Two local couples have joined forces to bring one of Albrighton’s most iconic buildings back to life in the form of a new micro pub.
The Grade II listed Station Master’s building has been transformed into the Platform Ale House as part of a £30,000 makeover and will be officially opening its doors later this week.
Lifelong friends Emma and Paul Thompson and Alison and Craig Taylor are behind the ambitious venture after deciding to plough money saved for their children’s University education into the project.
The idea is to create a family run business that allows them all to indulge in a shared interest and provide part-time work for their children, with some of the profits going back into a fund to support their journey through higher education.
Supported by the Albrighton & District Civic Society, the micro pub will give local people and commuters the chance to enjoy up to five locally sourced ales, ciders, wines and a range of bar snacks in a friendly atmosphere that encourages ‘good conversation’.
“I suppose starting a new pub to help support your children through University is a pretty novel concept, but it is certainly one that has captured the imagination,” explained Alison.
“We had all driven past the Station Master’s building and thought it had such huge potential and between the group there is a keen interest in real ale.”
She continued: “Once we had found the owner and convinced him to offer us a long-term lease we jumped at the chance and our venture was born.”
Platform Ale House has already sealed agreements with local brewers Newbridge Brewery and Shropshire Brewer to supply their range of cask ales, with Platform Cider – brewed by Hurst View Cider – another regular.
These will be supplemented by two ‘guest’ beers, Prosecco and a range of wines. Soft drinks and a small selection of hot drinks will also be available.
Maintaining the local theme, Albrighton Butchers will be providing the micro pub with freshly made Pork Pies and Scotch Eggs.
“The response from people on social media and passers-by to the station has been fantastic… I think everyone is really pleased to see the building come back to life after seven years of non-use,” added Paul.
“We want Platform Ale House to become a place you visit for great beers, great company and the chance to make new friends. The renovation work has been completed to ensure we create a cosy atmosphere with an open fire restored, traditional wooden flooring and historical pictures of Albrighton displayed around the building.”
He concluded: “When Emma and I first met Alison and Craig when our children were seven months-old we never thought we’d end up running our own micro pub together.
“Pollyanna and Millie are both 18 now so will be supporting us behind the bar, whilst Chloe, Alice and Archie will be helping with glass collecting. We just need to agree on the wage for them all!”
Platform Ale House, which can seat up to 40 people, will be open Thursdays and Fridays (5pm to 10.30pm) and midday to 10.30pm at weekends.
Six additional jobs have been created in addition to the family workforce, with all staff undertaking Cask Marque approved ‘Cask Beer Training’.
The micro pub will also have a range of board games, dominoes and monopoly to enjoy and is an official Book Crossing Zone so you can pick up free books then pass them on when you’ve read them.