Dales locals toast couple for saving last pub

Locals from Gunnerside in Upper Swaledale outside the closed Kings Head pub
Locals from Gunnerside in Upper Swaledale outside the closed Kings Head pub
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A REMOTE community in the Yorkshire Dales is celebrating after the village’s only pub re-opened following a campaign to save it.

The well-known King’s Head at Gunnerside in Swaledale closed two years ago and locals feared it would be lost forever like hundreds of other rural pubs which have closed across Britain.

Gunnerside had already lost its shop, post office and bus services, prompting fears that it was a community in decline.

But the village now has a brighter future thanks to community-minded entrepreneurs Nick and Karen Glanvill who bought the King’s Head, the village’s only pub, and now live above the pub following an extensive programme of renovation.

The Grade II listed building has had a new roof, new gable ends and an internal refurbishment including new bar, lighting and central heating.

The Glanvills, who also own Keld Lodge, near Richmond, bought the King’s Head, which dates from 1760, in July this year.

Nick Glanvill said: “It is truly satisfying to see a building that needed so much work, once again open and serving its locals and visitors to the Dales. In rural communities such as Gunnerside, the pub is at the heart of the village life and is an essential amenity. We filled five skips with years of accumulated rubbish and spent hours and a small fortune giving The Kings Head a great new look and we are delighted to have Black Sheep, a Yorkshire icon, at the heart of the brand new bar.

“We are pleased to be opening the doors once more and welcoming customers back into the King’s Head.”

Mr Glanvill said “around 90 per cent” of customers lived within a 15-mile radius and locals had been very supportive.

“We love it here. It’s a lovely village with lovely people. The village is alive, with a strong resident community who do things together.”

Richmondshire Council leader John Blackie said the pub re-opening proved that the trait of self reliance would ensure Dales communities had a “bright and vibrant future.”

“I am over the moon at this news. It’s the antidote to the disappearance of services that we have seen and is especially important in Gunnerside.”

David Croft, senior business development manager at Black Sheep Brewery, said: “Pubs like the King’s Head are priceless, so it is very exciting to see Nick and Karen’s investment paying off for the community of Gunnerside.”