The Black Bull pub in Market Place, Dewsbury re-opened with a flourish on Thursday 24 Oct 2019 after a 2 year refurbishment effort.
The re-opening was marked by the bellringers of Dewsbury Minster led by Tower Captain, Derek Johnstone who tolled Dewsbury Minster's famous 'Black Tom' bell 114 times before a glorious peal by the whole tower on the mark of 7pm when the doors opened.
Gifted to Dewsbury Minster by Thomas de Soothill in 1434 as an act of penance for his drunken murder of his servant boy, "Black Tom" is rung once for every year since the original Christmas Day. So in 2019 it will be rung 2019 times in the hours approaching midnight of Christmas Eve to mark the end of the Devil and the birth of new life in Jesus Christ on Christmas Day.
However, the bell ringing team who frequently slake their thirst after a long stint on the bells, are so keen to see the Black Bull re-open with a new management team and a significant marker in the progressive regeneration of Dewsbury town centre that they applied the same principle to mark the start of a new era for Dewsbury.
Tolling the bell 114 times marks the 114 years since the Black Bull opened in 1905 since when it had accumulated a somewhat disreputable reputation. The full peal that followed on the stroke of 7pm celebrated the start of a new era both for the pub and the town centre.