Villagers who brought their Yorkshire Dales pub back from the dead are celebrating after it was crowned the best in Britain.
The George & Dragon in Hudswell has won the prestigious CAMRA Pub of the Year title, seven years after it was saved from closure by a community buyout.
“We are truly thrilled,” said landlord Stu Miller. “It shows that hard work, good beer and the support of the community can help you achieve goals that seemed impossible only a short while ago.”
When the pub shut its doors in 2008 it left the Swaledale village, near Richmond, with no other public amenities apart from a village hall.
But determined locals banded together to form the Hudswell Community Pub Ltd group and managed to renovate and reopen the pub just two years later.
It is now more than a traditional pub, acting also as a meeting place and venue with a village library, a local shop staffed by volunteers, community allotments and free internet access for its patrons.
Paul Ainsworth, CAMRA’s Pub of the Year Finalist Coordinator said: “To go from closed doors to winning national Pub of the Year in just a few short years is a fantastic achievement for any pub – and all the more impressive for one that is cooperatively owned.
“We are very impressed with the work the community group has undertaken to save their local and hope that other communities are encouraged by the example when faced with an ongoing battle to save their own local.”
The CAMRA Pub of the Year competition is run with the simple aim of finding the best pubs in the country. Pubs are selected by CAMRA volunteers and judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix and most importantly – quality of beer. All nominated pubs in the competition are independently assessed by a panel of CAMRA volunteers throughout the year.