By Olivia Russell
Pubs have always been an integral part of local communities, the heart of the town and the soul of the country.
It’s a period of nostalgia, looking back at the glory days of The Swan, on Station Road, Marsden.
The pub has served local craft ales since 1839, and its closure looms as it has struggled to make ends meet following financial hardship.
On Friday, September 20th, former regulars of The Swan get the chance to take away memorabilia, including bar stools, tables, dart boards, glasses and ashtrays for free.
The heavy-hearted farewell to the people of Marsden has been positively received, as they can take away a physical souvenir from The Swan, that has become part of Marsden’s cultural history.
Dave Wood, project manager for the site says, “We have had an unbelievable amount of interest”.
“I was astonished at how popular our offer has been. Items like the beer pumps have been reserved for Colne Valley Scouts for their outdoor events. A lot of groups are after these”.
The pub had fallen in and out of permanent management and had changed hands many times after struggling to secure a landlord. The national pub chain, Twaithes, has put the business space up for sale.
Beer campaigners are pledging for a major tax reduction and arguing against unfair business rates and high VAT that jeopardise the future of the locals across the country; with many declining pubs being renovated into detached properties.
Beer duty is set to rise by 3% every year for the foreseeable future, threatening the survival of independent pubs.
Alex Snowball, co-owner of The Colosseum, an independent sports bar and entertainment complex in Huddersfield town centre says:
“As well as being largely diversified and vibrant places, pubs are an important part of our national heritage, and it is important we continue to support and build up loyalty with our locals to increase their survival amid increasing financial pressures”.
Over 60 small pubs have vanished in the past 8 years in Kirklees alone. It’s an occurring problem up and down the country, with an average of 14 pubs closing every week on a national scale.
A change in social habits, the smoking ban and cheap-supermarket alcohol readily available also attribute towards the decline of the local pub.
Stimulate investment back into your local, meet up for a pint, hold an event and most importantly, show your support to the few independent pubs in Kirklees that are still here today, despite the fluctuation in economic mobility.
Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The food and drink sector, especially pubs, have gone through huge changes in the past few years.
“Business rates, employment costs, and uncertainties over Brexit have placed huge pressures on the pub industry, with hundreds closing in the past few years.”
For many, the local offers a place of refuge, a central meeting point for the community. It’s a part of our heritage, the rustic interior, cheap pints and brawling events. With the post offices and banks moving out of small towns and villages, pubs remain valuable community assets that need to be protected.
The open-close at The Swan will commence from 10am-2pm on September 20th.
For those who can’t make the date, contact Dave Wood on 07952 745081 to make arrangements.
Pub Memorabilia to be Given Away After Closure of The Swan – Why Pub Closures are Damaging to Communities
By Olivia Russell