The Golden Lion Todmorden 'needs help to survive' post-lockdown

A fundraiser has been created to help an 'extremely important' West Yorkshire pub re-open post lockdown.

The historic Golden Lion in Todmorden has reinvented itself in recent years as a music venue and community hub.

But according to an online fundraiser by Russell Marland, the pub needs help during "difficult times".

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More than £2,000 has been raised of the £3,000 target in just five days.

The Golden Lion, Todmorden.The Golden Lion, Todmorden.
The Golden Lion, Todmorden.

Matthanee Nilavongse, better known to regulars as Gig, and Richard Walker, aka Waka, run the Rochdale Road pub, which is immediately next to Fielden Wharf.

Russell wrote: "The Golden Lion has established itself as a pivotal part of Todmorden and has given so much to the community over the years, proving itself as the heartbeat of the town. We need the Lion to stay!

"The Golden Lion in Todmorden isn't just a pub. It's a shining beacon of a community hub that assists those who need help and support in their local community.

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"Whether that be through organising free meals for the homeless, free food parcels for those struggling financially, free use of their space for local community groups right through to supporting the local creative industries by giving over space for free for local bands / DJ's, etc.. to rehearse and to put on events.

Gig Nilavongse at the The Golden Lion, Rochdale Road, Todmorden.Gig Nilavongse at the The Golden Lion, Rochdale Road, Todmorden.
Gig Nilavongse at the The Golden Lion, Rochdale Road, Todmorden.

"It's also grown into a nationally renowned live music venue that attracts fantastic artists and also nurtures the local music scene and helps to draw money into the wider local economy."

The pub is well known much further afield for its high profile music offerings – among stars who have filled DJ slots at the pub are Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Kevin Rowland from Dexys Midnight Runners and the writer Irvine Welsh.

The late Andrew Weatherall along with his DJ partner Sean Johnston also appeared and supported the venue.

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Calderdale wrote to them warning them they could be fined for their paint job on the listed building.

Gig said previously that their aim when taking on the pub five years ago was to turn it into a thriving community hub in what had become an unused building with the Golden Lion hosting community meetings, creative gatherings, live and DJ music events, UFO group meetings, Christmas Day Free Dinners and more.

It also includes an authentic Thai Kitchen and at times has included a micro pub within a pub.

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Russell added on the fundraising page: "They now need our help to survive and to help them to re-open and continue to set an example of what a modern community pub/venue should look like when the time comes...

"Therefore, I'm asking if you can, to give a little back, so hopefully, sometime in the future, we will be able to enjoy this extremely important venue for years to come.

"Please consider donating whatever you can to help them. Every Pound will help and will be appreciated."