George and Dragon pub in Bradford set to close as licensees retire (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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George and Dragon pub in Bradford set to close as licensees retire
A community pub in Bradford looks set to shut when its licensees retire after pulling pints for more than a quarter of a century.
Regulars at the George and Dragon in Great Horton Road say they will mourn the loss of the popular hub.
Gerry and June Swinbank’s lease on the pub ran out in October and although they were offered a new deal by pub owners Enterprise Inn they said no.
But Mrs Swinbank, 62, said they were shocked when their bosses told them the pub would go up for sale after they had gone.
One of the regulars, Pamela Bishop, of nearby Dracup Road, said: “This is a prime example of how our way of life is being eroded. It’s a nail in the coffin of community indeed. Gerry and June will be greatly missed. Many happy times have been spent there.”
The pub has football teams, games leagues, quizzes and a Saturday disco.
Mrs Bishop said The Royal pub, opposite the George and Dragon, shut a couple of years ago and has never been sold.
“It’s still empty and boarded-up and we don’t want the George and Dragon to go the same way,” she said.
Mrs Swinbank said: “We’ve seen a lot of coming and goings during our time here. It’ll be such a shame if it closes and to be honest it’s made us feel a bit guilty for retiring, but it’s time for us now to have a break and do other things.”
Mr and Mrs Swinbank have worked in bars for more than 40 years, including running the Royal British Legion club in Skipton for a time.
The couple are hoping to do some relief work, but also to spend more time with their family and four grandchildren.
“We’d been hoping to come back here for a drink and see all our old friends, but that’s not looking likely now,” said Mrs Swinbank. “ An Enterprise spokesman said: “We have worked extremely hard to generate interest in the George and Dragon, but we have been unable to find the right publican who can share our vision and take the site forward as a pub business. After careful consideration and a review of all options, the decision has been made to offer the freehold for sale on the open market through Westlakes of Skipton, inviting offers in the region of £185,000 with no restrictions on future use.”