Tuesday, November 23, 2010

An Alphabet Of Yorkshire Pubs : A

THE ALBERT HOTEL
Victoria Lane, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 2QF


The current building dates from 1879, but it replaces an earlier Albert Hotel which was opened in 1853. Just where the claim, which now adorns its frontage, that it dates from 1777 comes from I am unsure - Albert would have been an unusual name for an eighteenth century hotel in Britain. The architect responsible for the current building was Edward Hughes, a noted local architect who was also responsible for the Ramsden Building which is now the central feature of the University of Huddersfield. Situated in the centre of town, adjacent to the Town Hall, the Albert Hotel has long played an important role in Huddersfield history and it was in one of the meeting rooms of the pub that Huddersfield Town Football Club was founded in 1908. The pub has been recently restored to its full Victorian glory.


It was 12.20 on a busy weekday when I entered the Albert Hotel. The streets of Huddersfield town centre were full of shoppers and office workers, but sadly the pub was deserted except for me and the barman. The recent refurbishment has created a smart interior of dark red leather seats, cast-iron tables and a fine dappled carpet, all of which deserved a larger audience to appreciate it. The barman serves me a pint of Timothy Taylor "Landlord". We did not speak, he was talking to someone on his mobile phone and I was deep in yet another depressing contemplation of the decline of the British pub. On embarking on my alphabetical tour of Yorkshire pubs, I ask myself the question as to whether there will be any left by the time I get to the letter Z. Time will tell.

At 12.30 another customer comes in. He sits at the other end of a leather bench seat, drinking his pint and, like me, making notes in a notebook. Perhaps he too is examining the Decline and Fall of the British Pub. Together we must look like eccentric bookends at either end of our bench seat. The barman sits on one of the bar stools and watches the television bolted to one of the walls. My note-taking companion watches the barman. I watch my note-taking friend. We are like characters from a Samuel Becket play, cocooned in our own unique version of reality. Perhaps we are waiting for Godot, but perhaps we are just waiting for yet another fine English pub to close its doors for the final time.


19 comments:

  1. Another fine project of local history recording that you seem to have set for yourself. This one has the added advantage of a few beers, at least before they close on you.

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  2. Anonymous4:31 PM

    quick ali get down to the zetland ,only a rumour you understand

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  3. What a great idea, Alan! I wonder what you;d do for "z" anyway? hmmm... It does look splendid in deed--the Victorians had style, let me tell you. funny, as I was imaging that scene I actually though of a Samuel Becket type scene too. how funny. you the stage so perfectly. :)

    So, I'm sure all your viewers want to know, when shall we expect the next intallment, "B"?

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  4. I know! you should do a game where people can guess the name of the next pub. that would be fun! OK, for B, I am going to guess, Brothers in Arms or, can I have another, Black Beauty?!

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  5. Dave (For it was he): I had actually thought of the Zetland, which, interestingly enough. is only about two hundred yards from the Albert.

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  6. Mmm : Right, the game is on. B will be next week .... but what will it be?

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  7. Take heart, Alan. When the shutters came down on our village pub, we thought that was the end. Imagine our surprise when the builders moved in and started a refurbishment. We now have new owners and a new pub. Watch this space.

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  8. Oh, this is going to be fun. I'm pulling on my woolly socks, putting on my rawhide hat and jumping in for the ride!

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  9. A sound idea to see us all happily through the winter, Alan. Could we get The Albert to twin with The Victoria that I had on my blog a few days ago, do you think? As for B, there must be a Black Bull somewhere - double points for two Bs!

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  10. Martin : Good news about your pub. Looking forward to tasting notes.
    Willow : Yes, I'm looking forward to the ride too although I am a little worried about "X"
    Jennyfreckles : I like the idea of marrying the Albert with the Victoria, and it should be about April by the time I get around to V and therefore sounds like a good time for a royal wedding.

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  11. A virtual pub crawl! I love it. Only you could thionk up something like this, Alan. I look forward to 25 more pints and observations.

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  12. Roy : It will be a pleasure having you along with me, even though it is just a virtual pub crawl. Here's to the real thing some day.

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  13. It will be wonderful to see all your historic structures housing the pubs of city.

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  14. Pubs (full or empty) always remind me of Sets in a Play.'All The World's a Stage.....' etc etc............Roll On The Zoo Bar !

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  15. Tony : Hopefully I have Z covered, but I could do with some suggestions for X.

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  16. Hehehehe... any excuse to drink, eh?

    I'm gonna have to try that one. The alphabet!

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  17. Your dedication to research is admirable -- I think my husband would like to join you in this noble effort.

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  18. What a project! Now lets see how about if you only drink beer that begins will B at the B PUB? Like a Betsy Boo at the Barbary? Or a Ben Black at the Beaumont..oh this could be fun:)

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  19. Ah almost makes me want to go home. Zetland her is rather undesirable.

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