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A very special 200th anniversary

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A very special 200th anniversary
Article date: 13 Jan 2012

Staff at a Bristol pub celebrated a very special milestone for the historic grade II listed building in which their outlet is housed.

Pub manager Helen Bull (right), who runs The Commercial Rooms in the city, marked the premises’ 200th anniversary with a party. A cake, made in the shape of the building, was made especially for the occasion.

Kitchen manager Sam Dumont (centre) and the rest of the team donned a top hat and moustache to reflect the gentlemen of the Georgian period, when The Commercial Rooms was built.

The Commercial Rooms, designed to be a new centre for Bristol businessmen, was built in 1810 by London architect Charles Augustus Busby, replacing a well-known coffee house on the same site.

It housed a merchants’ club, with the weather vane on the roof helping merchants to estimate the arrival times of their ships. At the top of the building, there are three statues which represent Bristol, commerce and navigation.

With his costume, shift leader Aidan Waller (left) represented Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who carried out much of his work in Bristol, including The Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Learning of the competition for a bridge over the Avon, the noted engineer submitted four designs. A Bristol newspaper of April 1831 recommended a viewing of the two coloured drawings of the proposed bridge on display in
The Commercial Rooms.

The Commercial Rooms opened as a Wetherspoon pub in August 1995. Helen said: “The building is a landmark in the city – and we wanted to mark the special anniversary in style.”

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