The arrival of the nineteen-seventies added a significant northern dimension to the Group and
some rich new facets of character.  The interests of John Smith’s
Tadcaster Brewery which merged
with those of Courage in October, 1970 included some 1800 pubs, hotels and freehold clubs -
spread over Yorkshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, County Durham, Cheshire, Lincolnshire,
Nottinghamshire and parts of Cambridgeshire and Shropshire.


                                                                                Johns Smith's brewery, Tadcaster
The origins of the John Smith’s Group were diverse, stemming from the eighteenth century like
other members of the Courage Group but contrasting in character and in the nature of its historical
build-up over the years.  Whereas the concerns in London, Reading and Bristol were closely
related to rivers as a means of transportation and to a metropolitan and agricultural population
growth, the Tadcaster enterprises were related to a road and were much concerned with industrial

There is an historical link between Southwark and Tadcaster which is very direct.  Though it is not
immediately relevant to brewing history it is of significance to the foundation of both places.  It is the
Roman road system which crossed the Thames at Southwark close to the Anchor Brewery and
which passes the gates of the Tadcaster Brewery on its way to nearby York.

The existence of this ancient highway and of abundant springs of water at Tadcaster led to the
establishment of breweries in that town in mediaeval times.  When the township was the Roman
staging post it was called Calcaria, a direct reference to the magnesium limestone rocks at
Tadcaster which yield a hard water rich in sulphate of lime, comparable to the natural water of
Burton which became renowned for brewing.  There is no evidence to show that the Romans
themselves made beer at Tadcaster though the records of the 9th and the 6th Legions, both based
in York, are well documented.  It is known, ho\\ ever, that there were two breweries or brew -houses
at Tadcaster in 1341 - one of them paid 8d in taxes that year and the other 4d.  In about 1400 the
best ale sold for 1½d per gallon, but a century later the price had risen to 3d a gallon.

Another similarity in the placing of Southwark and Tadcaster in the Roman and mediaeval setting is
that they were both on the approaches to bridges of strategic and commercial importance.  Though
the Tadcaster Brewery lies on the highway well away from the bridge and has very rarely resorted
to water transport. the town owes much of its importance, as did old Southwark,  to the crossing of
the river - the Wharfe - first by a Roman ford, later by a bridge which was of strategic significance
for instance at the time of the Civil War when the
Battle of Marston Moor was fought nearby.

The old Roman road has of course continued as a great turnpike highway and it was natural that
successions of inns and resting houses should have been built along its route.  Five inn-keepers
are recorded as being in business in Tadcaster in 1378.  The place was also a post town with a
post office registered in the time of Charles I for regular communication between London and York.
There is plenty of evidence too that the carriage of mail, treasure and wealthy personages led to the
highway being a target for robbery with violence.  When the sum of 2050 marks was conveyed from
London to York in 1319, a journey taking ten days, the guard from London to Huntingdon was eight
horsemen, but on reaching the neighbourhood of Tadcaster this was increased to eleven
horsemen and twelve able archers on foot, all armed and equipped with tipped arrows.  It was
Robin Hood country.

By the eighteenth century Tadcaster was enjoying great prosperity as a post town.  In the hey-day
of coaching some fifty stage coaches passed through and more than thirty of them changed horses
in the town daily.  These were augmented by great numbers of post-chaises and private vehicles of
all kinds.

Very active in the coaching business were Messrs Backhouse and Hartley, partners in the small
brewery which eventually came into the hands of John Smith.  Together they horsed the York and
Liverpool mail coach, and the York and Liverpool “Highflyer".  On alternate days they horsed the
"Alexander”, another Li\erpool coach providing a team for the fifteen mile journey from Tadcaster to
Leeds, the same team bringing back the return coach the same night.  In 1777 Backhouse took over
Tadcaster's leading coaching inn, the White Horse, where four of the eight London stage coaches,
four in each direction, were horsed daily.  On his own account Hartley was originally postmaster at
Tadcaster in the days before the mails were carried by coach. In 1786 when the change took place
he and his son set up a posting establishment to horse the Royal Mails between Tadcaster and
York.  He seems to have been a diversifier for he also had a share in Deacon Harrison & Co., who
operated heavy baggage-wagons - “slow-coaches” - and he is recorded as horsing the well-known
Leeds and Scarborough coach, the "Prince Blucher".

