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Report - Pioneer's Industrial Society CO-OP, Dewsbury.


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Staff member
Visit to this great building with Raddog a few weeks ago. The pioneers building was built in the 1880's, with later additions after the turn of the century. It boasted a range of shops and 1500 seat 'industrial hall'

Now I feel very strongly about what has been allowed to happen to this building. Pure and simply the structure is the crown jewel in the town's crown. It is a beautiful building with a landmark clock tower. It housed a row of shops, which are still very unchanged from their 1930's design. If they were in London, people wold be paying through the nose to sell their wares from a shopfront like that... in fact, if the building were in any other town, it would be not only used, but a centrepiece for a new development.

Not Dewsbury it would seem. The building has been slowly deteriating for decades. Now after a fire, vandalism, theft and rot the place is dropping to pecies. It will now cost a small fortune to ever do anything with it at all.

What has survived is the fine timepiece (although when we were there we bumped into a random lonesome pikey with clock components in his grubby paw) a beautiful dance hall, which although in parts is dropping off the wood, has a lavish plaster ceiling.

The building once housed smoking, conversation rooms, a library, dance hall and bank. Signs of it's lavish past are everywhere, but so are the signs of neglect. There are more than one beautiful tiled staircases, but petty and sloppy theft has laft some of the tiles missing and many broken. You can hardly walk across the floor without crunching on some century old stained glass or staffordshire tile.

In one room centurys of records had been cast to the damp floor. There were ledgers dating from 1860 lying page down on the floor... 1860!! These had been thrown ot of a walk in safe for some reason...

Half demolished, crumbling and charred this beautiful building demands a new use. I shall be appauled more so than with any other building if it does not get it.






















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