The Robin Hood (Cragg Vale) closure

Monday, November 28, 2005

In spite of making the Robin Hood Inn at Cragg Vale a "spectacular success" (Merrymen Club website) in both commercial and social amenity terms, landlords Phil Thomas and Walter Mirauer who have run the pub for the past two years were unable to agree terms for the sale of the property with the North Eastern property owner, Sid Connor.

The pub closed for the second time on Friday 28th October.

According to the Merrymen Club's website and contributors to the HebWeb Discussion Forum, it seems that Mr. Connor wants to sell off the pub for use as housing. This follows a current trend throughout the Calder Valley and covered by the Hebden Bridge Web over the years (see links below) which has seen the closing down of several pubs in the area and their redevelopment as expensive houses, rather than as social amenities.

Several contributors to the Hebden Bridge Web have praised the way that the pub has been run in the past two years. Kevin Hopkinson writes: "The Robin Hood is quite the best pub I've chanced upon in the last few years, great beer, Taylor's, great food (matchless in price and quality); and a great little, welcoming stopping-off spot."

The company Merrymen Ltd which was formed originally to buy the pub was recently dissolved because "insuperable obstacles" (Merrymen club website) made their original aim impossible. They have however decided to continue as the Merrymen Club, running supportive operations to keep the pub open by ensuring "that support for the business model that has proved so successful over the last 2 years of the Robin Hood Inn is continuously promoted in the interests of all club members and local residents." (Merrymen Club website)

Tony Green another Cragg Vale resident also writing in the HebWeb Discussion Forum states: "The residents of Cragg Vale are devastated by the closure of the Robin Hood, and we are trying to do something about it."

The Merrymen Club, which consists of 280 members to date, has so far contacted the local council to look at the lack of planning permission and building regulatios approval for the conversion of part of the building into cottages.

Its website sums up the value of the pub to the community in the following quotation: "Remember that it isn't a major accomplishment to own a building, but it is to make a rural pub come together successfully. Only the customers and the people running a pub can truly own that pub, because they make it what it is - and in this case that's a notable accomplishment."

Tony Green has called upon other residents of the Calder Valley to join with the people of Cragg Vale in keeping open their friendly village pub: "The more support we have, the better case we'll have against any proposal for change of use."


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