Village pubs facing an uncertain future

No news: The Green Man at Inglewhite
No news: The Green Man at Inglewhite
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The depressing national trend of pub closures has hit the local area, with three popular inns currently without licensees.

All historic in their areas, they are the Duke William in Longridge, the White Bull in Ribchester and the Green Man in Inglewhite, the first two being owned by Enterprise Inns.

Dating back to 1707, the White Bull is situated in the heart of Ribchester and, with its impressive pillared entrance, is historically listed and a great favourite with both locals and visitors.

An Enterprise spokesman told The News that, as one of the most delightful pubs in the Ribble Valley, it has “great potential for the future”.

The spokesman added: “We can confirm we are actively recruiting for a new publican who can share our vision and take the business forward as a drinks, food and letting room establishment. We have already received a good level of interest, but anyone interested in finding out more about this fantastic opportunity can call us on 0800 953 0072.”

However, the future for the Duke William is not so positive, and the company states: “As part of our ongoing business, we do from time to time identify pubs that we feel no longer have a long-term future in our estate.

“After careful consideration, the decision has been made to sell the Duke William, and the property is now on the open market through Westlakes on an all-enquiries basis, with no restrictions on future use.”

The ‘Duke’ has a long history in Longridge, its original standing directly at the front of St Lawrence’s Church and it shared an island of ground surrounded by roads.

The Green Man is the last of three public houses once in Inglewhite, the Queen’s Arms and the Black Bull having closed early in the 20th century.

The centrally placed Green Man was run for many years by Dorothy Cross and her son Paul, who built up a hostelry renowned for its good food.

Mrs Cross retired recently, and there has as yet been no response to enquiries about its future.