A few years ago we were approached by a total stranger who asked us the same question, 'would you like to buy a pub?'. Obviously we said 'yes'.
So now we talk about 'our pub', although this is a little misleading.
It's a bit like when people buy a share or a leg of a racehorse.
The pub in question was the Foresters Arms, a beautiful Grade II listed building in the lovely village of Carlton-in-Coverdale. We'd often enjoyed a trip to this pub so were disappointed when it closed. The stranger we met in Leyburn was part of a community group that had been formed to buy back the pub, offering members of the public the chance to buy shares. Our share is tiny but it feels like we have a stake in an important community asset.
The George and Dragon in Hudswell near Richmond has been a trailblazer for community pubs across the country, attracting visitors from far afield who come to see the benefits of becoming a co-owner of a traditional pub. One of these was Prince Charles whose 'The Pub is the Hub' initiative raises awareness of the value of village pubs to local communities. I think there are still opportunities to become a member at the George and Dragon if you're interested.
The idea of buying shares in a community-led pub is becoming more and more popular so there are still opportunities for you to 'buy a pub'. A committed group of volunteers are trying to secure the future of the Henry Jenkins pub in Kirkby Malzeard near Masham.
Many people were disappointed when the Kings Head in Gunnerside closed but it's recently announced that it will re-open, with a view to also becoming a community pub. They're now actively recruiting people who'd like to be part of their venture and buy shares in this community asset. You can find out more about their plans from Gunnerside Pub Fund