Refurbished Memorial Benches Bring New Life to Historic Mexborough Landmark

The historic Empress Building in Mexborough, Doncaster, has undergone a remarkable transformation with the refurbishment of its iconic memorial benches and the enhancement of its exterior.

This landmark renovation project, spearheaded by Jason Mace, CEO of Gala Tent and owner of the Empress Building, has breathed new life into cherished local memorials, creating an inviting and serene space for reflection and remembrance.

For years, the Empress Building has been home to memorial benches dedicated to two local boxing legends. Eric Walker, who passed away on June 24, 2011, and Scott Brookes, a promising young boxer tragically taken from us in 2008, now have beautifully refurbished memorials gracing the Empress Building's front area.

Under the visionary leadership of Jason Mace, a comprehensive refurbishment plan was executed. The memorial benches have been thoughtfully relocated and refurbished, offering a tranquil sanctuary for relatives and visitors to reflect upon the legacies of these beloved athletes.

Notable improvements to the Empress Building's exterior include the construction of a newly crafted boundary wall. This wall, meticulously assembled with reclaimed vintage bricks, seamlessly harmonizes with the existing brickwork of the building, enhancing its historic charm. A freshly laid patio, designed with a gentle slope to facilitate efficient rainwater drainage, complements the building's aesthetic.

In addition to these upgrades, a modern touch has been introduced with the installation of a brand-new gym sign, adding a contemporary flair while preserving the building's classic allure.

Commenting on the transformation, Michael Hobson, owner of Grafters Ironworks Gym, said, "We are truly honoured to have the memorial benches outside our business. Since their relocation, we have seen many people visiting, paying their respects, and even leaving flowers and plants in memory. It's heartening to witness."

Jason Mace, CEO of Gala Tent and owner of the Empress Building said "The refurbishment of the memorial benches and the Empress Building's exterior reflects our commitment to preserving Mexborough's rich history while embracing the future. This project is a testament to our dedication to providing a serene and welcoming space for everyone to enjoy."

Jemma Evens, General Manager of the Empress Building said "The Empress Building has always held a special place in the hearts of the community. With these renovations, we aim to ensure that it continues to be a cherished landmark where people can come together, celebrate, and pay tribute to local heroes."

The refurbishment of the memorial benches and the Empress Building's exterior is part of an ongoing effort to preserve the historical elegance of this iconic landmark. On July 23, 2023, the Empress Ballroom reopened its doors to the public, hosting soul nights, weddings, concerts, and attracting promoters and celebrity guests, including the likes of Brian Blessed, Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoigne, Jeff Stelling, and Clinton Baptists. In January 2024, Jim Davison is set to take the stage, reviving the venue's heyday by drawing class artists from across the UK.

This revitalization project exemplifies a harmonious blend of vintage allure with modern amenities, ensuring that the Empress Building remains a cherished hub for the community to enjoy.

Stay tuned for further updates on the ongoing revitalization of the Empress Building.

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