New hall to breathe life into Newtongrange’s historic pub

One of Midlothian’s most famous pubs is set to mark the renovation of its function hall to ensure it continues to serve the local community.

The Dean Tavern in Newtongrange is a ‘Gothenburg’ community pub, which has served the village since 1899.

Douglas Wallace, secretary of the Dean Tavern Trust, revealed that a day of events will take place in the pub to mark the renovation work.

He said: “The official opening will be on October 24, 3pm to 12am. It’s really an open house, so everybody can have the opportunity to see the hall.

“We will have appearances from the Newtongrange Silver Band, Pipe Band and a disco at night. We will also have Caroline Gilmour and Ricky Beveridge singing.

“So a series of events on the day. There is a lot going on.

“It’s a big deal. I don’t know when it was last refurbished.

“But if you see it now you would see a big difference.

“It cost a fair bit of money but it’s necessary, if we want the pub to still be here in 10/20 years time.

“We have extended the hall into the side. So we more or less have an L-shpaed hall.

“We have new air conditioning in the hall which I think was a major problem in the past.

“We have moved the stage slightly, changed the dance floor. We have refurbished the bar for the function suite and we have new lighting.”

Mr Wallace believes such changes are vital to the future of the community-run pub.

He said: “We are always open to criticism from customers no matter what we do. But the criticism has died down significantly recently.

“Things are going well. This is a much needed update of the function suite and a significant change to the layout as well.

“Hopefully the community will continue to use the pub and support it as they have done in the past.

“The Dean is probably even more important to the local community now because of the state of the pub trade generally. The number of drinking places in the village has dropped considerably in recent years.

“So the Dean remains important now, maybe more than ever.”