Drinkers lament loss of historic Leeds pubs with ‘character’

PRAISED: Natalie Barrington-Wood, manager of Whitelocks.
PRAISED: Natalie Barrington-Wood, manager of Whitelocks.
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CAMPAIGNERS are calling for the dwindling number of Yorkshire pubs with historically significant interiors to be protected from unsympathetic alterations.

Supporters of the Campaign for Real Ale claim the number of surviving pubs with special interiors in Yorkshire now stands at just 119, just two per cent of the county’s rapidly diminishing stock of pubs.

In the first decade of this century, Yorkshire lost 20 more important pub interiors, according to Camra, with another eight lost in the last four years.

Some were demolished, while others changed use or underwent restoration with little concern for the past.

Camra member Dave Gamston claims that preserving ‘heritage’ pubs appears to be a low priority for pub companies, local authorities and national government.

Mr Gamston, editor of Yorkshire’s Real Heritage Pubs, which has been revised for a launch at Whitelocks’s in Leeds on Friday, says the book is a celebration of historic pubs and a ‘call to arms’ to ensure their survival.

He partly blames a “weakened” planning system for allowing owners to convert a pub to a shop, restaurant or office without planning permission.

In the book, he calls on civic societies to move pub heritage up their agendas and says: “All these pubs need custom to survive and thrive. We must use them or add to the risk of losing them.”

The book praises preserved pubs including many in Leeds, including the Garden Gate, Whitelock’s, Adelphi, Cardigan Arms, Grove, Prospect, and the Hanover Arms. The Swan, Bramham the Royal, Pudsey get a mention.

Demolition has taken away the Irwin Arms and White Stag in Leeds. Change of use saw the loss of the Albion, City Varieties Stalls Bar and the King’s Arms. Priced £4.99, the guide is available from Camra on 01727 867201.

16 March 2018 .......      The Yorkshire Post and Ward Hadaway  Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards 2018 held at Aspire in Leeds presented by John Murray, Keir Starmer, Greg Wright and Philip Jordan of Ward Hadaway. Picture Tony Johnson.

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