A HARTLEPOOL pubs expert says there are just 44 pubs left in the town and the number will dwindle further unless people start to use them.
Marie-Louise McKay, author of a book which names every pub in Hartlepool’s history, says that in the 1920s there were 89 pubs in the town – over double the number of boozers now.
The 50-year-old, who works in the visitors centre at Camerons Brewery, said that the answer to halting the town’s pubs’ demise is simple: “Start using them.”
She told the Mail: “People are often quick to complain to me about the number of pubs and the lack of people in pubs these days, but I turn it around and say to them, ‘when was the last time you were in one?’
“It’s plain and simple, the pubs are closing because people aren’t going in them. If pubs were making money then they wouldn’t close.”
She added: “People are choosing to stay in because there are other attractions now to occupy their minds like the TV or computers.
“They don’t seem to want to go in pubs anymore. It’s very sad but that’s the way it is.”
Marie-Louise predicts that more pubs will close over the coming years but there will still be a select few that will remain busy.
“There are some very busy pubs in the town, and people follow people.
“If it’s a choice between sitting in a local pub with just three other people, or going into town where there’s a pub with 30 or 40 people, then more than likely customers are going to go where the most people are.
“There’s still a need for pubs, an absolute need. So, if you want to see your favourite pub stay open then go in it!”