White Swan Takes Flight Again
Sunday, 6 November 2016
The White Swan in Hebden Bridge, which closed in December last year following catastrophic flood damage, re-opened its doors at 7pm on Thursday 3 November following extensive restoration work.
The refurbishment, which has been co-ordinated by national pub operator Punch and long-standing publican Elizabeth Wood, who will celebrate 36 years at the helm in December, has seen the pub on Bridge Gate restored to its former glory as a traditional community local.
Commenting on the restoration, Liz, who has run the White Swan single-handedly since her husband Henry passed away 17 years ago, said, "The journey we have been on with the White Swan has been anything but plain sailing. I was totally devastated at the damage caused by the floods. The water rose so high, it even reached upstairs and at the time it was hard to see a positive future.
"Eleven months on though, and with a lot of hard work from the team at Punch and here at the pub itself, it is looking better than ever. I can't wait to invite all of our loyal customers back to see the results.
"I have had so much local support since the floods hit in helping to get the White Swan back to its best with special thanks to the Community Foundation, the LEP and the workmen who have helped to transform the venue. I have also received lots of help personally with everything from free teas to hospitality, for which I am very grateful.
"Everyone has been very patient while works have been undertaken and I would like to thank them whole-heartedly for all they have done and hope that they are as delighted with how the White Swan now looks as I am."
The White Swan, which benefits from a picturesque location near to Hebden Water, found itself at the centre of a nightmare last year when weeks of heavy rainfall caused the pub to flood overnight on Christmas Day, forcing it to close.
Thankfully, the severely water-damaged interior is now a thing of the past with a new bar, furniture, flooring, fixtures and fittings, all of which have been restored, at the request of the pubs regulars, in line with its former traditional look and feel.
The cellar has also been overhauled and the kitchen is set to re-open shortly, giving customers the chance to once again enjoy the pubs popular menu of home-cooked classics.
Liz added, "The White Swan set sail in style on 3 November and we're confident that the restoration will be well received by all of the locals who have supported us throughout the last year.
"Whilst there is still work to do to the kitchen, gardens and upstairs living accommodation I feel very proud of how much has been achieved and look forward to celebrating with lots of familiar faces."
Mick Percival, Senior Regional Business Manager for Punch concluded, "The White Swan was such a special pub to so many locals for so many reasons; great service, home cooked food and quality drinks in a traditional and welcoming setting.
"It is clear to see how much it has been missed over the last year and it will be fantastic to see it restored to its rightful position as a great British pub at the heart of the local community."
Following the launch, customers will be treated to an all-day music event on Saturday 12 November, organised by local DJ Jason Nash. The pub will also be hosting a folk night on Sunday 13 November.
Liz Wood gives us a little preview of the White Swan in Hebden Bridge as it gets ready to open at the beginning of November after the devastation of the Boxing Day floods. Interviewed by Jason Elliott (18 October 2016)