South Yorkshire Times April 6, 1968
The Old Bridge Inn Replaced by the New – Tradition Retained
Though a slice of romantic history will be lost by the demolition of the Bridge inn at Darfield, none of the characteristics of that ancient hostelry will die with it.
Though essentially modern in that it has all the facilities which the old building lacked —light. Spaciousness colour and comfort —a new public house erected an adjoining site and opened an Wednesday retains all the olde-worlde charm.
The “Oak Lounge”—appropiately named because timber beams and pillars are effectively reproduced — houses a large collection of brasses.
There are horse brasses, warming pans, copper kettles and jam pots, and coaching horns. Above the oak bar is hung a long brass horn, and the walls, in a plane green linen effect, are effectively adorned with old framed prints.
A large map of the locality, artistically placed at the side of the bar, gives added interest. Reflecting brightly in the gleam of the brasses, the fitted carnet is in an all-over pattern of lime green and olive green and upholstery is in brown leather
The “Bridge Bar” also has many characteristics of yesteryear, an impressive floor-to ceiling stone fireplace being the central feature, The floor is tiled, and upholstery is in a matching tan. Blue and white traditional pottery adds to the “homely” effect
from the exterior, Dickens type Christmas –card frontage has been cleverly simulated. The building is of light-coloured stone, with large bow windows.
This all goes to show the initiative and enterprise which has gone into making this an authentic reproduction of the original structure, The old Bridge Inn, demolition of which will start next Monday, was stone faced and had two bay windows on the ground floor.
The exact date of its erection is not known, though it is several years old, In the first place it is thought to have been and original “hedge tavern”–so named because of their siting at the side of the road— used for the purpose of fortifying horse travellers during their Journeys,
Because tit its historical significance it was listed by the Ministry of Works as an ancient monument worthy of preservation, and for that reason special permission has been necessary to demolish the old bridge it.
Although the Barnsley Brewery Co, who bought the house in 1939, were reluctant to destroy connections with local history, the building became so dilapidated and even dangerous that there was no alternative but to demolish the old Bridge Inn.
Its condition was due partly to its age and partly to win mining subsidence damage. Because for a long time it has been impracticable to use the premises as living accommodation licensees Mr. and Mrs Eric Hartshorne who have been at the Bridge Inn for 11 years, have latterly been accommodated in a caravan on an adjoining plot of land.
They have now moved into an ultra-modern, central heated flat on an upper floor of the new house.
The new Bridge Inn was officially opened by Mr E.H. Umbers, President of Barnsley Brewery company, who congratulated the architects, builders, subcontractors, furnishings and all associated with the new house. He said it was a great credit to the firm of William Johnson and sons of Wombwell, particularly as the whole project has taken on the seven months to complete.
The 1st pint was pulled by Councillor C.E. Hirst, chairman of Darfield Urban Council, who said that although they were sorry to sever romantic association with the past, progress had to be made and the old had to give way to the new.
In the new building, however, all the old atmosphere had been retained.
Sir William Taylor, chairman of the firm of William Johnson and son, wished success two the new venture.
A buffet meal was served and then it was “open house” for all comers on Wednesday evening