Trawden duo turn pub fortunes around

Cheers! That is the triumphant cry from villagers as their community pub continues to go from strength to strength.
Sharon and Martyn Whitaker from the Trawden Arms.Sharon and Martyn Whitaker from the Trawden Arms.
Sharon and Martyn Whitaker from the Trawden Arms.

Last year, we reported that the Trawden Arms, the last surviving pub in the village, had been put up for sale following mounting problems, including a lack of customers, brewery charges and an increase in rent.

Fears were raised that a vital meeting point would be lost, and that the building could undergo a change of use.

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But now, having been taken over by Martyn and Sharon Whitaker, the Church Street hub is now getting back on its feet - boasting an impressive pub/gastro menu, an interior and exterior facelift and a family friendly atmosphere.

The duo bought the venue at the end of September, embarked on a six-week makeover, before finally opening the doors to the public in November.

With Martyn coming from an engineering background, and with Sharon previously working as a nursery nurse, the venture is a completely new experience for the parents-of-four, who married in 2010. Sharon (39), who lived in Laneshaw Bridge before moving to Trawden, said: “Villagers have been so appreciative of what we have done, and they cannot stop thanking us for giving them somewhere to come with their family and friends.

“It is just fabulous, and residents who have lived in the village for years but have never stepped foot in the pub, are coming in - that’s just lovely. We have made friends. who we do really class as friends, and the staff are fantastic.

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“It has got its life back again, and it makes doing a 13 hour shift worthwhile.”

As well as creating a new snug room, other improvements made by the new pub owners include improved lighting, the introduction of vouchers and a complete revamp.

The pair are also holding themed nights, are thinking of introducing a quiz night in the near future, and are hoping to give the derelict building next to the pub a new lease of life.

Around 11 jobs have been kept within the village since the couple took over.

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Martyn (39), a former Fisher More High School student, added: “We were both at a junction in our life where we were looking for a change, and then this came up for sale.

“It was a huge gamble, but we didn’t want to see it shut down and become houses, as pubs are important in villages.

“It all happened so quickly, it was a whirlwind, so we didn’t have time to stop and think.

“We know that we have a lot of hard work in front of us, but it is rewarding and it is fun.

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“We feel like we are part of the community now, and even though juggling the children and the ridiculous hours is difficult, it is worth it.”

Martyn and Sharon would also like to thank their family for their continued support.

For more information on the new Trawden Arms ring 337055 or go to

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