A CITY eyesore was given a much-needed makeover as the wheels of progress turned in Hereford in the 1960s.

Hereford's Farmers' Club was left looking like a derelict wreck after adjoining buildings were demolished to make way for the east-west section of the city's new relief road in 1966.

Hereford Times: The Farmers' Club in Hereford in 1966 (left) and now (right)The Farmers' Club in Hereford in 1966 (left) and now (right) (Image: Hereford Times)

But, the Hereford Times reported in December of that year, the council had already drawn up plans for a renovation scheme aimed at restoring to as near its original appearance as possible.

The prominent building, now opposite Hereford's Old Market development, dates back to 1620 and was the site of the city's old Widemarsh Gate with its moat and drawbridge.

The gate was taken down in 1798, but the moat was not completely filled in until 1854.

Before the building was bought by the Farmers' Club in 1926, it was variously the home of a doctor, a wool warehouse, and a tailor's shop.

Hereford Times: The interior of the building in 1992The interior of the building in 1992 (Image: Hereford Times)

For many years, it was the perfect place for farmers from across the county to meet, talk over the day's business, eat, and mull over their affairs with a pint of ale, being placed opposite the city's livestock market, which eventually moved out to its new site on the Roman Road in 2011.

The club closed for good in 2012, with chairman Ruth Deaville saying at the time that the Widemarsh Street venue, which opened as a private members’ club in 1926, had seen a “dramatic drop” in the number of people using it.

Hereford Times: The Farmers' Club before it closed in 2012The Farmers' Club before it closed in 2012 (Image: Hereford Times)

A £150,000 refurbishment was carried out on the building in 2014, after it was bought by Simply Stunning, a furniture retailer, and turned into a new showroom.

And a new chapter was started at the stunning building in 2016, when the Cosy Club opened at the venue after an £850,000 investment.

The new restaurant saw the building undergo a "quirky, eccentric and playful" transformation, with staff serving up comfort food classics.

Paul Alexander, Loungers senior operations manager said at the time that they had been looking for a character property in Hereford for some time.

"We love putting Cosy Clubs into character buildings, we think it suits our brand and our quirky interiors," he said.


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