The West Riding at Dewsbury Railway Station marks a major milestone

In 1994, the building occupied by The West Riding Licensed Refreshment Rooms today was a derelict station waiting room before Mike Field, an insolvency accountant with no experience of running a pub, had a vision to transform it into a railway bar, specialising in real ales.  30 years on, the pub is still going strong and celebrating this major milestone on 8th January 2024.

Mike’s friends and family thought he was mad to take on such a challenge, and gave it 6 months, but transform the building he did, and the pub gradually built its reputation, attracting real ale lovers, travellers passing through the station, and the local Dewsbury community.

Now affectionately known as The West, it has grown to be both a real ale & Dewsbury institution as well as a hub at the centre of the community. Generations have worked, socialised, and celebrated all occasions at The West since 1994 and many a lifetime friendship has been built. It’s even had 3 generations of one family working there.

It is impossible to put the achievements of The West into numbers in 30 years, but they include music & beer festivals held, outside gigs on Platform 3 where many locals have performed over the years, independent breweries that have featured on the bar, and hundreds of thousands of pounds raised for charities. Plus, there have been many beer awards won and one thing is for sure, The West is responsible for more weddings than Blind Date!

Marking the occasion

The West Riding will be celebrating all year, starting with a party on 8th January. To mark the occasion, there will be a Collab Tap Takeover – bespoke beers brewed by Beerhouses staff at local breweries, including Timothy Taylors, Red Willow, and North Riding. The collaboration with Timothy Taylor’s was brewed by some of Mike’s oldest friends and has, therefore, been named “Fieldy’s Friends”!

There will also be special price offers through the evening, food from Scran & Sup, and a 1994 playlist, curated by a regular who has been coming into the pub since it opened.

The West Riding now

Mike’s stepdaughter, Sarah Barnes, has worked in The West Riding since the age of 15 (see Mike and Sarah below in 1996!). She is now the managing director of the company. She spoke of the birthday celebrations:

“We are very excited to be celebrating 30 years of The West Riding. It’s been an important part of my adult life and Mike would be incredibly proud of where we are now. Who knew that his ‘mad idea’ back in the early 90s would still be going strong? (Mike probably did!).

We can’t wait to celebrate but it won’t be limited to the 8th January – we have plenty of things going on all year!”

Join the party

The West Riding’s 30th birthday party will take place from 4pm on Monday 8th January and is open to all, whether you are a regular, an ‘Ale Trailer’ who has passed through, a weary passenger who has rested their weary bones at some point, or just anyone who wants to help this local business mark its achievement.