But the one asset of lasting value which these shrewd men of business created was their brewery.
The Industrial Revolution swept across the north of England and brought in its wake the railroads
which dramatically swept away the valuable coaching traffic from the old Roman road.  The
coaching inns of Tadcaster had been closing their doors for some years when the railway reached
the town in 1847 and Tadcaster had begun to have the appearance of a ghost town.  The brewery
however remained.  The partners did not live to see the building of the railway station and by that
time the business had passed into the hands of Jane Hartley and it was from her representatives
that John Smith acquired it in 1847.

Smith was only 24 years old when he took on the somewhat daunting task of nursing a run-down
brewery in a depressed town to meet the demands of a changing world.  The measure of his
success was that, at the time of his death in 1879, he and his partners were planning the building of
a new brewery at a cost of £130,000 which opened and flourished a few years after his death.

It is difficult to specify any one reason for John Smith’s success.  Like so many young men who
made good in the earlier part of the nineteenth century - and contrary to general belief it was a
young man’s world - he seems to have been imbued with remarkable energy, much versatility, and
a gift for recognising the needs of changing times.  He diversified, farming extensively, feeding fat
cattle on a fairly large scale, and involving himself with the limestone quarries for which Tadcaster
was famous (having supplied much stone for York Minster).  As a brewer he was keenly aware of,
but undaunted by, the booming breweries of Burton-on-Trent.  He saw in their success
opportunities for the modernisation and expansion of the hitherto localised Tadcaster business.
With his brother William who was to succeed him, he set out to furnish a product of the quality that
changing public taste demanded, a clear beer which was becoming popular with the replacement of
the traditional pint mug by the glass.

Not least of his qualities was an ability to choose the right man and to create good working
conditions as the concern grew and spread. He employed Joseph Grimston, a rule-of-thumb brewer
of the old school who was, nevertheless, a gold-medal-winner.  Grimston was an individualist who
insisted on doing things with his own hands, grinding the malt, mashing, running the wort into the
copper, seeing it boiled and himself pumping it from the copper to the coolers.  He was succeeded
as Head Brewer by Percy Clinch who was appointed by H. H. Riley-Smith and who belonged to a
later school of scientific brewing.  It was Clinch who managed to overcome the suspicion that
lingered in the minds of consumers that there could be anything wrong with a beer that was bright
and clear.  It was in Clinch’s time, too, that John Smith’s was among the first to establish its own
laboratory, its equipment being described in early records as “paraphernalia”.  It is often said at
Tadcaster that Clinch’s ghost walks the brewery, for much of the technique and method which he
instituted has continued as an efficient routine in this century.

When John Smith died in 1879 he had established Tadcaster without question as a brewing centre
and the old days of depression following the collapse of stage coach traffic were forgotten.

It should be mentioned that the death of John Smith caused a curious situation locally which still
intrigues visitors to Tadcaster.  For next to the brewery which now contains the business of John
Smith is the Old Brewery operated by Samuel Smith & Company which is an entirely separate
organisation though it is housed in the original brewery premises from which William Smith moved
his business toward the end of his life.  The reason for this strange juxtaposition lies in John Smith’s
will.  His brother Samuel Smith was a tanner in Leeds and John left his personal estate in equal
shares to his brother Samuel and to his bachelor brother William who was with him in his business.
His real property of which the Old Brewery formed part was left to the two brothers as tenants in
Common for their joint lives; on the death of one to the use of the successor and thereafter entailed
generally to the heirs of Samuel Smith.  As such items as the barrels and equipment of the brewery
came into the category of personal estate, William purchased Samuel’s half share.  Brother Samuel
died in 1880, and William realizing that the business would go to his brother’s heirs and not to his
sister Sarah Riley’s children, who had gone into partnership with him, proceeded to build the new
Brewery and before his death transferred the business and the Trade name from the Old Brewery
to the new one.

On his death in 1886, the Rileys, as a result of a testamentary request added the name of Smith to
their surname.  Another result of his death was that the Old Brewery, by that time out of use,
reverted to Samuel Smith junior who found himself denied a thriving business which by this time was
being carried on next door under the name of and with the goodwill of the founder.

