ENGLISH postwar estate bars are often seen as a joke: “Never drink in a flat-roofed pub,” the saying goes.

But these pubs – whether they’re 1930s-style redbrick structures with pitched roofs and large beer gardens, or forbidding cubes of wood and brick that squat in the shadow of social housing – are now at risk.

They are being closed and converted into shops or apartments, boarded up and left to rot, or completely wiped from the map, leaving a cleared site and an empty car park.

“There’s a huge level of threat: these pubs are dropping like flies,” says Emily Cole of Historic England.

“The breweries have no interest in the pubs. The community does, but very often the local council wants the land eventually. So they’ll gladly let them die away.”

Basingstoke has had many estate pubs. Some are still trading like The Winkle and The Kestrel. Others like The Barbican, The Pen and Parchment, and The Nine Saxons are distant memories.

The Popinjay in Popley is now a Chinese restaurant called Shangri-la. The Three Barrels in Winklebury has been closed 10 years now. Building work there has ceased and no one is sure why or what will happen to the building.

Popley two’s original pub, The Barbican, opened in Maldive Road in 1974 and had its fair share of trouble. It was finally closed down in March 2010 and demolition followed shortly after.

In the past, the pub acted as “the community anchor”, says Martin Dodge, a senior lecturer in geography at the University of Manchester.

He says now there’s nostalgia for the English pub, “but that’s not going to pay the rent. If you don’t go and drink there, it’s not going to survive.”

We welcome your contributions for Flashback Thursday. You can email your memories to flashbackthursday@gmail.com or via The Gazette, Pelton Road Basingstoke RG21 6XD.