Pub heading back to its heyday

Landlord of the Central Station pub, Ian Murray. The pub has been named in the Camra 'heritage' scheme - a scheme for pubs with interiors of special historic interest. (d06041164)
Landlord of the Central Station pub, Ian Murray. The pub has been named in the Camra 'heritage' scheme - a scheme for pubs with interiors of special historic interest. (d06041164)

A DEWSBURY pub owner is looking to ghosts from the past to put some spirit back into the town.

Ian Murray is coming to the end of a major revamp of the Central Station, seeking to restore the old pub to the way it was in its heyday.

And he is off to a great start after clinching a mention in a special Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) booklet on Yorkshire pubs with ‘real heritage interiors’ of special historic interest.

The former art teacher re-opened the pub just behind Dewsbury market last year and began a painstaking restoration.

“It was dilapidated,” he said. “Walls were falling in, mushrooms were growing on the floor. It was falling apart.

“We are trying to reflect Dewsbury’s prestige and past. If Pioneer House can be transformed, then in a similar way here Dewsbury can regain some standing.”

The pub had been closed for two years so it was a big venture to try to restore the Station to its original state. Even salvage sites were searched for authentic fittings which would echo the past. Surviving features at the Grade II listed building include stained glass, flooring and woodwork.

“We still have a lot of work to do. It’s a long-term commitment,” said Mr Murray, who was born in Dewsbury. “The next thing is to create an off-licence at the side which is how many pubs were.”

Mr Murray is proud of the Camra mention: “To be in such a publication in our first year is wonderful,” he said.

The booklet says that although some original divisions have been lost, the interior retains “excellent elements and has benefited from a sympathetic restoration”.

Mr Murray added: “We want it to be how it would have been when it was built in 1903 and in its heyday serving Dewsbury’s station across the road.

“I think of the ghosts of people who have been here and who made Dewsbury a fine place. We should use its architecture as a catalyst to re-start the town.”

Other pubs features in the booklet include the Bath Hotel in Halifax Road, Dewsbury.