A disused Victorian buffet room, transformed into a brand new alehouse, has opened its doors at Doncaster station.
The new attraction, whic opened on Platform 3b this week, was created by builder Russ Thompson, who worked tirelessly to restore the room to its former glory.
Mr Thompson revealed he combined his passion for the history and heritage of his home town with his love of real ale and an opportunity to draw on his family history for the new alehouse. His father Barry was a draughtsman for the railways, based in Doncaster, so he confirms there could only ever be one name for the new alehouse: The Draughtsman.
Mr Thompson said: “My father, who died in 1978, used to make the drawings to manufacture train engines, some of which were used at this station. I’m so proud of my railway history and being born and bred in Doncaster, and I wanted to do something to promote the history and heritage of the town and its great railway past, as well as provide a special place for customers to sup real and cask ale at the start or end of their journeys.
“The room was formerly a buffet, latterly for railway workers throughout the night, but it had not been used for 20 years and it took seven weeks just to strip paint from the walls, but it was well worth it as it revealed stunning ornate Victorian tiles which now adorn the walls.
“I have also added my dad’s tools to the walls, including his compass, which also forms part of my branding. I’m sure he would have loved it and I could not think of a more appropriate name, given his job for the railways and, of course, we’ll also serve draught ale!”
Natasha Wilding, general manager for Virgin Trains, which manages Doncaster station, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the transformation of what became a disused store room into a beautiful alehouse and a fantastic place for customers to relax.
“Virgin Trains is committed to promoting history and heritage.”