Landlady will be left homeless and jobless by demolition of Nottingham Panthers’ favourite pub

By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter

It was seven years ago that Michelle Padley took over The Nottingham Legend pub.

An avid Nottingham Panthers fan, she had followed the ice hockey team since the 1980s.

The Nottingham Legend in Lower Parliament Street, next to the Motorpoint Arena, is one of the only ice hockey pubs in the city attracting hundreds of fans and players every week.

When the pub was looking for a new landlady, she jumped at the chance.

But her dream job is about to come to a ‘devastating’ end.

Nottingham City Council’s planning committee accepted plans to demolish the pub on Wednesday, July 21, and build a five-storey student housing block in its place.

“This is not just a pub – this is my home. We are an ice hockey family and I don’t know where we are going to go.” she told The Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The pub, which has been in the city for decades, is adorned with ice hockey memorabilia,  including framed, signed ice hockey shirts. One is from when the Nottingham Panthers won the Continental Cup in Italy.

Nottingham Panthers memorabilia, on the walls of the Nottingham Legend

“I am devastated. On a hockey night we would get 150 people in and during the play-offs, you could not move! It is not just the Nottingham Panthers players and fans – it’s all the hockey leagues.

“I have had messages from Cardiff, Belfast, Scotland, and Canada about the closure. It is a massive loss to the hockey community.”

Mrs Padley moved into the flat above the pub and even had her wedding reception downstairs.

Her pub has also been used to mourn hockey fans that have passed away.

The news that the owner of the building, Punch Pubs and Co, was selling up came in September 2020.

Mrs Padley had just finished radiotherapy after being diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2019.

“I knew there was nothing I could do. If I had the money, I would have bought the pub. They were making me homeless as well as jobless.”

Planning officers recommended councillors approve the application.

They also said the demand for student housing has “outstripped supply for a number of years” and if the council wants to “create more balanced communities” there needs to be more purpose-built student accommodation.

Speaking about student homes being built on the pub she cherishes, she said: “Look at all the wasteland in Nottingham.

“Why does student accommodation need to be built here? If they were going to do anything why did they not build houses for people that need them.

“I don’t want the pub to go but if they said they would build homes for homeless people or families I think I would have thought differently – but students?”

Mrs Padley wants to thank all her customers, past and present, and the pub will remain open at weekends until the first weekend in October.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked Punch Pubs and Co for a response, but no-one had replied at the time of publication.

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