Pews with chips

By Jonathan Kalmus, October 11, 2011

Antique synagogue pews will seat diners in a £500,000 fish restaurant near Bolton.

The hardwood pews, dating back to 1928, were bought for several thousand pounds from a wood reclamation yard after being removed from the former Central Synagogue in Salford three months ago.

Also once a Methodist church, the building was sold in 2008 and is being demolished to make way for a new, strictly Orthodox synagogue. Money from the sale of the pews has gone to the building project.

Stephen Kershaw - who is adding the 85-seat restaurant to his Curley's Fishery in Horwich - said the pews were "absolutely beautiful. One of the reasons they caught my eye was because we are designing the restaurant as a very traditional build to look 200-years-old.

"Everything is reclaimed, with the stone walls coming from a church. I thought the pews were appropriate."

Melvyn Green, who was the Central Synagogue secretary for more than 30 years, was pleased the pews would be preserved. "I didn't know what had happened to them. They could have been sold to the scrap-heap."

Last updated: 11:41am, October 11 2011