This Yorkshire alehouse is in the running for national Pub Of The Year

Stuart Miller, the landlord of the George and Dragon pub at Hudswell 'Picture:Gary Longbottom
Stuart Miller, the landlord of the George and Dragon pub at Hudswell 'Picture:Gary Longbottom
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A pub in a village recently crowned Yorkshire Village of the Year is in the running for a national title for the second time.

The George and Dragon in Hudswell near Richmond was reopened nearly a decade ago by locals, who formed their own company to buy the building and set up a community pub.

Landlord Stuart Miller with his mum and dad Keith and Stephanie Miller who are also part of the team Gary Longbottom

Landlord Stuart Miller with his mum and dad Keith and Stephanie Miller who are also part of the team Gary Longbottom

Crowned Pub of the Year in 2016, it has once again been shortlisted alongside two other past winners, The Swan With Two Necks in Pendleton, near Clitheroe, Lancashire and The Bell in Aldworth, Berkshire.

The fourth pub is the Red Lion in Preston, which became the first community-owned pub in Britain in the 1980s.

The Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) will announce the winner in February 2020.

The George and Dragon is still a traditional pub, serving pints and pies. But it is also the home of the local library, a shop and community allotments.

And it now has plans to expand with landlord Stuart Miller aiming to open a brewery with taproom and shop in a business unit in Reeth, with the beer produced there sold in the pub.

Mr Miller said: "It's fantastic. It's crazy really. We never expect it - each year we say the same.

"I don't think people realise what a tiny little pub we are and it's just nice that people recognise what we are trying to do.

"We are not trying to tick any boxes. We are doing just what we feel is the right thing is to do.

"It is just nice to get the appreciation."

They get their salad from their allotment - one of ten - with the other gardeners giving them whatever they have a glut of. "We're inundated with apples at the moment," he said.

Mr Miller said he is very fastidious about the beer " about looking after it and making sure it's served in perfect condition."

And he says they are blessed with friendly regulars "who love chatting to new people who visit the village. It's got a really nice cosy atmosphere."

The story of why Hudswell has been named the best village in Yorkshire

From reviews on TripAdvisor the pub appears highly regarded for its friendly staff and “delicious, traditional pies in a cosy pub with a great ale list”.

All of the pubs in the competition are selected by Camra volunteers and judged on their atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix and quality of beer.

The competition’s co-ordinator Andrea Briers said: “It is amazing to see so many well-respected pubs return to this prestigious competition to compete for the ultimate title of the best pub in Britain.”

Meanwhile campaigners are celebrating after an appeal by developers who wanted to convert a much-loved pub into flats in York was dismissed.

More than 800 people signed a petition calling for The Jubilee Pub on Balfour Street – which has been closed for three years – to be protected.

York Council’s planning committee refused an application for the upper floors to be turned into apartments and a smaller pub to be created on the ground floor in 2016.

The developer, who claimed the pub was not viable as the number of customers were falling, appealed the decision.

But the Planning Inspectorate sided with the council – saying the pub could become a “focal point” for the community and that it would be an “unacceptable loss” to the area.

Luke Thomson, chair of the Leeman Road Residents’ Association, said residents had worked “incredibly hard” to support their campaign to save the pub.

He said: “This result came about in no small part due to their efforts and we call on the developers to engage with our community and work with us going forward.”