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Opinion: pub building should not be demolished

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For many Stroudies, the Pelican or ‘Peli’ as it was affectionately known, was the go-to venue throughout the late 80s and 90s.

The ‘Peli’ was a much-loved Stroud social institution throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Subsequently, the pub was named the Union Inn and latterly the Market Tavern until its closure in 2014.

The old pub is now part of Stroud Town Council’s Neighbourhood Development Plan Review and one proposal is to flatten the current site.

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Shaun Dowdeswell, left, enjoying a drink in The ‘Peli’ back in the 1980s

Stroud Times spoke to Shaun Dowdeswell, who runs The Pelican Jukebox 1988 Facebook page, he said: “Lots of people have great memories of The Pelican when it was really popular music venue and pub that catered for everyone.

“It was an iconic venue and was a real community place for a generation of Stroud people.”

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The ‘Peli’ Picture: Shaun Dowdeswell

Shaun feels another pub is unlikely, but would like to see the main building restored rather than demolished: “On an architectural view, I think they should restore the main buildings and develop the rest of the site.

“It feels like what they did in the 60s and 70s when they let buildings get so run down people would think the best thing would be to knock them down and build modern buildings and we now know that was a mistake, but I doubt it will open again as a pub.

“I’m not against it being developed or against modern architecture. but if restored, the buildings could find a new use and retain the historic streetscape.

“The building on the bottom, known as the pit, is all that remains of a row of cottages and wasn’t originally part of the pub.”

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