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Saturday afternoon drinking

From Tom D

Monday, 23 April 2018

Town was heaving on Saturday. Its great to see so many people out and about, from residents to visitors to the Town. But we need (I think) to think a bit about balance.

Its great that the Shoulder of Mutton is doing so well. Its lovely to see people outside in the Square on their benches. But when the whole of the town square becomes an extension of the pub, that's not fair. Its not fair on the other businesses in the square, on local residents who find it a bit beery, on older visitors out for tea or cakes, or on children walking through on their way to the park.

So - it seems reasonable that we ask the Shoulder to keep an eye on this, and to make sure that its customers stay in their bit of the square. And if they don't, to put restrictions on their licence. And that we ask the same of the other pubs whose customers spread out across town when it gets really warm.

If I'm honest, I think that the big groups of people coming to drink in Hebden on a Saturday afternoon does us few favour's, and will start to impact on day trippers, residents families, small shops and cafes. But if they are coming, then recognising that, and agreeing a few reasonable restrictions, feels like a sensible way to retain some balance in our community.  

From Stephen Redfern

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Why is it that the coffee shops have to pay for the (tightly enforced) area outside their shops but the shoulder of mutton uses the whole lot for free and is not enforced at all.

The council should address this or waive the fees for all the coffee shops in the square.

From Mark C

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Totally agree. 

The Old Gate is another problem. Even though it has outside seating area, there is often overspill on the grassed area opposite and even people drinking on the bridge.

Does Hebden have community police? Maybe they could stop this problem, or the council even.

From Sharon Slade

Friday, 27 April 2018

I completely agree with the above comments and would like to include the White Swan using the wavy steps, despite having a lovely garden, and the Railway using the Marina.

It saddens me that Hebden is losing it's charm in favour of 
drinkers. The pubs may be making lots of money but the shops don't benefit. Calderdale Council are responsible for issuing licences so they are the people to complain to.

From Tom D

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Could we have a response from local elected members? Would be good to know if this is recognised as an issue, whether something is in motion already, or what steps we can take.

Again it's not saying any of these places are bad. Just that they need to operate as part of a wider community.

From Julie C

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Can I suggest contacting Jae Campbell the local Neighbourhood Coordinator based at the Town Hall in Hebden. Tel 01422 26462  or email.

You could ask for it to be discussed at the Ward Forum perhaps, and you can go along and meet local police and councillors there. That is where the next local police objectives are set too. The last one was on 17th April, so there's still time before the next one. 

From Jez T

Sunday, 6 May 2018

I love a pint of cider or two in the sunshine. But even I have to say that the situation is out of control in the square. It's a bit edgy at times and ruins the atmosphere for everyone else. I really think the pub has to take some responsibility and keep drinkers closer to its door.

It's not their beer garden. It's our square. 

From C Marsden

Monday, 7 May 2018

Can the new locally elected councillors help with this?

From Jae Evans

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Easy does it in Hebden - all well and good.  But I do take issue with drinkers slowly taking over the town. 

Drinkers walking up from the town, glasses in hand and back to the train station; taking over the square and the river steps or, sprawling outside from any pub and onto land, pavements and benches opposite - yes, it has become a problem, yes, it can be 'edgy' read: loud and intimidating.

Rubbish bins overflowing - yuk.

From Dave R

Thursday, 10 May 2018

I have had concerns around this matter for 2 years now. Whilst no one wants to remove the custom from the pubs of Hebden, (who, as we all know lost enough trade with the floods), there really does need to be some sort of order here.

The responsibility must surely lay with the landlords/pub staff. Glasses should not be removed from the immediate area, and this alone should be policed by staff who must come out to collect them.

The great beer garden in the square is unfair to other businesses. I see that Sauce is closing this weekend, hardly surprising given the rowdiness of the Square these days.

Why is there not a barrier around the Shoulder's outdoor area in the same way as the other businesses?

As other have said, The White Swan has also monopolised the wavy steps and outdoor seating, meaning toddlers feeding the ducks are subject to those 'beery men' and their often coarse language.

Hebden Bridge the great little town of shops is fast deteriorating into the town of pedestrianised pubs

From Paul D

Saturday, 12 May 2018

The last decade people have been railing against this consumerist, tourist dependent chocolate box culture. I was sat early evening with my family in a very nice local eaterie lately and my whole evening was ruined by drunks, loud, obnoxious day trippers. My bill was £130 and I won't eat there again. Perhaps they will. Or people like them will. I'm sure my family won't. We don't swear and don't drink in the daytime until everything we say comes out as a scream. It's a really nice place. Or was. 

This is the new economy. One off versus loyalty, local versus passing through. It's been over for at least 8 years. The tourist pound is relentless. The square is not somewhere a local family would walk through, there are drunks everywhere, to get anywhere requires a detour. Huge groups of swearing men outside the pubs, inside the pubs. Well done Calderdale. Let's exclude local families from our town. Ship in drunks. That's great isn't it? It's money.

