The End of the Partlands Hotel
The first residents have moved into Swanmore Court, the new housing complex in Swanmore Road at the junction with Partlands Avenue and formerly the site of the Partlands pub, also known as the Lily Deacon for its last few years.
Built in the 1860s the Partlands had a chequered history, with many changes of landlord and brewery ownership. It appears to have had swings of popularity, enjoying halcyon days, thriving on its regulars, famed for its quiz and petanque teams but also on occasions threatened with closure and its tenants facing bankruptcy.
It was once famed as the grottiest pub, not only on the island but in the whole country after a survey carried out by the News of the World. At the time they displayed a banner proudly announcing that they were the worst pub in Britain. The Isle of Wight pub guide of 1997 reported that this had led to a boom in business; people just had to go and see how bad it was! This boom was much appreciated as in the mid 80s, SPAG (Save Partlands Action Group) had secured a stay of execution but the pub had actually closed for a time in 1996.
The Winter 2005 issue of Wightwash reported that, “The once famous grottiest pub on the Island has closed its doors for the last time (probably!) The Partlands Hotel, recently known as Lily Deacons, looks set to be converted into housing since being boarded up in November.”
In 2006-7 the process of demolition began.
Sources: Ryde Pubs (Kevin Mitchell) Isle of Wight Pub Guide (1997) Wightwash Winter 2005 Issue.
Photo of Partlands Hotel courtesy Tony Gale