lost…

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About the Author

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




5 Responses to Lass O’Gowrie Doctor Who & Arts Pub Venue To Close

  1. Lozzer says:

    A real shame, another Manchester gem bites the dust. It’s round the corner from my flat, and while I didn’t blow my weekly wage there proping up the bar, I did see quite a few plays and used it as a place to meet friends and watch a bit of footy. There are one or two geek friendly bars still in Manchester, but the Lass was definitely the best. Good luck to Gareth and the staff who worked there.

  2. yorkshirened says:

    An absolute outrage. Its high time the government did something to protect communities and our heritage from the big breweries ridiculous modern day business methods

  3. Ian says:

    When I read this on Twitter this morning it was a shock. Been to the Las many times, last time was in the Summer a free event to meet Louise Jameson. This is very sad news :(

  4. redflagwalks says:

    this is sad news, indeed, and part of the continued sterilisation of Manchester City Centre and its domination by chain bars, chain restaurants etc..The BBC’s move from Oxford Road to Media City is symptomatic of how media orgainsations have removed themselves from public spaces that you could access easily to hermetically sealed and privatised enclaves.

    • Christopher Martin says:

      Not entirely sure I agree with you here. Certain areas of Manchester are becoming homogenised, but there are lots and lots of independent bars, small local chains and also local chains (Living Ventures) that are becoming bigger and bigger. The Northern Quarter is a prime example – on the whole, independent bars and small local chains with the very odd exception. Even Spinningfields with a greater concentration of chain restaurants still has a lot of local bars / restaurants there – admittedly lots of them are Living Ventures venues, but even they are far from sterile chains.

      I do not believe Manchester is becoming sterile or that the BBC have removed themselves from public spaces you can access; they’ve merely moved across the river to Salford. Lots going on around Media City including independent venues- it’s just not Manchester city centre(and Oxford Road is only on the cusp of the city centre anyhow).

      It’s not just Lass that’s closed; the pub just along from it, on Charles St and Princess St has also closed, as has Kro outside the BBC. The critical mass is moving from that area, though Odder and Black Dog are still open round the corner and Deaf Institute, Sand Bar a little further away.

      Still, it’s sad that a comfortable pub, managed by a great Dr Who fan is ceasing in it’s current form. Greene King are apparently looking for a new landlord.

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