Famous Dales pub saved from closure

An era ended at a famous Pateley Bridge's recently - or so it seemed.

Staying afterall - Landlord of The Crown Dennis Audsley. (1711072AM2)

But having taken part in his own farewell party, long-serving landlord Dennis Audsley is now back for a simple reason - to save the last pub left on the town's award-winning High Street from closure.The former RAF man had actually called last orders on his tenure at the Crown Inn only three weeks ago.Time was ripe, he had said, at the age of 73, to put his feet up and give up the non-stop labour of love involved with pulling pints, serving meals, presenting live music and running a hotel all at the same time.But regulars may have spotted a familiar face behind the bar - yes, Dennis still serving the pub’s loyal customers faithfully as he has done for the last three decades.The question is why - but Dennis is happy to explain.He said: “The locals had all said ‘we don’t want you to go’ but I felt it was time for me to retire. But arrangements for the new landlord fell through at the last minute.“Either I stayed on or the pub was going to close.”Dennis’s ‘farewell’ parties packed with music proved a big success, so much so that the landlord, ex-singer with local band Alehouse Rock, belted out 15 numbers himsef!Dennis joked: “When people noticed I was still there they were ribbing me that I’d just had the farewell ‘dos’ to get more trade that weekend.”Dennis is still intent on going - the rescheduled date is January 15 - and return to his favourite hobby - wildlife photography.He said: “Whatever happens, that will be my last day. I volunteered to stop on for another two months but that will be that.”Come January, there may well be another farewell party or two, if everything goes according to plan this time!

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But Dennis’s loyalty to his regulars and vice-a-versa is a powerful factor, so who can be 100% sure?Dennis said: “I live in Pateley Bridge. I couldn’t show my face if I let the only pub on the High Street close. I care for the locals and they care for me.”