Pub closures bring anger and sorrow

Inn On The Bridge, Hebden Bridge.
Inn On The Bridge, Hebden Bridge.

TWO Hebden Bridge pubs have closed their doors, bringing disappointment and anger for locals.

The Shoulder of Mutton at Bridge Gate and the Inn on the Bridge at Old Gate have both been boarded up.

The Shoulder Of Mutton, Hebden Bridge.

The Shoulder Of Mutton, Hebden Bridge.

Tony Preston, licensee of the Shoulder of Mutton, posted on the pub’s Facebook page: “Due to general rising prices coupled with the extortionate amount of money pubs have to pay for beer, and fewer people drinking out, we have had no option and have closed the pub.

“It is a sad day and we are sorry we can’t keep your local open.”

Izzy Shannon, Hebden Bridge resident and author of pub history book Cheers!, said the town had been largely unaffected by pub closures that hit Calderdale until now.

She said: “We have been quite lucky. We seem to have escaped. Pubs are in a desperate plight and there are a lot in Hebden Bridge.”

Of the Inn on the Bridge, she said: “It’s on a very prominent corner and has been boarded up with steel grilles.

“I’ve lived here 20-odd years and can’t remember anywhere closing like that.”

Jason Nash, a resident of Hebden Bridge, said: “If you’re coming into the town from Todmorden it looks disgraceful. The iron-type grille makes it look like a derelict building.

“This is Hebden Bridge, not some dingy watering hole on some forgotten estate.

“I feel this needs some answers and action.”

Nigel Robertshaw, chairman of Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA, said: “There are many hurdles facing the pub trade.

“The increase in the rate of VAT may lead to more people buying cheap booze from the supermarkets and drinking at home.

“In places like Hebden Bridge the land the pub occupies may be valuable to developers, meaning owners of the freehold may sell for a quick profit.”