Fond memories of pub ahead of demolition

The former Henry's Bar in Workington
The former Henry's Bar is due to be demolished in July [BBC]

The Curwen, the Sportsman, The Curwen Arms and Henry's are some of the names given to a popular pub about to be knocked down to make way for an expanded road junction.

It is believed the building in Workington, Cumbria, went up in the late 18th or early 19th century and it has entertained generations of townsfolk as a pub for decades.

Now it is due to be knocked down as part of the £10m Workington Gateway project.

John Hastings has many happy memories of the place - from Friday nights spent there having a few drinks with his late uncle Tony in the mid-nineties, to taking part in auditions for TV programme The Voice in 2019.

He said it was always welcoming and he was sad to see it go.

"To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement because I've had so many wonderful memories there," he said.

The junction at Ramsay Brow in Workington
The demolition will make way for changes at the Ramsay Brow junction [BBC]

The 51-year-old, who is known for writing poems about life in the town, added: "[I remember] watching so many quality local talent perform.

"One memory that sticks in my mind to this day was going for lunch with Emma Jones from Britain's Got Talent - it was a fabulous afternoon."

For all these reasons it will always have a special place in John's heart, he said, and he is working on a poem on the "demise" of Henry's which he is hoping will be ready before this summer's demolition.

'Party pub'

Cumberland Council initially said the demolition would take place in June, but confirmed a revised date of July.

It did not explain the reason for the change, however a spokesman said it was expected the demolition would take between eight and 12 weeks.

Work on the junction would then start in Autumn.

Jack Fryer, 38, started DJing at the pub back in 2006, when the pub was called The Curwen Arms.

He played Fridays and Saturdays from early evening until closing time.

He said: "People would have it down as a really good party pub with a load of different types of music."

The nights were not club nights, he explained, but people did get up and dance and there was one tune in particular that used to get punters excited - I Predict a Riot by Kaiser Chiefs.

"It used to get people going, jumping about, dancing about and there was a few times where the bouncers had to tell me to turn it off," he recalled.

He said his friends used to come in and see him DJ, then they would all head to Fusion - another Workington club that has been demolished.

"I was DJing and doing something I loved and I was getting paid for it as well, which was amazing."

A general view of the pub
The pub dates to the late 18th or early 19th century [BBC]

The road project would see the Ramsey Brow junction to the A66 realigned, with the road widened at Hall Brow towards the A596.

A spokesman for Cumberland Council said: "Addressing the pinchpoint at Ramsay Brow junction is a longstanding local priority.

"As well as causing safety issues, restrictions on the junction divert HGVs on to alternative routes that impact on residential communities.

"Widening the junction will address these issues."

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