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24th November 2015


From junk to junction - a modern renaissance pub
From junk to junction – a modern renaissance pub

A new book is set to be released documenting the transformation of The Junction, Castleford, from a redundant pub into the ‘home of beers from the wood’.

After a two year closure, the pub has enjoyed a remarkable transformation under the stewardship of Maureen Shaw and Neil Midgley, becoming nationally revered as a major player in the revival of wood casks in the beer industry.

Working with local breweries and Alastair Simms at the White Rose Cooperage in Wetherby – England’s last master cooper – Neil and Maureen have achieved their ambition of running a pub that serves beer only from wood barrels.

Their accomplishment has led to regional and national accolades, as well as recognition from industry experts.

Roger Protz, editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, writes in his foreword: “Maureen and Neil, with the enthusiastic support of Alastair, have brought an added dimension to the pleasure of beer drinking. And they also help keep alive the honourable artisan skill of the cooper. I raise a glass and salute them.”

From Junk to Junction: The Renaissance of The Junction, Castleford, documents the remarkable transformation of the pub over the past five years, including a history of the real ale scene in Castleford, the brewers and breweries working with The Junction, words from Alastair Simms on wooden casks and notes on the future of the pub.

Author David Litton says: ““Its a challenge to write something longer than just a magazine article. But to write it about my favourite pub gave me inspiration.”

Mr Litten, known in the beer community as The Bloke from Hull, will launch his 20,000 word ‘magnum opus’ at The Junction on Thursday, November 26 at 8pm.

There will be ‘Cas Caviar’, a special one off beer from Elland Brewery called Codex and renditions of the pub anthems led by Rich Jones accompanied on the piano by Colin Williams on the night.


The book costs £7.50 from the pub or £10 mail order. All profits will go to the Alzheimer’s Society.


Jack Peat


For Comment:   David Litten