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The Centurion Bar in Newcastle Central Station was originally the First Class Refreshment Room. This room is quite literally a work of art. The Victorian tiles that adorn the walls are worth over £3.5m and are sait by historians as the finest example of Bumantofts tiles outside of a museum. They had languished for years under layers of concrete and paint and only came to light when redevelopment work began in 2000.

As part of an 1892 scheme by North East Railway architect Willian Bell the waiting room from John Dobson's Central Station was clad in fabulous tiling to emerge as the First Class Refreshment Room. It is decorated from floor to high ceiling in Burmantofts Baroque style top-lit by a tile clad skylight, with columns dominating both ends of the room. A 14 ft square mural by Byron Dawson takes pride of place between two 20 ft high Doric obelisks. Burmantofts, of Leeds, was the best known producer of tiles and architectural ceramics until the firm closed down in the late 1950's. Another great example of Burmantofts tiles in Newcastle is the Central Arcade.

Some of this text is taken from an article by Alastair Gilmour for the Newcastle Journal.

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The following pages were designed by MIRROR IMAGE. All photographs taken by Ray Urwin©.
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