BULLDOZERS have finally called time on former Stourbridge celebrity pub The Prince of Wales which has been demolished to make way for new homes after a long legal wrangle.

During its heyday, the Hagley Road pub played host to many famous faces ranging from Larry Grayson and Isla St Clair to Danny La Rue and Tony Christie.

Even cricket legend Sir Ian Botham was known to drop in for the odd pint or two while Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and charismatic football personality Ron Atkinson were regular visitors.

The Prince of Wales also hosted a 70th birthday party for Stourbridge's Coronation Street star Johnny Briggs.

Now the iconic pub is to be replaced by 12 detached homes following a struggle that dates back to 1993 when it was purchased by the Highways Agency together with a row of nearby houses.

Highways bosses planned to build a £115m bypass for Hagley, Blakedown and Kidderminster, which would have involved tunnelling under Wychbury Hill, but the plans were scrapped three years later.

Ted Etheridge was the pub's last licensee, running it from 2002 until 2007, when there was a campaign to try and save the venue.

He said: "We tried to get another lease for the pub, but the Highways Agency wouldn't give us one. Now seven years down the line they've finally decided to do something with it.

"In the meantime they've had to pay someone £2,600 a month to live in a caravan on the site, which I think was an absolute waste of taxpayers's money."

Ted now helps his son Wayne to run the Britannia Sports Bar in Wollaston, but he said: "There wasn't another pub quite like The Prince of Wales. There were no TV screens, darts or anything like that. It was an upmarket pub for people of 40 years plus, no trainers, no jeans.

"It's very difficult to explain, but what works in one pub, doesn't necessarily work in another. Yes, I miss it, I miss it big style."