Village pub saved from closure ... by a shepherd and a photographer

The George and Dragon, Dragons Green, Shipley SUS-171002-152034001
The George and Dragon, Dragons Green, Shipley SUS-171002-152034001

An historic pub has been given a new lease of life after being taken over by a former shepherd and a photographer.

The George and Dragon at Dragon’s Green, Shipley - which dates from 1677 - has managed to buck the current trend of village pubs closing through dwindling trade and is now a hub of the community.

Former photographer Simon Corby and friend Jon Ewers, an ex-shepherd and landscape manager, saved the pub from closure when they took over the lease two years ago - despite having no previous experience in the pub trade.

“Initially,” said Simon, “we said we would run it for three months. After that we started doing quite well and got into the groove.

“Now we’re going from strength to strength - it’s a beautiful little country pub - a quintessential English country pub.”

Now Simon, 32, and Jon, 40, have taken on a new manager - Kiera Hilder - to help out with the growing business.

And they have plenty of support from an eager band of ‘regulars’ who help support the pub’s quiz nights, music nights and more.

Plans are currently being drawn up for a summer beer festival and a history night is being held on Thursday.

The pub itself - which also offers bed and breakfast accommodation - is steeped in history - and even has a marble monument in the garden to a member of the Budd family who were the pub’s first landlords.

The tombstone is marked ‘In loving memory of Walter…..’ – the albino son of the landlord, born in 1867.

He committed suicide in 1893. His parents had the following inscribed on the stone: ‘May God forgive those who forgot their duty to him who was just and afflicted.’

A talk on the history of the George and Dragon is being held on Thursday February 16 at 7.30 pm at the Andrew Hall.

Gordon and Pippa Reay will outline Victorian times at the pub and the culture around beer drinking at the time.

The event is organised by Shipley History Society.