NINE Sheffield pubs offer not only the chance to savour a decent pint but also to appreciate fine surroundings.
They are listed in the first regional guide to pub interiors of special historic interest compiled by the Campaign for Real Ale, which aims to underline the need for better protection for a surviving heritage.
The city list covers the Sheffield Tap at the railway station, the Bath Hotel in Victoria Street, off West Street, the Grapes in Trippet Lane, the Railway in Holywell Road, Brightside, the Cross Keys in Handsworth Road, the White Lion in London Road, the Manor Castle in Manor Lane, the Travellers Rest in Langsett Road South, Oughtibridge, and the White Hart in Langsett Road North, Oughtibridge.
Mick Moss, regional director with Camra’s Yorkshire branch and one of the team behind the guide, said the pubs are “a hugely important part of England’s social and architectural heritage”.
He said: “Thousands of classic pubs have already been destroyed or had the insides gutted to make way for more modern bars over the last 40 years – and if we don’t act to save them, at some point we will turn round and we won’t have any of these treasures left. These places show how people lived and socialised and it is important we ensure they survive for future generations.
“Among them there is incredible architecture, some fascinating art work and plenty of history.”
Brian Johnson took over the Bath Hotel in November 2000 when it had already been given grade II listed status by English Heritage, protecting the appearance of the snug, main bar, standing lobby, stained windows and the original seating fitted into the walls.
“Occasionally I’ll still get old guys coming in who once lived in the tenements which were next door,” he said. “They’ll be looking round on this complete memory trip telling me their dad use to sit in that corner and play darts where the dartboard still is.
“I came in here for the first time when I was 18 and I remember saying to my mate ‘This is a right pub’ and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s proper, it’s got soul, it’s how a boozer should be – and that’s because of the way it was built and decorated back then.
“It’s an honour to be the owner, to be honest. There’s a foot rail by the bar – you can’t have those these days because of health and safety.”
lYorkshire’s Real Heritage Pubs, £4.99.