2019 Regional Award Presentation

On Saturday 12th October 2019 a presentation of the award for Runner up in the Regional Pub of The Year 2019 was awarded to the Fox & Goose in recognition of their commitment to serving good quality ale and also serving the local community. This award follows the Halifax & Calderdale CAMRA Pub of the Year Award in March and continues the recognition of the outstanding quality of the public houses, bars, clubs and Micropubs within our branch area.
The award was made by Peter Goddard, Deputy Director Yorkshire Region, CAMRA. This is a summary of the presentation:

The Fox and Goose is a traditional real ale pub on Heptonstall Road, Hebden Bridge. It is steeped in local history and has been extremely popular among the local community and visitors for many years probably since it opened as a pub in 1702. The Fox sells only quality real ales from independent micro breweries, real ciders and bottled beers, ciders and lagers.

Due to ill health the owner was having difficulty keeping the pub going. Neither she nor the regulars and local community wanted to see the Fox and Goose swallowed up by a major chain, losing its unique character or being closed down and sold off for another use.

Regulars and supporters from the local community and further afield came together in February 2012 with the aim of buying the Fox and Goose and running it as a co-operative pub. An interim steering group was set up to take the project forward with elected members from within the wider Fox Friends supporters group.

The steering group investigated the practicalities of a buy-out, commissioned a survey, looked into the present business and investigated where it could be improved and explored the best ways to make the co-operative viable and sustainable.
Fox Friends, are supported by a number of co-operative organisations and community groups including:

From the results of these investigations, a business plan was drawn up, a Community Benefit Society formed and a share offer issued, which has raised the funds to buy the pub.
On the 20th March 2014 after over 2 years of hard work the Pub was secured by the Community.

Since then the pub has undergone a series of transformations that have not changed the character of the pub but steadily improved the facilities and services provided to the pub & the community.

The fact that the Fox has been in the GBG guide 27 times is testament to the fact that the quality of beer has remained at a high level. Indeed since Hannah Thurman took over in 2016 it has won several more local CAMRA awards and continues to support the aims of CAMRA as well as being a notable sponsor of our Annual Beer Festival. They are, I believe, the current holders of a Pub Games Trophy for a competition held between Halifax & Calderdale CAMRA and their customers.

Sadly Trevor Cobb the first manager passed away earlier this year – his wake, naturally enough, was held in the Fox. I expect he’d be wanting to know why the Fox wasn’t the best pub in Yorkshire !