Community rallies together to ensure 48th pull goes on

RIVALRIES of the highest order were put to one side as a community came together to celebrate one of its most-loved traditions.

The ladies team from the Mother Shipton's Inn pull against theThe Half Moon team in the annual Boxing Day Knaresborough tug of war. The event took place on Abbey Road in front of the Half Moon pub after the River Nidd burst its banks at the venue flooding the area. Picture Tony Johnson

Now in its 48th year, the Knaresborough Tug of War takes place across the River Nidd at Low Bridge each Boxing Day.

But after the inclement weather threatened the tradition and saw some competitors forced to bow out, the community rallied to ensure the show went on.

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The event usually sees teams from the Half Moor Free House take on Mother Shipton’s Inn. But as the cellar at the latter pub flooded and the Nidd burst its banks, competitors were divided equally by the Half Moor’s landlord Max Harrison and the event moved to outside his pub.

The mens' Half Moon team pull against the Mother Shipton's Inn in the annual Boxing Day Knaresborough tug of war. Picture Tony Johnson

He said: “The river was very swollen and we saw a much smaller crowd than usually, but we kept the tradition going. The community got together and fielded four teams of eight with a men’s and a women’s team representing each pub.”

Shirts from previous pulls were displayed in tribute to one of its founders, Bill Jones, who died this year. The event raised funds for Saint Michael’s Hospice and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.