THE towels are off and the beer is once again flowing at Spen’s most historic pub.
The Shears Inn, in Hightown, has been boarded up for almost three years ago leading to fears that it would be sold to developers and demolished for housing.
However it has been rescued by Liversedge couple Andrew and Debra Mitchell who were determined to buy it and restore it to its former glory.
Now, following months of work and huge investment, the pub - which was the meeting place of the Luddites for their planned attack at Cartwright’s Mill in 1812 - is back up and running.
Andrew said he wanted to save the pub because of its importance to the local community and its history.
“I used to come in for a drink occasionally and always found it to be a really nice, homely, warm and friendly place,” he said.
“Then to see it boarded up for all that time was heartbreaking. It was such a shame to see it so dilapidated, particularly because of all its historical connections.”
An old well, reputedly used in the original brewing of beer, was discovered during the renovations and has been made into a feature at the front of the pub in Halifax Road. Damaged stained glass windows have also been replaced by new ones - as authentic to the originals as possible.
Debra said the public’s response to the re-opening had been overwhelming.
“We had people knocking on the door daily asking when it would be open again. And when we did open on Monday, the regulars came back and sat in their old seats! It was wonderful.”
The opening night was packed and landlord and landlady Paul and Janet Black are looking forward to being mein hosts.
Paul said: “It’s a real privilege for us to be running this wonderful pub. We want it to be a real part of the community.”
Debra said they hoped the pub could be part of any celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of the Luddite attack in 2012.