There are probably quite a few workers in The Jewellery Quarter who at one time partook of an excellent ‘traditional dinner’ in the original pub, sat around iron tables.
The George & Dragon is Grade II Listed and is a typical mid-Victorian public house. Constructed at various dates, the three storey section is probably the oldest (about 1820), extended in 1860 and the single storey wing in Carver Street was added to the design of James and Lister Lea in 1922.
At the time it closed, the public bar contained some of the original bar fittings, a curved bar, benches and gothic arched panels, and interesting painted glass windows indicating that the pub was once attached to the George & Dragon Brewery in nearby Pope Street. The leaded stained glass windows were also intact.
The restoration of the George & Dragon enhanced the ‘Dayus Square’ project as this public house is mentioned extensively in Kathleen Dayus’ books where she tells of how she ‘sang outside the pub for pennies to help feed her starving brothers and sisters, whilst her parents were inside, drinking’. Kathleen lived in Camden Drive and attended the school which was sadly demolished after collapsing on the ‘Square’.
In later years, on one of her many visits to the Jewellery Quarter, she noticed the small spikes on the windowsills of one of the buildings in Legge Lane and shouted excitedly “The railings are still there where workmen used to put apple cores and crusts from their sandwiches on the spikes as a treat for us kids.
The City Council decided to commemorate Kathleen’s life and in 2000 The Dayus Square was created and a monument designed and erected and her daughter and other members of her family managed to attend, thanks to the kindness of Doug Timmis.