Archive | July 2019

Pubs and clubs this month

A couple of pubs up for demolition in Yorkshire:

Moldgreen Top Club in Huddersfield:

Mold Green Top Club

Overlooking the inner industrial suburb of Moldgreen, this former working mens’ club is quite a sharp build, with well-ordered windows on a utilitarian frontage. It could almost be a Wesleyan Church, rotated away from the inclining road, to overlook the Parish below.

It is to be succeeded by 12 apartments. That is quite a quantum for a site of this size. Im sure with a bit of creativity the pub could have integrated in some way into the development. A sad loss indeed.

…and The Magnet in East York:

Magnet pub york

Built in the 1930s, it is another example of what the developer calls a ‘corner beer pub’ in a leafy urban extension. The develop justifies the potential loss stating that  “It must be remembered that the pub was built at a time when such facilities were in high demand. Drinking and the associated socialising was one of the few leisure pursuits available” (York Press).

I assure the gentleman, that drinking is as popular as ever. The reality is that the culture of the local has sadly all but disappeared, in tandem with the erosion of society writ large.


Roebuck Barracks, York

Demolition of former world war two Canadian barracks south of York:

Roebuk barracks

A great drone flyover can be found here:

I’m amazed to see this encampment still in existence. Used as a pig farm (or piggery, according to the history books) since the 1960s, the proximity to York and the local ammenities provided by Appleby mean this site ripe for some volume housing.

This remnant of wartime Britain has somehow endured until now. It must have been spotted from the road by a passing developer, and bingo, brownfield.

Roebuck barracks

Being in such a dilapidated state, and as the buildings were pre-fabricated temporary structures to begin with, there is no aesthetic merit in retaining or restoring the barracks, however, the brick towers are extremely interesting structures. Any development should try to integrate these towers, if not only as an homage to the Canadian soldiers who came so far to assist in our victory over fascism.

The layout could even follow the pattern of the paths in the barracks, utilising existing ‘site capital’.

I hope the planners and the developers sit down properly and discuss how the significance of this site will not be lost.

I’d also add that the site is home to some incredible street art, of itself worthy of retention:

Street art at Roebuck





Hare And Hounds pub, Burton Leonard

Beautiful village pub near Harrogate to be lost for 6 houses:

Hare and Hounds BuUrton Leonard

Very beautiful pub in a village that unfortunately cannot sustain two taverns in the antisocial age of netflix. Presumably, the Royal Oak down the road won out in the end.

The difference between a two pub village and a one-pub village is enormous. Drunken walks between pubs are the stuff of legend (see Cock and Bull story); the bittersweet rivalries in all things pub related; the family friendy carvery pub vs the allowed to smoke after midnight pub. Punters need options.

There is a dynamic that is greater than the sum of its parts. Thankfully there will still be a pub in Burton Leonard, but this is a beautiful building (and future opportunity) to lose for a mere 5 houses. Its in a conservation area, and was commercially successful until a few years ago (at which point the rent killed it off). Its a no brainer as to what the planning officer should decide.

Elmroyd, Brighouse

Plans to demolish a former Victorian care home in Brighouse:


This Victorian villa can be seen on maps dating to 1893, and is possibly much older.

More recently having functioned as a care home the facility shut in 2016 following a litany of scandals in the delivery of their care service.

Back in 2017 residents objected to the conversion of the building into ‘bedsit’ flats for fear of an increase in a transient population. Consequently, the owner has looked into other options, with demolition presumably being most convenient politically and financially. I can’t help but feel the people of Brighouse have missed an opportunity to keep this building in perpetuity.