At the heart of every evening or football match is a “spoon”.
Here in Cambridgeshire, some of our most popular pubs belong to JD Wetherspoons, including The Regal in Cambridge and The George Hotel in Whittlesey.
So to commemorate the reopening of our pubs, bars and restaurants, we take a look at the stories behind our favorite Wetherspoons.
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The Regal, Cambridge
We couldn’t really start elsewhere, could we?
The Regal, Cambridge’s only Wetherspoon, has a well-documented history as a former cinema.
It opened in 1937 as a “palace” specially designed for the city’s moviegoers.
At the time, it was the largest cinema in the city, and was quickly transformed into a two-screen ABC cinema in 1972.
The cinema closed in 1997 before being taken over by Wetherspoon two years later.
The Hippodrome, March
Before being a Wetherspoon pub, The Hippodrome in March was a 900-seat cinema built at a cost of £ 20,000.
The cinema, which also included a stage and five changing rooms, opened on February 8, 1929.
The doors to the stage still exist to this day and are located in a side street on Darthill Road.
When the cinema changed ownership in the 1960s, it became a bingo hall and, although the films have been reintroduced recently, the Hippodrome closed in 2009.
The George Hotel, Whittlesey
Grade II listed building The George Hotel was built in the 18th century.
In the 19th century, the building was renovated before the demolition of the eastern end as part of a road widening project in the 19th century.
Its owners can be identified as early as 1830.
The historic inn was originally called George and Star, but in 1880 it was known as the George Inn before choosing its current name – The George Hotel.
Sandford House, Huntingdon
This Grade II listed building was built around 1850 and first functioned as a private residence.
Charles Sandford Windover, who was mayor of Huntingdon in 1886, lived in the house with his family.
After that, the building functioned as a post office and still carries the words “post office” in the sign above its doors.
The College Arms, Peterborough
Although this building now houses a Wetherspoon pub, it was originally built as a technical college over 100 years ago.
County Technical College, Broadway, was built in 1903 and offered both day and evening courses.
Starting in 1926, the building began to offer evening classes only, while it was used by the nearby Deacon’s Grammar School during the day.
Subsequently, it became East Holm County School before being acquired by the board a few years later.
It was then acquired by the council, which used it as offices until its sale in 1990.
Draper’s Coat of Arms, Peterborough
Although it is now a Wetherspoon spoon, the building that houses The Draper’s Arms actually dates back to Victorian times.
The building was originally constructed in 1899 for the draper and milliner Charles Armstrong.
Mr. Armstrong’s business, which employed five of his children, grew rapidly in the building until his death in 1926.
As Armstrong continued after the death of its founder, he began to specialize in carpets, curtains and linens.
The business ceased operations at the address in 1996.
The Wheatsheaf Inn, Wisbech
Before being a Wetherspoon pub, the Wheatsheaf Inn in Wisbech was both a furniture and decoration store and a pub, both housed under the same roof.
The pub was originally marketed under the name of Wheatsheaf, according to documents dating from 1792.
The pub then changed its name to Royal after being acquired by a new owner.
But, in 2002, Wetherspoon bought the pub – and the store next door – and restored it to its original name.
The weeping ash, St Neots
Formerly a post office, this pub also stands on what used to be a beautiful Victorian garden.
The garden belonged to the house opposite, owned by William Medland, bank manager and city commissioner.
Medland’s garden is said to be famous for its many plants and trees, including a “magnificent weeping ash” that gave the pub its name.
After Medland’s death, his widow sold the house to the Conservative Club, which remains opposite the pub.