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Pub blow to Oxenhope straw race
Organisers of a popular annual Oxenhope event say they face an anxious wait due to the closure of the pub that traditionally hosted a key part of the major fundraiser.
Oxenhope Straw Race secretary, Jane Barrett, said she was informed on February 23 that the Waggon and Horses pub in Hebden Bridge Road had closed.
“I’m trying to find out what the situation is,” she said. “The pub is vital for the race – we’d struggle without it.
“That is where the race starts, and without the pub we’ll have nowhere to do registrations or to host the runners if the weather is bad.
“We’ll have to come up with a solution of some description, be that maybe using a marquee or having the race start somewhere else in the village.”
Jane added she and her fellow organisers will be meeting to decide what to do, but will need to reach a decision quickly because road closures for the straw race must be planned in advance.
Amy Greenwood, who has until recently been managing the Waggon and Horses, confirmed last week the pub had closed and was now on the market.
The 2014 straw race is due to take place on July 13 – a week later than normal in order to avoid a clash with the Tour de France Grand depart, which goes through the village. The straw race has raised many thousands of pounds for a variety of local charities over the years.
Oxenhope Parish Council vice-chairman, Councillor Tony Maw, said: “There have been so many pubs that have shut over the years, though compared to other places Oxenhope has probably been relatively lucky as we do still have three others.
“Whatever happens to the Waggon and Horses in future, I hope it won’t harm the straw race. This pub is also ideally located for the Tour de France – it’s right on the route itself. It would be a shame to lose it.”
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