The Pancake Dog

For more than 130 years since the 1880s the Pancake Dog has stood silently on the roof of the Howlands Centre, more recently out of sight from the street and tucked up against the back wall of the adjacent office building.

Not the sort of place from which to make an impact.

photo of the stone pancake dog on top of Howlands before restoration in 2017
photo of the blue plaque erected on Howlands, Dewsbury

The Howlands Centre building, home of the Dewsbury and District League of Friendship, was originally Dewsbury's second 'National School' built in 1843 by the National Society For The Education of The Poor.  

And it was the school roof that became the second home of 'Yeast', the Pancake Dog, when he was relocated from the roof of the old Vicarage when that building was demolished in the 1880s.

Reports of the time speak of a crowd of hundreds of Dewsbury residents gathered to witness his careful removal from the Vicarage and relocation to the school roof before the Vicarage was demolished.   Unfortunately, his new position on the south end of the roof and overlooking a busy part of Dewsbury was subsequently blocked off by the construction of an office block.  Which is why he was on the move again in 2017.

The Pancake Dog Legend

Local legend has it that Yeast, the Pancake Dog, would leap down from his lofty position just once a year when the school bell rang on Shrove Tuesday in order to claim his pancake treat.  Whether this activity only started following his move to the school or that he used to respond to the church bell in his previous location is not known.

'Yeast', the Pancake Dog, is a bit of a mutt really and some have likened him to more of a lion than a dog.  But he has cleaned up nicely and looks smart in his new position.

photo of the cleaned up statue of the Pancake Dog in Dewsbury

The Howlands Centre

The school subsequently became the home of the Dewsbury and District League of Friendship in the 1950s which was more recently rebranded as the Howlands Centre.  The Centre aims to improve the quality of life for local people by teaching new skills that can lead to a rewarding hobby while offering friendship in a welcoming atmosphere.

The refit work that now provides a modern centre with all facilities while retaining its heritage features was funded by a £500,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund and the work was carried out by HB Projects of Bradford.

The move from staring at a blank wall to overlooking the street again!

photo of the Pancake Dog in Dewsbury

The Pancake Dog in his new position

The refurbishment completed in July 2017, included major work to the roof when the opportunity was taken to provide some TLC to Yeast, the Pancake Dog and to reposition him in a more prominent position in order to preserve the heritage and traditions of Dewsbury.

This is one of a series of posts about heritage assets in Dewsbury.  Check out the Heritage link to see more.

What we think:

If we can see it then it should be worth looking at!

Do you have anything more you can add to the story of Yeast, the Pancake Dog? If so then please drop us a line or leave a Comment below. 
And don't forget to join the Dewsbury Heritage group on Facebook to be the first to hear of interesting new stuff about the history of Dewsbury.


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