Cross Gaits: Blacko community rallies to save historic village pub

A group of Blacko residents are calling on their friends and neighbours to help save a historic village pub.

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The Grade II listed Cross Gaits has been a pub since 1736, but last year it was put up for sale with plans to turn it into a three-bedroom house.

Regular drinkers and diners were left devastated by the news and decided to take action. A Cross Gaits Community Pub Group committee has since been formed and they are currently carrying out a survey exercise within the area to understand the appetite of others to get behind them. The initial response has been extremely positive.

Cross Gaits. Photo: GoogleCross Gaits. Photo: Google
Cross Gaits. Photo: Google
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Mark Ridehalgh, chairman of the committee, said: “The Cross Gaits has been the beating heart of the village for almost 300 years, so when we found out it was due to close for good, it really did send shock waves around the area.

“After speaking to a number of villagers, we realised that there was a real appetite to save the pub and a committee was formed. We want not only to bring it back to life but make it a true community hub for all.

“This is going to take a whole heap of effort and a lot of cash, but we believe that if we have the weight of the community behind us, we can do this, and we are willing to sacrifice our time and effort to do whatever we can to pull it off.”

If their efforts are successful, the committee envisions the pub becoming a popular haven for all ages and demographics.

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Mark added: “It’s our vision to have an open, friendly space, serving pub grub done well, coffee and cakes during the day, with quiet spaces for remote workers, and holding live music nights and community events.

“The Cross Gaits beer garden was legendary, and we would want to bring this back to life for the pleasure of local community, walkers, and visitors alike. We would also like to host caravans and perhaps have our own pods or shepherds’ huts, if planning allowed.”

The committee has already welcomed the advice of members of the community group which saved the Trawden Arms from permanent closure back in 2021. They are also taking learning from Roughlee’s community rally to purchase the Bay Horse pub back in 2017.

And they are now seeking support of the Blacko and surrounding communities, whether that be through the offer of specific skills, talents, or donations, which will all help towards the end goal.

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Mark concluded: “The Cross Gaits has been serving good ale for 288 years and we will not stand by and let this cherished establishment die on our watch and be lost for the next generations to come. Once it is gone that is it, it will be gone forever.”

If you would like to help save this community pub, you can have your say by completing this quick survey, which can be found here.

Anybody else who would like to get involved further can contact [email protected].

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