WITH pint glasses still on the bar, the inside of Bradford’s Newby Square pub was revealed by the Telegraph & Argus recently in photographs shared by urban explorer The Derelict North.

The pub, on Bowling Old Lane, closed in 2016 and had its licence stripped after police were called to a brawl involving up to 100 people, which was described as “mayhem”.

The pub photographs drew the attention of Dr Paul Jennings, author of The Local: A History of the English Pub, who writes: “The Newby Square, formerly the Red Ginn, can be traced back to the early 18th century and the Red Ginn farm (also spelled with one ‘n’) which, like many at the time, also sold ale.

It was named from the old device for drawing coal from the pit to the surface, this being an area once with many mines.

That old inn is pictured with this article on the T&A’s website in a photograph by N Stow, courtesy Bradford Local Studies, taken in its latter days when it belonged to the Melbourne Brewery of Leeds.

In its day it had been an important local gathering place. The township meetings of Bowling were held there in the days before Bradford Corporation was created in 1847. Just the year before, in August, it had hosted a supper for the sorters and warehousemen of Turner and Mitchell to celebrate the glorious triumph of free-trade principles with toasts to Sir Robert Peel, the Prime Minister, and Richard Cobden, the co-founder of the Anti-Corn Law League. For those who have wondered recently why Peel is commemorated with a park and a statue in Bradford, this piece of legislation, the repeal of the Corn Laws, which had the effect of reducing the price of bread for working people, is the answer.

The pub also had a sporting connection. Before the First World War one landlord was Joe Dunbavin, a star player for the Bradford Rugby Club, sportsmen formerly often taking a pub in their retirement. He afterwards kept the Bradford Arms in Manningham Lane. The Old Red Ginn survived until the comprehensive re-development of the area in the late 1960s.

Tetleys, who had acquired it, sold it to the Council under the local clearance scheme but built a replacement pub a little further down Bowling Old Lane in a modernistic style used in several of its new pubs, like the Craven Heifer on Manchester Road or the Airedale on Otley Road.

A further contemporary touch was the Swedish-style seating in the public bar. The first landlord of this new pub was John Roberts, previously at the Prince of Wales further up Bowling Old Lane and a former miner at Grimethorpe Colliery.

My photo here is from the mid-1980s, showing behind it the Newby Square blocks of flats of the redevelopment, although I have to say I didn’t stop for a drink that day as it gave off (to me at any rate) a rather unwelcoming atmosphere.

The hopes of Sixties redevelopment faded, the flats were demolished and the pub itself was twice fire bombed in disturbances in 2008.

A change of name removed its former historical connection, but the Newby Square was itself then closed in 2016 after a brawl reported to have involved around 100 people.”