What The Hepworth gets right – That The Tetley gets wrong! By Dave, who describes himself as an international man of mystery, currently limited to the North of England for sound ecological reasons …
What is it that The Hepworth gets right, that The Tetley gets wrong?
There’s definitely something. The Hepworth has grandeur, it has presence, it – despite the building looking like it’s doing its best not to be detected on radar – it exudes importance. Whereas, The Tetley by contrast … well, just doesn’t. For me at least.
Don’t get me wrong. I like The Tetley, or at least I *want* to like The Tetley… I’m all in favour of ex-industrial buildings being regenerated as hipster hangouts, and if you look at The Tetley’s response to the Tour de France – hosting the Ghost Peloton (FREE), versus The Hepworth’s response – hosting of an illuminated cycling expedition with artists Paul Hurley and Caleb Parkin to discover a very different city under nightfall (£7). Well it’s clear who the winner is.
But still … something persists. Just what is The Hepworth’s je ne sais quoi?
Perhaps it’s because The Hepworth creates – or at least starts to create – a Wakefield Waterfront, combining waterside living, the chantry bridge and the river and canal basins to make a meaningful “quarter” to complement Wakefield City Centre. Whereas The Tetley feels a little remote from the centre of Leeds, its kind of just around the corner from The Armouries, just over the bridge from Briggate, surrounded by a windswept pay and display car park …Maybe that will change (and maybe Wakefield will get rid of that horrible A61 / A638 junction.)
Or perhaps it’s because The Hepworth creates the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle (along with the Henry Moore Institute and The Yorkshire Sculpture Park) whereas the Tetley… does what exactly?
Or maybe it’s something else?
Then, in the café bar it strikes me. The Tetley – obviously – sells hand pulled Tetley ales. Except that it doesn’t – not really, because it can’t. It only sells ersatz Tetley, Tetley made in Northamptonshire… fake Tetley, corporate Tetley, “sold its soul, moved its manufacturing and turned its HQ into an art gallery” Tetley. And that’s what’s wrong with The Tetley, that’s everything that’s wrong with the Tetley defined in a one pint glass. It’s all a marketing ploy – a ploy to disguise the loss felt by the fact that the quintessential Leeds pint isn’t made in Leeds anymore.
Whereas, by contrast, The Hepworth serves bottles of Masterpiece; a light English Ale brewed by the Ossett Brewery to celebrate a joyous homecoming celebration of Wakefield’s most celebrated daughter! Now -of course- that’s also a marketing ploy, but it’s a good one, a natural one, a real one, an authentic one.
And that’s what The Hepworth gets right – that The Tetley gets wrong. It feels real. It feels authentic, it feels right.
Although I still think it should serve a rhubarb crumble.