After taking legal advice and finding that as heir to the real property he was not entitled to the trade
name, he decided to set up a new business in the Old Brewery which he did with considerable and
lasting success.  The domestic friction which all this caused was a by-word in Tadcaster in the last

“The results of these disagreements”, states Mr W. H. D. Riley-Smith. “
left a legacy of ill feeling
which affected a generation - our Victorian forbears were pretty forthright individuals and were not
averse to showing their feelings

H. H. Riley-Smith died on 19th May, 1911 and Samuel Smith Jnr. died on 5th March, 1927.

Since then each of their sons has died and as the years have gone by attitudes, which at one time
seem to have been inflexible have softened to friendship and admiration for these are now two
successful Companies where only one would have been

Alfred Barnard compiling his encyclopaedic work on breweries visited the John Smith brewery in
1889 and wrote.

    The history of brewing affords few parallels
    to the rapid and marked progress of Smith’s
    brewery during the last ten years; so great is
    the demand for this justly celebrated brew,
    not only in Yorkshire, but in London and all
    parts of England, that from 500 barrels, the
    output has now increased to upwards of 3,000
    barrels per week. This rapid expansion of
    the business is due to the exertions and
    enterprise of the partners, who, for many
    years, have devoted themselves to the study
    of brewing. In their early days, when they
    both served as pupils in the brewery, they
    took their turn at three o’clock in the
    morning with the rest, and lost no opportunity
    of studying the details of the process, hence
    they obtained a practical knowledge of the
    great business which they now possess.

At that time the brewery was employing one hundred people in Tadcaster and there were already
sixteen branches opened in various towns.  In 1892 the concern became a limited company with a
capital of £300,000 and its first directors were the Riley-Smiths who remained on the board until just
before the first world war.  The present chairman (1971), Mr W. H. Douglas Riley-Smith, started
work in the brewery in 1936. He became chairman in 1954.

As the business extended it is interesting to note that it retained one traditional feature, the
“Yorkshire Stone Square” system of brewing.  This is derived from the fact that the fermenting
squares were originally made from stone slabs.  The fermenting vessel in which the liquor is
contained consists of an enclosed chamber with a manhole in its roof opening into a superimposed
chamber of the same area but shallower in depth.  The lower chamber is filled with wort and when
the fermentation begins the fermenting yeast rises through the manhole into the upper chamber
where it collects in a mixture of wort and yeast.  About eighteen hours after this frothy head has
collected in the upper chamber, the wort is pumped from the lower chamber and discharged into
the top chamber.  The wort and yeast are then vigorously roused and the wort is run back into the
lower vessel leaving the yeast in the top chamber or deck.  It was this system which was in use in
John Smith’s brewery until in recent years the stone squares were replaced by aluminium vessels.

John Smith’s beer was first bottled in what was familiarly known as “The Coalyard” in Hodgson’s
Terrace, Tadcaster, by a local grocer, John William Holiday.  It was in about 1907 that the Bottling
Store was taken over by John Smith’s, and for some years the bottling of naturally matured beer
continued there.  Bottle washing was done by a hand machine, the dirty bottles being placed in a
wheel which slowly revolved through a tank containing caustic solution; then they were brushed out
on a revolving brush and finally rinsed with cold water.  Crated, they were kept in a warm room
ready for the following day.  Filling the bottles was rather a slow process when measured by
present-day methods, and corking depended upon the hand and foot efforts of the operator.
Labelling was similarly done by hand. Beer in those days required some weeks’ storage for
maturing before sale.

In later years mechanisation of these manual efforts took place, the syphon machine being
replaced by a small electrically-driven circular syphon tank. The output from the Bottling Stores in
the days of hand filling was somewhere in the region of 500 dozen pints per day, then a
considerable achievement.

Like other breweries the expansion of the business at Tadcaster depended upon transportation.
On his way from York to Tadcaster Barnard describes how “
a stream of drays numbering thirteen,
came in sight and passed us on their way to York and the neighbouring towns
”. John Smith’s
brewery horses were indeed famous, not least when they went in procession to York on May Day to
compete with others for prizes for the best turned out teams.  They were, however, far from being
show-pieces.  The records show that there were dray deliveries as far afield as Pateley Bridge with
many stiff gradients to be negotiated in between.  Though the coming of railroads had done so
much to ruin Tadcaster, they proved to be of great advantage to the expansion of the brewery.  A
special train of twenty-five trucks pulled out of Tadcaster for Sheffield several days a week.   Before
the brewery introduced its own mechanised transportation system the railway accounts, covering all
classes of traffic through all sources, had reached £48,000 a year.

