Beech

West Yorkshire - LEEDS

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: II

8 Tong Road
LEEDS, Wortley
LS12 1HX

Tel: None

Real ale & Cider: Real Ale

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Leeds) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

This three-room, former Melbourne Brewery house, was rebuilt under Pontefract architects Garside & Pennington to designs of 1931. Old Melbourne signage is still much in evidence and the original scheme is still substantially intact, including many of the original fittings and finishes. The bright, spacious front vaults is virtually as-built, save for the customary modern pot shelf that over-sails the bar counter. In front of this is a terrazzo trough. A former off-sales compartment is still apparent to the left, whilst beyond the servery is a small smoke room with its own service hatch. Further back still is a long club room. Both back rooms lead off a wall-tiled hallway-cumfoyer from a second, side-lane entrance. There is a little original tiling just inside the entrance to the gents’. Listed in 2010 following a successful application by CAMRA. After five years of closure, the pub reopened in November 2015 following a sensitive and cheery refurbishment, including the addition of the rather delightful murals.

Rebuilt in 1931 by Melbourne Brewery to drawings by Pontefract architects Garside & Pennington. It is of red brick with dark green glazed stone on the ground floor frontage, white marble 'Marmo' cladding and detailing, and the name Beech Hotel in relief lettering over each ground floor window. Old Melbourne signage is still much in evidence - look for the splendid 'Melbournes Ales' mosaic in brown on yellow on both the left and right hand return sides of the pub. The inter-War design scheme is still substantially intact, including many of the original fittings and finishes.

The front door leads to a lobby with a dado of inter-war cream and green tiling and a quarry tiled floor. It has two doors - up to 1995 customers used the left one then because of the position of the darts it was changed to only using the right hand one which leads to the spacious front Vaults.

The Vaults is virtually as-built with a quarry tiled floor, original bar counter with a panelled wooden front with rounded corners and around the base is a terrazzo trough but the counter top is later. The bar back fittings are also original with a matching decorative motif to that on the bar front. The only changes are the addition of the customary modern pot-rail and other paraphernalia that now over-sails the bar counter. On the left and also on the right are good inter-war wood surround fireplaces with modern tiled interiors and in the case of the right hand one a log fire in winter. The original fixed seating remains all around the room with bell pushes above.

On the left hand side situated just beyond the Vaults you can still see the former outsales compartment consisting of a short passage with a quarry tiled floor and dado of inter-war cream and green tiling - this is now used as a glass washing area. A door to the rear right of the Vaults leads to a corridor with (post-war) half-panelled walls and a hatch to the back of the servery. On the right hand side is a second, side-lane entrance with a small lobby having a terrazzo floor and green and white tiled walls. The inner door has the unusual wording of 'Smoke Room Entrance' in gold on a frosted panel.

The middle Smoke Room has original fixed seating and bell pushes all around the room, a baffle by the doorway, an original Art Deco fireplace surround with glazed brick interior, two 'Smoke Room' with a Melbourne symbol etched windows and a door with (modern) shelf for service to the back of the servery.

At the end of the corridor is a large elongated Club Room with a vaulted ceiling lies further beyond and has a doorway, original fixed seating and two original wood surround fireplaces with modern tiled blocked-up interiors. The only change is the addition of a window inserted into the wall between the club room and smoke room no doubt in order to satisfy local magistrates request for 'supervision' purposes so the far room is visible from the front bar.

Original tiling remains in the front part of the gents' and in the WC but there are modern tiles around the replacement urinals.

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