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The Lion, Bridge St - upstairs function room


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I saw these photos the other day on the 'Upstairs at the Lion' facebook page, hope they don't mind me sharing them. I just thought it's interesting, not only because I (mis) spent many weekends in there in my youth, but also I didn't realise what a beautiful room it is (too dark and smoky!). I remember the ornately carved staircase and the stained glass window halfway up. Seems a shame it's all there unused, is the pub itself even open anymore? 

 

 

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I used to work in the Lion in Bill Medland's time Tracey and as far as I know the whole place is closed and by all accounts unlikely to open again. Spent many Saturday nights in the Ballroom and sad to see the present state. I think another Landlord did have the place after Bill and last time I looked through the grill it was strange to see another name there and not William John Medland. I shall visit the Facebook page you mention as I didn't know it existed. Thanks

 

Peridot

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I believe the whole room has a serious preservation order on it, that's the only thing that has saved it from being turned into yet another night club.

It would be nice if the place was restored, it still looks pretty splendid in its run down state.

 

Ooh, that's good news! (providing it doesn't slip the mind of a developer in possession of a JCB)

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I take it you've seen my photos on there? I didn't know Rob at all and Snowy only in passing. Not quite sure how they ended up on my pics although I suspect the Newky Brown had something to do with it!

 

John - me too! Couldn't believe how colourful the room is, makes me wonder how much all the architectural features must have suffered from years of cigarette smoke and spilled beer. 

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Unfortunately, there was so much noise blasted from the stage that you couldn't tell if the groups were any good or not . There was quite a lively scene in Bridge in those days though...even the Roebuck was on our hit list, where the liveliest part of the night was the Salvation Army selling the Warcry .

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Attended quite a few of the rock nights at the Lion upstairs - but it was very dark with flashing lights so never noticed that ceiling.

Didn't realise the whole place had closed down?

Just thought it had been renamed and become one of the many "dance" bars on Bridge Street.

I'm pretty sure a few rock bands who went on to bigger and better venues also performed there.

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Tracey - I've managed to get all the way through the site at upstairs@theLion and it post dates me by between 5 and 10 years. I worked there between 1969 and 1974 on a casual basis either behind a bar or on a door and they were really good times. I had to laugh at the comment in one of the threads that "the world needs Bill to enforce order". That's probably true as he gave me one warning about wearing Hell's Angels colours in the Keller and told me "Look Ian lets not spoil a beautiful friendship because those things really frighten me". My respect for the man (and his wages lol) was sufficient to ensure I took them off on entering the Keller or any other part of the Lion when I was working. He was the kind of man who would look after you if you looked after him.

 

Snowy must be the ultimate Dinosaur in the nicest possible sense of the word as he has to be the last person still biking from my era  which spans from 1967 - 2001. He used to have the most amazing despatch riders mac from the Second World War which took him about an hour to fasten up including many leg straps and straps elsewhere. It wasn't the kind of gear you would want to rob a bank in but when it was all on you could ride through the Cairngorms and not get wet lol... He is a top man and now I know where he hangs out I shall definitely look him up.

 

The only others who might be about are the Ginger Brothers, so called because they all had bright ginger hair. There was Big Ginge who bore an uncanny resemblance to Cream's drummer Ginger Baker, Middle Ginge and Little Ginge who had a remarkably unsuccessful relationship with a Triumph Trophy motorcycle and traded it in for a more modern bike at Jack Frodsham's and then bought it back again because he missed it so much.

 

Could go on for ever...

 

Peridot

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Well seeing as I was born in 1972 it's safe to say we didn't overlap! The only member of staff whose name I can remember was Brian who used to sit at a little table at the top of the stairs and take money. We were very skint and I remember my friend Ange smuggling in a bottle of her Mum's home brew (vile, vile stuff) in an old Pepsi bottle. When rummaging for her purse at Brian's table, the bottle fell out and rolled to his feet. He just raised his eyes to the heavens, sighed and handed it back to her. 

 

I actually do remember Snowy in some massive, flappy, leather affair that went from ankle to chin. I guess that was his wartime whatnot. 

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Yep Tracey I'm sure we didn't overlap on that basis lol and I don't remember Brian. One thing I would have liked from the Keller was the sign in German from the Mayor and Aldermen of Hilden congratulating the Directors of Tetley Walker on the opening of the Town's first Bierkeller in their Lion Hotel. It was above one of the middle roof arches as you went in if you looked up. Did you use the Keller or remember the sign? It may well still be there but I don't know who you would approach for access. I can still remember it in German on a good day lol...

 

Yes that sounds like the Snowman and when fully fastened in the coat he looked like a cross between Ned Kelly and Clint Eastwood/Lee Van Cleef in the Spaghetti Westerns. I never found out the origin of his nickname but can now ask him when I see him. He may still have the coat as those never wear out and he still seems to be biking too - long may he continue to do so. Even I am having thoughts of getting another bike...

 

Peridot

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The sign was in the Bierkeller Tracey though that might have closed by your time so you probably never went in it? I don't know what happened to the Keller in later years though have a memory that it became some sort of Sportsman's Bar. I went in a time or two - not a patch on the Bierkeller. The Back Bar was a good meeting place in the week or early on towards and through the weekend but was often nearly empty at times as few people stayed in there all night.

 

Peridot

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