The first hint of mechanisation was the acquisition of a Fowler steam traction engine reputed to
have been first used for hauling stone from the quarries for the building of the new brewery.  Later
this machine dragged a train of three trailers between the brewery and the railway station - until the
authorities complained of damage and the company directed their attention towards steam lorries
which they introduced in 1911.  In that year the brewery still owned over 250 horse and pair-horse
drays did not go out of service until 1929.  At the beginning of the first world war the company was
running the first of its petrol driven lorries and these were taken over by the War Department
together with some forty of the company horses.  During that war, owing no doubt to the shortage of
transport, the brewery tried water transportation.   They chartered a barge named the “
to carry casks of beer from York to Sheffield in time for the Christmas trade, allowing ten days for
the trip.  She had barely left before the river flooded and the “
Rosa-Belle” eventually tied up at her
destination some time after the Christmas trade was finished.

At the end of the first world war the company mechanised in a big way purchasing twenty heavy
petrol driven lorries.  In the 1930s these were superseded by lighter and faster vehicles which
were capable of covering the whole of Yorkshire and Lancashire as well as parts of Lincoinshire,
Derbyshire and County Durham.  These in turn were replaced by the diesels which cover the much
greater area now to be serviced.

The Tadcaster Brewery may have had small success with water transport but in the nineteen fifties
it had some success with an air-lift.  At the end of the second world war John Smith’s established a
market for Magnet Ale in Belgium, shipping casks from Hull to Antwerp, bottling stores being
established in Belgium.  The supply was jeopardised by a dock strike in 1950 and John Smith’s for
a period organised a “Beer-Lift”.  Two old Halifax bombers were converted to carry seven-ton loads
twice daily from an airfield near Tadcaster, the wooden casks being rolled straight from the tails of
the diesel lorries into the bomb bays of the Halifaxes.  In 1970 the company was still sending some
7000 barrels a year to Belgium - by sea.

During the post-war years the continuing expansion of the business was a major factor in the
establishment of Tadcaster as a brewing town. In 1953 John Smith’s became a public company.
Towards the end of the decade there began a series of mergers and acquisitions which formed the
basis of the John Smith’s Group which was later to join Courages.  By the nineteen-seventies 700
people were being employed by the Tadcaster Brewery and the Company was running a special
bus-service to take people to and from work.  The most important of these new alliances was with
the Barnsley Brewery Company which began with a mutual trading agreement in 1957 and was
finalised in a merger in 1961.

The Barnsley Brewery, some eighty years old at the time of the merger, possesses a character
unlike that of any other element in the Courage Group.  The Brewery had been founded and
developed largely on the coal mining industry.  Situated fairly and squarely in the midst of the
capital of the South Yorkshire coaffield, Barnsley’s first concern was to quench the prodigious
occupational thirst of the pit-workers with Barnsley Bitter and in the boardroom they still say this is
a good ale-supping district”.  There has always been a strong local feeling for Barnsley Bitter, an
emotional loyalty which is as keenly expressed as that for the Barnsley Football Club whose ground
adjoins the brewery.  That has not meant that the brew was completely localised - fortunately, as it
was to turn out.  When the merger with Tadcaster took place the Barnsley Company was in
possession of over 250 licensed properties already spread over a wide area beyond the confines
of the South Yorkshire Coalfield.  It was fortunate indeed that the business was not concentrated in
Barnsley itself for the pit closures which took place in the ‘sixties left not a single colliery working
within the town boundary.  In the whole area, the rationalisation of the pits brought fewer miners’
thirsts to quench but the wider distribution which followed the Tadcaster-Barnsley merger more than
compensated for the industrial changes.

