The former ladies first-class waiting room at Durham station has been transformed into an aptly-named alehouse with the help of Virgin Trains.
The Waiting Room, located on Platform 2, opened its doors after undergoing extensive renovation work including restoring many original features including two Victorian fireplaces that had been boarded up and caked in several layers of paint. Virgin Trains helped to bring the building, dating back to 1872, back to its former glory paying for the original stonework to be scrubbed down and the structure to be made watertight. Virgin Trains also provided electricity and drainage to the site. The original bay window has been reinstated and the walls have been painted in a dark green to complement the exposed wood panelling.
The owner of The Waiting Room, Graeme Robinson, is a former University Facilities Manager and grandson of a signalman who decided to follow his passion for real ales and open a pub. His love of regional ales is evident with an array of draught and bottled beers from breweries such as Durham, Allendale and Hadrian Border. Credit also is due to the generosity of the Railway Heritage Trust who donated a five-figure grant to the pub.
Graeme Robinson, owner of The Waiting Room said: “I’m very pleased with the reception so far to my first pub. Regular commuters and locals have embraced it and we look forward to the development of the outside seating area ready for the Summer!”
Chris Cunningham, General Manager for Virgin Trains east coast said: “We’re proud to be playing a part in celebrating the long history of Durham station here today at the opening of The Waiting Room. Virgin Trains is committed to promoting history and heritage, and we’re thrilled with the transformation of this space into a beautiful alehouse and a fantastic place for customers to relax.”