New Darwen Wetherspoon's to keep historic image
3:00pm Friday 27th December 2013 in News
THIS is what Darwen’s soon-to-open JD Wether-spoon pub will look like once the scaffolding is removed.
The Old Chapel, formerly the town’s Railway Road Methodist Church, will be handed over to the discount pub chain by developers on Thursday, January 9.
It will then be opened to the public on Thursday, January 23.
The building, most recently used as discount store A&M Bargains, has been heavily refurbished and, for the first time in years, the upstairs of the property is to be brought back into use.
Architects CT, who have carried out the renovation work, have also unveiled the pub’s sign, which includes a sepia image from Darwen’s past. The building, designed by Edward Bates, opened on March 30, 1866, and first became a supermarket in 1969.
A spokesman for the architects said the history of the building had been preserved. He said: “The impressive interior of this Wesleyan Chapel was the inspiration for the design.
“Its elevated position on the hilltop over the town centre gives the building great status and we have used this scale to enhance the interior with double height panelling and an impressive restored original ceiling.
“In recent years, the interior balcony floor was infilled, but we gained listed building consent to open up the vast two-storey height space, as it would have looked when it was a practising church back in the late 1800s.
“The impressive 11m high ceiling is now exposed for customers to see the space as it was originally intended.
“The stained glass windows have been retained and their shapes and colours are reflected in the carpet and fabrics.
“The local heritage is replicated in the sculptures and artwork, promoting a historical sense of community we feel our pub represents.”
The firm has already recruited 40 staff to work at the pub which will be managed by Michael Johnston, who was at JD Wetherspoon’s The Commercial Hotel in Accrington.
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