Except for its headquarters Beevor Hall, a Georgian mansion built by a bleacher, the Barnsley
Brewery, unlike so many other units in the Group had no roots in the eighteenth century.  It more
than makes up for this by the sense of Victorian and Edwardian tradition which emanates from the
place.  The brewery was founded about the middle of the nineteenth century by Guy Senior on a
site adjoining the Hall.  He married the daughter of the owner of Beevor Hall which he later
purchased.  He prospered. The business was known as Paul and Guy Senior’s Oak Well Brewery
and something of the energy and purposefulness of the great Age of Steam is recalled in a
magnificent advertisement which was in recent years recovered from an attic.  
“The original,” writes
Mr Yorke Crompton in his account of Barnsley, “is several feet long and printed in red and biscuit,
blue-grey and green.  The Oakwell emblem holds the centre. The advertisement is adorned with
drawings from two busts, one of George Stephenson and the other of Joseph Locks.  To link the
brewery with Britain’s other expanding industries, the drawings are reinforced with four vigorous
mottoes: ‘Coal and Iron England’s Greatest Wealth’, ‘Working Men England’s Greatest Strength’.
‘No More Bad Trade at Home’, ‘No More Horse Corn from Abroad’.  For good measure, the bottom
rim adds: ‘Steam Versus Horses - Traction Engines - Home Production - Work for the Million’.  The
two lower quarters represent a steam traction engine hitched to a brewer’s dray.  On the left they
are standing in front of the Industry Inn, then owned by one George Wilkinson, and still unchanged
today in its appearance outwardly; the scene is set, though the picture does not say so, on
Barnsley’s Baker Street.  The other drawing may be described as a high-speed action shot. In it the
traction engine is seen puffing down a country road under the direction of a man who usually
walked ahead of it to wave a flag.  The road is bordered by hedges with curly leaves; behind their
cover a policeman crouches like a leopard.  For the driver of the traction engine is committing an
act of reckless lawlessness - he is driving to the public danger at a speed of over four miles an

“Many times the Seniors were fined for allowing their driver to rush through Yorkshire at this hair-
raising pace.  Guy Senior welcomed the court cases and the fines, for they proved the enterprise of
the brewery in keeping ahead of the times with such rapid deliveries.  On the third occasion he told
the Bench that he considered these penalties had first-rate advertising value, - indeed, he added,
he would gladly pay £10 to Beckett’s Hospital for every subsequent conviction.”

In August 1888 the Senior’s business became the Barnsley Brewery Company Ltd with seven
directors, all Londoners.  Their Memorandum of Agreement covered an exceptionally wide field:-
“To carry on business as Brewers. Maltsters, Corn Merchants, Distillers, Hop Merchants, Wine and
Spirit Merchants and Importers, Manufacturers of Aerated and Mineral Waters, and other drinks,
Licensed Victuallers, Hotel Keepers, Beerhouse Keepers, Restaurant Keepers, Lodging-house
Keepers, Farmers, Dairymen, Ice Merchants, Tobacconists, Brick Makers, Bath Keepers, and to
buy, sell, manipulate and deal (both wholesale and retail) in commodities of all kinds which can
conveniently be dealt in by the Company. . . .“
  A member of the family, Arthur Senior, stayed on as
brewery manager.

The Company fared badly in the last decade of the nineteenth century. The 1891 Director’s Report
stated: “
The Directors are greatly disappointed that the results of the year’s working have not been
more satisfactory.  The loss in profit is greatly owing to the fact the Malt Kilns have not been used
as in former years to their full capacity
.”  In the early part of the present (20th) century however
things looked up.  In 1911 the Chairman reported: “
In presenting the 23rd annual report the
directors congratulate the shareholders on the continued prosperity of the company.  This has
been a record year, both for sales and profit in all departments of the business in spite of the high
price of hops, and all the inconveniences and drawbacks to which, in these times, brewers have to
.”  By that time there was again a Senior on the board and significantly H. E. Umbers a
newcomer from Birmingham, who joined the Board in 1908.

After the First World War the business was again in a weakened state and its rehabilitation owed
much to a close association between the then Chairman H. J. Wells and Umbers.  “
The working
partnership of the two men, which brought about the renaissance of the company was close
.” writes
Mr Crompton.  “
For three or four years they actually lived on the premises together as bachelors in
one of the cottages. Day and night they talked of the conditions and possibilities at the brewery, to
which they dedicated all their efforts.  Often they disagreed; sometimes they would argue a point for
hours, with warmth as well as with conviction; but basically their common absorbing interest made
their relationship harmonious.  Their life together at such close quarters was eventually broken up
when Wells married and went to live in Victoria Road, Barnsley.  But H. E. Umbers, when he also
married not long afterwards, continued to live in the cottage at the brewery.  And there his son, was

Edwin Harry Umbers MBE JP, now President of The Barnsley Brewery Co., born in the brewery
cottage, occupied the Chairman’s office for many good years, saddened only by the fact that his
son who was already prospering in the business died in his prime.  During his reign in the post war
years a great many of the brewery properties were reconstructed and reconditioned as the mood of
the times moved away from austerity toward affluence.  These years also saw a phenomenal rise of
Working Men’s Clubs in the north of England generally but more especially in the South Yorkshire
Coalfield where in the Barnsley area alone one hundred and fifty of these clubs were flourishing in
the ‘seventies. This new social manifestation which originated in the ‘thirties and by the ‘sixties was
so potent in membership, finance and property, is virtually unknown in the south of England.  The
amenities offered by many of the clubs are lavish, with decoration, with entertainment for all ages
from pop to bingo, with games, sometimes with food and always with the mainstay of beer.  The
freeholds of a certain number of them are owned by the breweries but the great majority are “free”.
Such a brewery as Barnsley however has very close trading arrangements with many of the free
clubs which are made in competition with other breweries.

