Fears over iconic Haworth pub

Councillor Rebecca Poulson outside the Black Bull pub in Main Street, Haworth, which it is feared could close unless a new tenant can be found

Councillor Rebecca Poulson outside the Black Bull pub in Main Street, Haworth, which it is feared could close unless a new tenant can be found

First published in Keighley by

A change of tenant at an iconic Haworth pub this week prompted fears about its future.

But owners Enterprise Inns acted to quash rumours the beloved watering hole in Main Street was in danger of closing.

A spokesman said the Bull – a famous haunt of Bronte brother Branwell in the 19th century – was popular with both locals and tourists.

Concerns about the pub’s future was sparked at the weekend by the appearance of a ‘to let’ sign outside the pub.

Graham Smith, who runs the Bronte Media website, tweeted there was a “very real danger” the Black Bull could be Haworth’s first pub closure.

Bronte fans on both sides of the Atlantic expressed fears about the historic watering hole’s fate.

But Enterprise Inns communications manager, Amy Dolphin, told the Keighley News: “The Black Bull currently has a loyal local trade, and benefits from being a destination pub for the tourists.

“We are actively recruiting for an experienced publican with the ability and ambition to develop this traditional community pub.”

The company will hold an open day for prospective tenants from noon to 1pm today.

District councillor, Rebecca Poulsen, who represents Worth Valley ward, said Enterprise’s efforts to find a new tenant was “very positive” news.

She added: “It’s an historic building, and the residents are concerned because of its links to the Brontes.

“People visit for the history, but tourists don’t come all the time and it needs to attract local people, too.

“There’s a lot of competition in that part of Main Street – it has to be a combination of good food, drink and service.”

Haworth, Stanbury and Cross Roads Parish Council chairman, John Huxley, hoped a new tenant could be found to secure the Black Bull’s future.

But he added: “The pub trade is in a very parlous state. It must be a very difficult way to earn a living.

“The Old Hall and the King’s Arms show you can make a go of a pub in Haworth, but there are quite a lot of pubs looking for the same customers.

“The Black Bull is part of Haworth’s history and an integral part of the tourist offer. We want to keep its historic links, but provide excellence for the village.”

Christine Went, heritage and conservation officer at the Bronte Parsonage Museum, said: “The Black Bull is part of the Bronte story and it’s important for the village, too.

“The Bronte Society would be sad to see it close. We hope a new tenant can be found and its future secured.”

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