The September 2015 Heritage Open Days included a short walking tour around some central Sheffield pubs of architectural merit.
We started at Fagans and went to the Grapes via a short stop outside the Dog and Partridge. After a refreshment break, we passed Bloo88, The Beehive, The Red Deer and The Bath Hotel before completing the walk at The Swim Inn. En route, other local heritages sights were noted.
Dating from the 1820’s, Fagans was known as ‘The Barrel’ until the retirement, in 1985, of Joe Fagan, who was Tetleys longest serving landlord. He was succeeded by the current landlord, Tom Boulding. Tom, kindly provided some insight from his many years of experience. This three-roomed pub retains much of an early 1950s refitting and the gable end includes recent a Pete McKee project, ‘The Snog.’
We then strolled up Bailey Lane, passing STANCH, a life-size statue of a pointer dog before reaching Trippet Lane and discussing the influence of Thomas Rawson and Duncan Gilmour 2nd. on the development of Sheffield pubs.
Thomas Rawson & Company was the first non-London brewer, to brew Porter. At one point, they employed Samuel Plimsoll (1824-98) as a £1.00/week clerk. Plimsoll is best known for his invention of the Plimsoll line which appears on shipping world-wide.
The Grapes, dating from ~1900, is the best surviving example of a pub built by Thomas Rawson, preserving the essentials of its original layout. For example, the room on the left has many features including, tilework, fireplace, art deco ceiling light and glasswork.
The Dog and Partridge includes one room which retains both old fixed seating and bell pushes in the wood panelling. There is also ‘DOG & PARTRIDGE GILMOURS WINDSOR ALES & STOUTS’ raised lettering on the fascia.
Duncan Gilmour 1st. established a wine and sprit business in 1858. His son expanded the business into an empire. It is his name which can be seen in many pubs round the city, including: ‘The New Barrack,’ ‘The Rutland,’ ‘The Three Tuns’ and ‘The White Lion.’
In 1892 Gilmours took over United Breweries in Liverpool (Midland Brewery and Windsor Brewery). The company then rebranded to Gilmour’s Windsor acquiring another local brewing business, William Greaves & Co, in 1920. Thomas Rawson were taken over in 1946.
Duncan Gilmour 2nd. died in July 1937. In 1954, Gilmour Windsor were acquired by Leeds based, Joshua Tetley and Son Ltd. when they owned 144 Sheffield pubs and 350, plus the Windsor Brewery, (Liverpool). Lady’s Bridge Brewery was wound up in 1964. The site is now occupied by Sheffield Magistrate Court.
Continuing, we passed West Street Live. For many years, this was a Stones pub, the ‘West Street Hotel.’ The exterior is a fine example of the 1930’s fad towards ‘Brewer’s Tudor.’ To match the inter-war love of fake Tudor houses, brewers were keen to build mock Tudor pubs. At the time, they believed this style would add respectability.
Stones brewery (William Stones Ltd) was founded in 1868 and purchased by Bass in 1968. The brewery closed in 1999 and is currently due for demolition. Stones Bitter was brewed at the Cannon Brewery from 1948. The beer’s popularity reached its peak in 1992 when it was the country’s highest selling bitter, selling over a million barrels. The 1994-96 “Sheffield Gold” advertising campaign was set in a steel foundry. However, it was filmed in the Czech Republic because Sheffield’s own foundries were considered to be too clean for the desired effect.
Further along West Street, Bloo88 has a distinctive tiled exterior which celebrates a long closed Sheffield Brewery and the original name of the pub: ‘Greaves & Co. Hallamshire Hotel.’ The company was originally established as ‘Hazlehurst and Greaves’ in about 1860. In 1880, the name was changed to ‘William Greaves and Company.’ Their Norfolk Brewery sat on the hill behind Midland Station.
The Beehive Hotel was originally two rooms, on either side of the current right building. It was opened out in the 1980’s and subsequently extended to include the next door Glossop Road Post Office when it had a spell as the ‘Foundry and Firkin.’ The original painted sign is still visible at top of building.
The first public baths in the city were opened, in 1836, on Glossop Road, following the 1832 cholera epidemic . The complex was rebuilt from 1877 to 1879 including an indoor swimming pool, a Turkish bath suite and a hairdresser. In 1898, it was bought by the city council and a ladies’ bath was added. The facade was rebuilt in 1908-1910. After a period of decline at the end of the 20th.century and the closure of the baths, the building was largely converted to flats, with a Wetherspoons bar, Swim Inn in the former main swimming pool area.
The Bath Hotel stands at the sharp-angled corner of a mid-Victorian terrace and close to Glossop Road Baths – from whom the name derived. Acquired by the Burton brewers Ind Coope in 1914, it was remodelled and extended next door by them in 1931 and, except for the loss of its off-sales (hence one disused outside doorway), its layout and fittings have scarcely altered since. The lounge-snug, at the corner, is a real delight, with simply-patterned leaded windows, curving leatherette bench seating, and hole-in-the-wall serving hatch. The larger main bar has some original fitments while the angled corridor, with its service opening for stand-up drinking, is just as it ever was.
‘The Bath’ was statutorily listed in 1999 following casework by CAMRA and a sensitive refurbishment two years later (2001) won it a prestigious national Pub Conservation Award (awarded jointly by English Heritage, the Victorian Society and CAMRA). Since 2012, it has been operated by Thornbridge Brewery.
This walk will be repeated, as a Sheffield CAMRA event on Tuesday 17th May 2016 (20:00 start @ Fagans). It will also be included in the Sheffield 2016 HOD programme.