A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: C58 Bridge Street
This small, friendly pub has one of the most remarkable interiors in the UK. It is the most intact example of pub-building (in fact remodelling) from about 1960 and is, thus, as important as a great Victorian pub – only very much rarer. Behind what is, frankly, an unprepossessing exterior with its black and white mosaic and distinctive lettering, traces of the Victorian building survive in three iron columns, the floor tiling in the gents and the lower parts of the central gantry. But back to modernity – facing the Bridge Street entrance is a small intact off-sales, either side of which are the lounge (right) and public bar (left). The latter has fixed seating, a series of narrow, two-tiered fixed Formica tables and contemporary low chairs. The boarded bar counter (with Formica top) is a fairly simple affair, not unlike work of the 1930s, but the suspended structure over it and the ceiling panelling are quintessential 1960s work. There’s even an original heated glass food display unit on the counter. The lounge is a touch smarter, with more fixed seating, carpeting, panelling and a number of bell-pushes for service. To complete the picture, Formica covers the walls in the loos. Listed in 2010 following a successful application by CAMRA.
The exterior, with its black and white mosaic and distinctive lettering, prepares us for what is, in its way, one of the most remarkable pub interiors in the UK; a full-blown and now very rare c.1960 remodelling of an island bar-style pub. Not surprisingly for a nation just emerging from post-war austerity, pubs schemes of that time have no grandiose decoration or the sleek elegance of the 1930s and were duly replaced as the 20th century wore on. However, the design style is unmistakable. The entrance from Bridge Street has a small off-sales facing it. On the left comes the public bar with fixed seating round the walls, a series of small, screwed-down, two-tier Formica tables and contemporary low chairs. The boarded elongated oval bar counter (with Formica top) is a fairly simple affair, not unlike work of the 1930s, but the suspended structure over it and the panelling of the ceiling are quintessential 1960s. The lower part of the central gantry appears to be a survivor from the Victorian predecessor pub, as are three cast-iron columns and the floor tiling in the gents'. There's even a c.1960 heated glass food display unit on the counter and still in use today for hot pies and bridies (the pie, peas and gravy is cheap and delicious). The lounge is a smarter place, carpeted unlike the boarded public bar, with more fixed seating, panelling and a number of bell-pushes for table service. To complete the picture the Formica-covered walls in both loos may not exactly strike you as tasteful but they are just as much an historical document as Victorian tiling – only so much rarer (such work reappears at the Steps Bar in Glassford Street!Read More