Double celebration for long-serving Hebden Bridge licensee who marks 40 years at pub

It’s a double celebration at one Hebden Bridge pub.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 10:00 am
Elizabeth Wood.
Elizabeth Wood.

Not only is The White Swan on Bridge Gate preparing to open up on April 12 for the first time in five months, but licensee Elizabeth Wood has received a long-service award to mark her 40th anniversary at the pub.

The White Swan is a hub of the community hosting events to bring people together and fund-raising for local good causes.

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The award by the pub’s owner, Star Pubs & Bars, recognises the contribution Elizabeth has made to the town during her four decades at the helm.

Over the last five years, Elizabeth has dealt with two major floods from the River Heb and disruption from Covid restrictions. Despite the challenges she is not ‘calling time’ and is determined to be one of the first wet-led pubs to reopen in the region.

Elizabeth said: “‘Fight the good fight’ is my motto, so I’m remaining positive and planning a big party to celebrate the end of Covid when things get back to normal.

“It was heart-breaking to be closed at Christmas for the first time in 40 years and to have an empty pub for so many months.

“It has been extremely hard for the regulars who live on their own. People are desperate for the pub to reopen and to meet up. I can’t wait to welcome them back.”

Elizabeth – who is Hebden Bridge’s longest-serving licensee – took over The White Swan with her husband Henry at the start of the eighties and has run it singlehanded since his death in 1999.

“It was Henry’s dream to have a pub,” Elizabeth added. “I wasn’t keen so we agreed to do it for two years. But, when I moved in, I felt this was where I was meant to be and I’ve never looked back.”

Anthony Briggs, Star Pubs & Bars’ area manager said: “Thanks to Elizabeth, The White Swan has stood the test of a time and is a Hebden Bridge institution with a loyal following of all ages.

"It’s an incredible achievement that Elizabeth has run a thriving community pub for so long and I’ve every confidence that with her determination and resilience the pub will bounce back quickly after the challenges of flooding and Covid.”