The mother whose murder changed Britain and the future of a dark landmark on Salford Street

It had already been encapsulated for decades.

Tucked away in a Salford side street near the River Irwell, The Waterloo pub closed in 1984.

But in 2009, despite its ruined condition, it became infamous.

READ MORE: Watch momentary fights erupt in the streets in front of the Salford apartment building in the early hours

Just before At 1pm on February 12 of that year, police in search of the killer of a young mother found a body hung in the abandoned building on the corner of Greengate and Boond Street.

It was 40-year-old George Appleton.

Murderer, George Appleton, who was found hanged in the former Waterloo pub in Greengate, Salford

Detectives had been searching for him since the badly burned body of 36-year-old Clare Wood was discovered in a bedroom of her home in St Simon Street, Blackfriars, six days earlier.

Appleton had strangled and then set fire to Clare on February 2 before fleeing.

His body was found half a mile from Clare’s home in the three-story pub.

Clare Wood, who was murdered by George Appleton.

The couple had an on-off relationship, which began in April 2007 via an internet dating site. Clare ended it in October 2008 when she heard that he was having affairs with four other women he had met via the internet. But this triggered a catalog of threats from Appleton against her and ultimately her murder.

Clare did not realize that Appleton had a history of violence against women.

Michael Brown, Clare’s father, fought for new legislation on domestic violence after the murder of his daughter. Unfortunately, he died last year after a short illness, 76 years old.

Brown – described as a ‘powerhouse’ whose legacy has saved lives – campaigned in Clare’s memory for a change in the law so women and men would be able to find out if a new partner has a history of domestic violence.

A police officer is on duty at the abandoned Waterloo pub in Greengate, Salford, on February 12, 2009, after George Appleton’s body was found inside.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – known as Clare’s law after his daughter – did not enter into force until 2014.

The scheme allows the police to pass on certain information about a partner’s past. Within a year of its introduction, police had uncovered the abuse of 1,300 violent partners.

A former prison officer, originally from Aberdeen, Mr Brown took the campaign to Downing Street along with former Salford MP Hazel Blears and others to hand over a petition.

Clare’s law is now part of the bill on domestic abuse.

The late Michael Brown, who successfully campaigned for a woman’s “right to know” after his daughter was murdered by an ex-partner with a violent past

It is not only partners who can ask the police for information under Clare’s law. Parents; friends or other relatives also have the right to ask.

The infamous pub is now to be demolished or renovated

Now the pub, where the final chapter of a murder that shocked the country, was set to be either bulldozed or renovated, after developers were chosen to make plans for the place.

As recently as 2016, it was surrounded by scaffolding. But it has stood empty while new tower blocks have been built around it.

Waterloo pub today on the corner of Greengate and Boond Street, Salford.

At the time Appleton’s body was found there, office worker Andy Gilmore said he was shocked by the grim discovery that had been made so close to his company.

He said: “The building has been abandoned for years. There was some talk that it should be repaired or repaired, but it has been like that for ages.”

A worker at a nearby real estate agent said: “We have been complaining about that building for ages as we believe it is a risk.

Waterloo Hotel in Greengate, Salford, in its heyday.

“Although we understand that it was sold quite recently, there have been scaffolding on it for ages, but no work has taken place.”

Salford City Council has now selected developers UK Land & Property in partnership with a national housing provider to advance “stopped” development in part of Greengate, including the pub.

The Greengate Regeneration Strategy was drawn up in May 2018 to transform the area into a new residential and commercial area with “extraordinary” public spaces, including a new park.

But two locations – the former Waterloo pub and King Street car park, both of which were awarded the Brownfield Housing Fund Grant by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority earlier this year, are holding up plans.

The municipality seeks to acquire both plots.

The Waterloo pub in Greengate, Salford, in 2016, surrounded by scaffolding.

But in the meantime, it announced after a developer partner earlier this year to deliver high-quality housing-driven development on the two plots and will now enter into a conditional development agreement with UK Land & Property.

The company will draw up a housing scheme and then apply for a building permit.

City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “Greengate is a large brownfield square that is evolving into a vibrant new community just on the outskirts of the city center, but it is a challenging area to develop because the land is owned by many different parties.

“UK Land & Property has a successful track record of delivering high quality residential development in similar urban areas and this agreement will help move towards realizing the vision for Greengate through the redevelopment of these brownfield areas.”

The pub’s first license was as The Duke of Wellington in 1815, but it later became The Waterloo Hotel.

In the 1950s, it was owned by Wilson’s Brewery, but its isolated location after Greengate was cleared of back-to-back homes and then remodeled led to its closure.


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