From Anne H

Saturday, 12 May 2018

I think there are two issues here. 

Firstly, I don't think we should assume that the drunks are visitors to the town and the families are locals. I don't think there's any evidence for that. There were a lot of drunks around here before it became a tourist destination. And for a town with a lot of facilities for eating and drinking you can't say "but they are only for nice people who don't swear or drink too much"

Secondly, heavy drinking should be confined to licensed premises and the boundaries of these outside drinking areas should be better managed by the licensees and preferably policed, though I can't really see that happening when the police have bigger problems to deal with in other towns along the valley. I do think the local councillors and HB Partnership have a role to play in working with licensees and off licenses, to see that they have some responsibility here.

From Graham Barker

Saturday, 12 May 2018

This may be a large part of the reason for the visiting beer swillers - Hebden Bridge is on  the Calder Valley Ale Trail.

Ultra-responsible drinkers to a man no doubt, wouldn’t swear at a fly, etc. As they used to be on the TransPennine Real Ale Trail (Batley to Stalybridge) until it got badly out of hand. Paul D is right. It’s great business for the pubs, not so great for everyone else. Expect it to get steadily worse if the Colne Valley experience is ignored. 

From Nadine Waring

Saturday, 12 May 2018

As a hard working bar person (soon to be licensee), I can honestly say we do not value any rowdy Saturday drinkers. 

We strive to keep a pleasant, low key, friendly and peaceful atmosphere. We have huge support from our regular customers and many lovely, like minded visitors from all over the country. 

Saturday is very hard work.  We would welcome a regular walk by, say from a Community Support Officer. The hours between 3-7 in particular.

We would be happy to contribute!

From J Swift

Monday, 14 May 2018

The Colne Valley provides an awful warning of what can happen when 'Ale Trails' get out of hand.  There's been a serious problem with drunken crime and anti-social behaviour. Hebden Bridge really needs to ensure that these problems are not repeated in the Calder Valley.

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it possible to make it a condition of the licence for pubs that drinkers are kept within the curtilage of the premises?  If this was done, and there was evidence of breaches, presumably the licence could be revoked?  

It does seem somewhat peculiar that Calderdale were apparently prepared to go to quite extraordinary lengths to try to clear the lady protesting about Palestine from the Square, but seem supine in the face of drunken yobs who really are intimidating for other users of the area.

As others have said upthread, it would be nice if we could get a response here from local councillors

From Tom D

Monday, 21 May 2018

Another lovely weekend in the valley, that makes you feel glad (and blessed) to live here. This thread is all about balance- that we welcome visitors and businesses to the town, but that this needs to be balanced with the interests of residents & families of all types.

The Shoulder of Mutton again made the Square its own private beer garden. The thread seems to agree that this is unfair and unreasonable. So does this mean that they are ignoring requests from the town/ Calder Council? That they just don't give one? Or have they not been asked? Some clarity would be good.

The White Swan put tables and chairs out the front, and its customers wandered around the wavy steps. Again, have they bought a licence to use town as a beer garden, have they been asked to stop? Have they asked for a cafe forecourt licence on the street? Some clarity from Councillors would be good.

There were 3 Royd Ices vans parked up around town. The Traffic Warden said that they had all received parking tickets, but presumably when you are making that much money a £40 parking fine to pitch for a day is nothing- apart from the unfair impact on shops that pay their business rates and are losing trade. Presumably its easy for councillors to threaten a blanket ban on licences for Royd ices until they start to play fair too.

Lastly, its not reasonable for the young lad in front of me to be abused as he cycles past the drunk men in the park.  

I love beer. I love our town. I love our shops and community. I love living in a place that is so nice that people want to visit. I'm just asking for a bit of balance, a bit of awareness from licencees, and a bit of civic leadership please. Councillors?

From Paul Clarke

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

There is a balance here between local businesses making money and the need to ensure public safety.

What perplexes me is we rightly expect all the cafes in the square to have designated areas for their customers but the same rule doesn't seem to apply to pubs in this shared public space.

Last weekend there were plenty of drinkers outside the Shoulder holding glasses. So one question is given the clear safety issue why are they not being given plastic glasses to drink in a public space?

I think the answer is simple. Put a barrier where the tables are outside the Shoulder and if you buy a drink there then you can only drink in that space. It's exactly the same principle that applies to the cafes.

It would then be up to the pub to make sure that happens with appropriate support from the police if needed.

I also wandered past the White Swan and was surprised to see a pub with a beer garden plonking tables outside. Worse there were plenty of glasses around the duck steps that really needed to be cleared before they got smashed.

In fairness to the pubs there may be a absence of any clear guidance but if not then there needs to be some so the situation is fair for all our businesses who use our public spaces.

The obvious question is which authority - Town Council or Calderdale - is responsible for creating guidance. I'm not sure if it can be done but maybe a by-law prohibiting drinking on the Square except in defined areas might help?