Golden Ball

North Yorkshire - York

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: II

2 Cromwell Road
York
YO1 6DU

Tel: (01904) 849040

Email: goldenball@btconnect.com

Website http://www.goldenballyork.co.uk/

Real Ale: Yes

Real Cider: Yes

Nearby Station: York

Station Distance: 650m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (York)

View on: Whatpub

This 1929 'improvement' of a small Victorian back-street local is thought to be the most complete surviving inter-war scheme by John Smith's, the Tadcaster company who became one of the UK's biggest regional brewers and pub builders. Their remodelling here raised the ceiling heights of the cramped old interior and incorporated the corner building (originally built as the publican's house in 1881) to create a more generous layout. The resulting interior is unusual in its planning, with a single main entrance, public bar to the rear, and an intimate little seated alcove beside the servery. The 1929 scheme also created the corner off-sales (now defunct) and left a distinctive ceramic signature in the glazed brick and tiled exterior and also in the public bar's rare tiled counter-front. The only substantial post-war change has been the 1990s formation of an extra room from private quarters, left of the entrance. The Golden Ball was statutorily listed in 2010 following a successful application by CAMRA and, since late 2012, its running has been enterprisingly taken over by a local community cooperative.

A 1929 remodelling of a small Victorian local by the Tadcaster brewers John Smith's under their long-serving company architect, Bertram Wilson. This is thought to be the most complete surviving example of an inter-war scheme by a company who were becoming one of the UK's biggest regional brewers. Their legacy at the Golden Ball is an interior which, though surprisingly conservative in style for the time, was unusual in its planning - with only one entrance to the drinking areas and an intimate little bar-side 'hall' of which no other similar example is known. This is an early 19th century two-storey building with an 1883 extension. Through the lobby with its 1920's tiling to dado height and terrazzo floor, and situated on the right with a doorway gap it also has a terrazzo floor, a 'The Golden Ball Inn' etched windows and 1930s fixed seating with service from a small bar and doorway/hatch for staff.

At the rear left is the little altered since Victorian times smoke room with a figure '2' on the door, Victorian fixed seating all around the room with bell pushes, a Victorian tiled, cast iron and wood surround fireplace and a baffle either side of the door. The 1929 scheme also created the corner off-sales (now defunct) with a dado of 1930s tiled walls and a hatch/doorway to the side of the servery and the public bar's rare tiled counter-front.

The main bar with a figure '3' on the door and lino floor has a rare tiled counter-front from 1929 of mainly cream tiles with a ribbon bands of black and orange tiles and some geometric square tiles near the top, the original 1929 bar back with glazed panels in the central section and beyond it is the steps to the cellar!. The fixed seating and wood surround with modern brick infill fireplace is also from 1929, a 'Moors & Robson's Pale & Mild Ales' mirror, and this room still retains three of 1929 'John Smith's' 'Magnet Ales' etched windows and another one with a pattern.

The only substantial post-war change has been the 1990s creation of an extra room from private quarters. Situated on the left of the entrance it has a tiled and marble surround fireplace from the early 20th century, some modern fixed seating and a bar billiards table. The original outside gents’ and ladies’ toilets (now covered over) have been retained and have some 1930s dado tiling. The distinctive brown glazed brick and tiled exterior including the 'John Smiths Tadcaster Ales & Stouts' fascia on the Victor Street side, 'Entrance', 'The Golden Ball' and 'Jug & Bottle Dept' on the Cromwell Road side were all added as part of the 1929 scheme. Statutorily listed in 2010 following a successful application by CAMRA.

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