IN the latest of his look backs at the city's old pubs, DR PAUL JENNINGS - author of The Local: A History of the English Pub and Bradford Pubs - writes about The Fountain, a once popular haunt in Heaton:

"Heaton Syke was a picturesque little corner of Heaton, just down the hill from the village itself along Heaton Road, its name deriving from Anglo-Saxon words for a hollow and boggy.

The pub, which was built here around 1856 by William Sugden and Thomas Thompson Hudson, a Heaton farmer, together with adjoining cottages, took its name from the little fountain which still pours from the wall opposite.

Not long after this, in 1882 Heaton was brought within the Borough of Bradford, along with Allerton and Tyersal. At that time opposite the pub were the grounds of Heaton Hall, a fine Queen Anne mansion. It was demolished when St Bede’s Catholic Grammar School was built.

Brewers J Hey and Company, whose brewery was on Lumb Lane, Manningham, bought the pub in 1897.

It is a Heys pub then in this splendid photograph taken perhaps some time in the 1920s. Sadly, it is not known who the boys are gathered outside, the one to the left seeming to be giving the photographer an appraising stare.

It became a Websters pub after the Halifax brewery merged with Heys in 1966.

I occasionally went there in the early 1970s, in lunch breaks from my school, Bradford Grammar, although the favoured drinking place of pupils then was the Black Swan on Frizinghall Road, the 'Mucky Duck' to us. The Fountain was then an old-fashioned, rather dark, multi-roomed pub run by a chap called Edgar Hilton, a nice quiet spot after a walk up through Lister Park.

In 1983 the pub was taken by Frank and Joan Lee. It was opened out and re-decorated and a car park made where adjoining cottages, now demolished, had stood.

The entrance seen in the photograph was converted to a window and a new entrance put in at the side from the car park. The refurbished pub served good food, as I remember from occasional visits later in that decade.

On their retirement, towards the close of the 1990s, the pub then seems to have fallen on hard times, sliding into disrepair.

By 2012, according to the Telegraph & Argus, local residents were voicing fears that it was becoming a ruin. Two years later, the Chair of the Heaton Township Association was noting that water was knee-deep in the cellar and rubbish strewn about the site.

Two years ago plans were submitted by a new owner to Bradford Council to demolish it as unsafe, but it was still there when I visited recently, boarded up and bearing no trace of its former life apart from an empty sign bracket.

The old cottages on the other side of Syke Road were also still there.

Up the hill in Heaton village itself, the King’s and Delvers Arms were also now closed, although both buildings remain put to other uses. There is therefore no longer a pub in Heaton village."

Dr Paul Jennings