In 1957 a paragraph in the Yorkshire Post heralded the beginning of a closer association between
Barnsley and Tadcaster.  “
Both companies are in a flourishing condition, and for many years have
paid substantial dividends.  The Tadcaster company’s distribution for the 1st financial year was 15
per cent from an earned surplus of 33½ per cent, while the Barnsley company earned almost 36
per cent and paid 20 per cent.
”  From the trading agreement announced with those figures the
companies moved closer and four years later they merged.

That year 1961 the pattern of the John Smith organisation changed dramatically for at the same
time as Barnsley, Yates Castle Brewery of Manchester came in under their Chairman J. A. Poe.   A
few months later they were joined by Warwicks and Richardsons of Newark-on-Trent.  This latter
concern had older roots than most in the eighteenth century.  It was founded on the town wharf at
Newark by a brewer named Sketchley who came from Burton-on-Trent in 1766.  It afterwards
followed a tradition of other breweries in being associated with banking when it was acquired by the
Handley family who combined banking with an interest in the Baltic Timber trade.  As a result large
quantities of ale and porter were shipped to London and the strong ale from the brewery was
exported to Archangel in exchange for timber.  Mr Richard Warwick, whose great-grandson is a
director at Tadcaster, acquired the business in 1856 and two years later was mayor of Newark.  
The new Northgate Brewery buildings were erected in 1871 and they seem to have been
exceptionally well served by their own fire brigade.  The Tourist and Traveller of 1886 referred to
this “None of the amateur brigades have approached in completeness those of Messrs Warwicks
Brewery brigades.  In the fire engine house is an excellent steam Merryweather kept warm by steam
and with its fire ready for immediate ignition 100 lbs of steam may be got up in from five to six
minutes and the firemen are summoned by horn during the day and automatic and electrical
communication at night.  ”By 1890 133 people were employed in the business which had a brewing
capacity of 100,000 barrels and there were twenty-four branch offices.  Over the years Warwicks
and Richardsons, as they became. took in other breweries in Doncaster, Peterborough, Chester-
field and Oundle.  These with their licensed houses and hotels merged first with Tadcaster then
with the Courage Group whlch already included another important Newark concern, the busi-
ness of James Hole.

John Smiths brought into the Group a unique feature - a museum.  In a side street off the old
turnpike road through Tadcaster is the Ark Museum*, a late fifteenth century house owned and run
by the Brewery who took it over in 1959 as a building of historic and archaeological value.  In 1672
it was licensed as a Dissenters preaching-place and over the years may be said to have fallen from
grace to become in turn dwelling house, cobbler’s shop, public house, and plumber’s workshop.  It
now houses a curious collection of domestic and industrial by-gones and a growing selection of
brewing trade exhibits - open free to the public.

In mid 2007, Scottish & Newcastle closed down production of John Smith's 'Cask' in Tadcaster and
moved production to Burtonwood near Warrington. The beer was reported as having a different
taste and to be going flat too easily.

*Ark Museum. The building was used as a museum until 1984, when it was threatened with sale
for commercial use.  This would have closed it to public view.  The Civic Society stepped in and
hosted a Town meeting in 1985 when a proposal for a second museum was adopted, to be run by
trust and volunteers. This was very successful in terms of visitors but not financially viable, and by
1989 the Ark was empty once again.

In 1992 the Tadcaster Town Council bought the premises to use as its Council Offices and Council
Chamber, thereby, hopefully, ensuring future accessibility to all who wish to see the building.
As Mr Riley-Smith said on the opening in 1962 "such a unique piece of architecture should, if
possible, be preserved not only as a beautiful relic of the past, but also as a source of interest and
instruction to students of the future".   Members of the Public are welcome to view the building
during office hours.  

All rights reserved.


Chapter 14
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