THE DEATH knell rang for a landmark Hereford city pub in March 20 years ago as Asda applied for permission to knock it down.

For years, the Greyhound Dog was a sad sight for motorists travelling south of the river in Hereford, standing derelict and forlorn in Belmont.

Hereford Times: The Greyhound Dog, Hereford, in 2001The Greyhound Dog, Hereford, in 2001 (Image: Hereford Times)

For those of us under a certain age, the final years of decay are all we can remember of the Greyhound Dog.

But for many years, the pub was a busy city watering hole and social venue.


It was home for many years to St Martin's Bowling Club, first opened on May 24, 1924, after an agreement was signed with Mitchell & Butler's Brewery.

The club was largely patronised by local businessmen so matches took place in the evenings or on a Thursday afternoon which was recognised as 'half day closing' in Hereford for many years.

Hereford Times: Herefordians celebrate Queen Elizabeth's coronation at the Greyhound Dog in Hereford in 1952Herefordians celebrate Queen Elizabeth's coronation at the Greyhound Dog in Hereford in 1952 (Image: Hereford Times)

In the 1950s, the pub was a hub for coronation celebrations in Belmont, with dozens of locals gathering to mark the historic day.

Pictured, among others, are late landlord Doug Smith and his wife Elsie (centre), with daughters Linda (front) and Ann (left in white dress).

Others identified in the picture include Harry Quinsey (front, with carnation in pocket), who founded the nearby Quinsey grocery shop, Bill Humphries, who ran a taxi service next to the pub, and Eric Davies.

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The 80s was a decade of uncertainty for the bowling club, as the relationship between bowlers and the new landlord reached a new low as a result of a £12,000 per annum demand for a rent.

At one point the green was actually barricaded to stop bowlers having access, but the problem was soon resolved after the landlord's dog bit then president, Frank Harwood, and a sensible amount was agreed for the rent, but relations with the landlord were never quite the same.

But the club was forced to find a new home as Asda formulated plans to open a new supermarket in Belmont.

Hereford Times: The Greyhound Dog in Hereford, picture believed to date from the 1990sThe Greyhound Dog in Hereford, picture believed to date from the 1990s (Image: Hereford Times)

The Greyhound Dog was in the way of planned development, which included improvements to the Belmont roundabout, and an application for the demolition of the public house, associated outbuildings and former store office was submitted to Herefordshire Council in March 2003.

A previous application for demolition had been withdrawn by Asda earlier in March 2003.

The demolition was approved by planners in March 2005.