Saturday, 28 April 2012

Bath Hotel update

Afternoon all,

    I thought it might be helpful to provide further clarification on the situation at the Bath, and a bit more thought on the upcoming arrangement for Thornbridge to run it.

I spoke to Brian last night, which was quite a job because he was very busy, receiving congratulations on what he had done with the pub, best wishes, and fielding questions. He was happy to take time to chat and keen on providing me with reassurances about the future of the pub, and most importantly its interior. Here's what I know...

1.Thornbridge are going to run the pub. They are already doing work in the cellar and will be putting their beers on the bar.

2. Brian will continue to own the pub. He has the say on what they do with the interior.

3. Which of course, as previously discussed, is Grade II listed, so there's very little Thornbridge can do.

4. They will be adding a lick of paint.

5. They will take over the running on Monday - but I have a feeling it might not be open until Tuesday - best ring to check.

6. Brian is off to pastures new (couldn't pin down any specifics on this, but I think its highly unlikely we'll see him in the pub again, but that's just a feeling I get).

In terms of what I think, I don't mind admitting that I love the interior of the Bath Hotel so much that I don't even want the colours to change! I know this seems a little weird, but its important to appreciate just how rare a survival the pub is in South Yorkshire. Sheffield, in particular, has always seemed to have had had ignorant, ill-informed, blinkered and disinterested future fanboys for councillors, so almost no old buildings of significance have escaped the wrecking ball. Maybe this skews my outlook, but it adds weight to the gravity of any threat to the Bath's design and architectural integrity.

Also, it would appear that Tetley will no longer be sold at the Bath Hotel. I will have a look at the link on later to see if Thornbridge have mentioned any specifics. Am not a Tetley fan, but I think you'd have to go back many decades to find an era when Tetley hasn't been sold. This seems a shame, and if it turns out that's what happens, then it suggests a lack of knowledge about the job of running the Bath by its new incumbents.

Finally, why are Thornbridge doing this?

I still don't know. Its not like they are short of bar coverage in Sheffield. You can get their beers in the Bee Hive 5 minutes away as well as the Wick at Both Ends, The Great Gatsby and the Devonshire Cat. We're not in a Thornbridge drought in that part of the City, nor indeed in any part of Sheffield. I know of one long standing regular who is intending to make Sunday his last visit. Admittedly I don't know if this is a problem he has with their beers, prices, or the company themselves.

Which makes you wonder if therein lies the only plausible answer. Maybe they want to shake off their (admittedly not widespread) bad image, by running the Bath as an even better pub (which I seriously doubt) and showing that they can be considerate, sensitive careful wards of this fine building.

Lets face it, we'll know by next week.

Wee Beefy


  1. Sad, I'll miss seeing Brian on my next visit to Sheffield, please pass on my best wishes if you see him again. Cheers for the update, Jeff had said something was happening...

  2. Yeah,sorry Steve, Brian was hurried off to another throng so hadn't chance to pass on your best wishes, and can't see me getting in again before he goes.

    Will be in next week however.....

  3. Here's the listing for the building. Any features mentioned within this are intrinsically part of the listing and changes to these will be resisted by heritage officers (and ergo the planners):



    SK 3487 SE SHEFFIELD VICTORIA STREET 784-1/23/10063 Nos.66-68, Bath Hotel II Public house with dwelling over. Part of a terrace of houses of c.1868, remodelled and extended 1931. Painted tilework and narrow red bricks below, red brick above. Welsh slate roof. PLAN. Acute-angled corner site. Central servery to two bars and, formerly, off-sales area. EXTERIOR. 3 storey, 3-bay elevation to Victoria Street and the angle between the two streets, reducing to 2 storeys at rear. 3 glazing bar sash windows below wedge lintels, 6 over 6 panes to each of the 2 upper storeys to Victoria Street, one to each of the 2 upper storeys at the angle. Below white and green tiled but painted. Original leaded windows with some ornamental glass and the words 'Bath Hotel' on the angle. Above this, in raised lettering, 'The Bath Hotel' set within a painted panel. Tall eaves stack to Covent Walk elevation. Toilet block of 1931 along Covent Walk. INTERIOR. Timber entrance vestibule to bar which retains fixed seating with upholstered seats and tongue-and-grooved backs. Low glazed screen between the 2 main areas of seating. Original bar counter with brown tiled front and leading glazing over. Smoke room with upholstered fixed seating. Hatch to serving area. Original internal doors with ornamental leadwork. Original black and white floor tiling in corridor. HISTORY: Until the early C20 served as both a grocers and beerhouse and consisted only of the northerly part (i.e. in the angle of the streets). The first recorded use of the name 'Bath Hotel' was in 1908 but the premises were still recorded as a grocers in 1911. In 1920 Ind Coope bought it and in 1931 remodelled the premises and incorporated the house next door. An unusually complete example of a Sheffield corner public house, which retains in almost complete form the plan form and fittings of 1931. Sources: research for Joshua Tetley & Co by C. M. Scargill, displayed in the bar.


    1. Cheers, never actually looked at this before. Its interesting that the 1931 remodelling has remained intact so long. And of course incredibly important that this continues, as I'd like to think all involved are aware.

      INterestingly, I am less anxious when I think about the interior as more emphasis is put on its listing and awareness of it increases.

      My concerns have now shifted to how barmen in uniform and a bar weighted in favour of Thornbridge brews will pan out. The Bath, Tuesday, looks like an ideal day after payday spot for a pint.