Continuing the series celebrating the Port Arts Festival Then and Now Exhibition, from Wednesday, March 5 to Wednesday, April 29 at the National Waterways Museum, here are more images that will be included in the display of The Station Hotel

Built in the 1870s, the Railway Commercial Hotel was, for many years, run by John McGarva and known locally as McGarva’s Railway Hotel.

In 1909 an impressive and ornate extension was built to the left of the building’s frontage and the whole was renamed The Station Hotel.

A further single storey extension to the right was added in 1912 and this created, as the story goes, the longest bar in the country.

Then and Now, the Station Hotel in Ellesmere Port in 2014
Then and Now, the Station Hotel in Ellesmere Port in 2014

James McGarva had taken over as victualler and he and his wife would start pulling pints an hour and a half before opening time.

When the whistle blew to end the shift at the local iron works that dominated the town, hundreds of men would make their way to the Station Hotel to sup their pint before their journey home.

The original photo, from the 1920s, is from The Waterways Archive/Canal and River Trust.

The modern picture is from the Ellesmere Port Local and Family History Society.