Flexibility plea fails

MIDGEHOLE Working Men's Club affectionately known as the "Blue Pig" will only be allowed to open until 1 am after objections from a neighbour.

The club wanted a 2.30am licence but the licensing hearing at Halifax Town Hall restricted closing time.

Mrs Irene Harris, who lives in a cottage 83 yards from the club, told the hearing she has been constantly woken by the headlights of cars shining into her bedroom window in the early hours of the morning.

She said the lights glared directly into her room as they drove over the hump-backed bridge on their way back from the club.

Mrs Harris, who has complained to police in the past about the club’s late hours, said she had been woken 14 nights out of the past 16 and had counted 125 cars driving past her house on Sunday.

She said: “I just can’t get any sleep and I won’t be able to get any sleep.

“The traffic has increased enormously. I counted 125 cars on Sunday, which is absolutely ridiculous.”

But Adrian Fellows, president of the club told licensing councillors that since moving to her cottage around 20 years ago Mrs Harris had conducted ”a campaign of slanderous abuse”

She abused walkers who passed her house, which is on a land that forms part of the Calderdale Way, near Hardcastle Crags.

He said: “We want extended hours for more flexibility.

“There’s nothing to say that people in rural places should be tucked up in bed by 10.30pm.”

Mrs Harris solicitor Howard Willis said: “Mr Harris has made a record of the times that cars come over the bridge.

“They are well after the permitted hours, some are after 2am, 3am and even 4am.”

But Mr Fellows said the suggestion was ludicrous.

The WMC president said the club, which celebrates its 100th birthday next year, was the only public building in Midgehole and was a valuable part of the community. He said it was used by the National Trust for volunteer training and by the Hardcastle Crags Preservation Society for meetings.

Licensing councillors decided to grant the club’s application but restrict the hours it can service alcohol.

From Sunday to Thursday it will serve from 10 am to 11.30 pm.

On Fridays, Saturday, Bank Holidays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve it will serve until 1 am.

After the hearing Mr Fellows said: I’ll have to speak with the club’s management committee but I would say there is a strong possibility we will appeal.”