Hello from the new tenants…
“Hello Roughlee! As most of you will know, it’s been an extremely busy few weeks since the purchase of the Bay Horse Inn was completed thanks to the huge fund-raising effort. Before and since then, we have had chance to talk to many, but not all of you, so I would like to fill in a little of our background story for those of you who don’t already know, before I tell you more about our plans for the opening.
The Swarbricks moved to Brown Hill Farm at Roughlee in 2010. Chris & Adrienne stumbled over Brown Hill entirely by accident on a Sunday afternoon drive into the country and found the house was for sale. It was ramshackle, cold, damp and neglected – we fell in love with it immediately.
The Bay Horse Inn is where we met most of our neighbours socially and started to feel really part of the community here, so we were as upset as anyone when it closed yet again. When the effort to rescue the pub began, we made a modest contribution to the fund and initially we expected this to be our only involvement. Weeks passed and in conversation with the major investors it became clear that the search for a tenant was not bearing much fruit.
We started to think “perhaps we could run it…”. After all, both our sons Joe and Jack had worked in hospitality for some years. They both had loads of contacts who could help, advise, maybe even work with us.
We asked Paul Dawson whether the investors would be interested in an approach from us as a family business. They were, so we put together a business plan based on the proposition that a local family business could run the local village pub, and we set up a private limited company BHVI Limited (originally BH Village Inns – therein lies a whole story of its own…) to manage the business on a proper commercial footing.
The deal was agreed in principle and eventually the lease signed on Monday 9th October.
Since then a host of volunteers have been working tirelessly to repair and renovate the building, especially the first-floor accommodation where our Management Team has already taken up residence ‘over the shop’. While work continued upstairs, others set about stripping out the fire-damaged kitchen back to a shell. As we had it re-wired from scratch and white-wall clad, a new floor and ceiling was installed at the same time. With enormous help from certain individuals who worked their socks off, we have been able to salvage many more of the fixtures, fittings & even appliances than we imagined possible.
As we have been refitting the kitchen and decorating & refurbishing the rest of the pub and restaurant, we have of course been hiring staff. There are others you will soon come to know, but there are two key individuals to introduce to you now.
Brett Nichols is our Assistant General Manager. Brett has experience in similar establishments to Jack, including Wetherspoon’s, Greene King & Bermondsey. Before joining us, Brett was working in a busy city centre pub ‘The Crafty Pig’, just off Piccadilly in Manchester.
Our Head Chef is Paul Fox. Paul is a widely experienced, talented and uniquely enthusiastic force of nature! He worked under Nigel Haworth at the Three Fishes, which is where he first met Jack and Joe. Paul has created a menu exactly in tune with our original thinking: high quality, classic but not posh! We will keep it relatively simple.
Right now, as well as commissioning the kitchen, bar and cellar equipment, we are finishing laying the floors and carpet, decorating, and installing lighting and furniture. As most of you will know, there are hardly any old features remaining from the many refurbishments over the years, so to try to present the Bay Horse as ‘a traditional 19th century coaching inn’ untouched and set in aspic would be totally false. So please do expect a clean, fresh look, but one we believe will be comfortable, warm, friendly and welcoming – just what a country pub should be!
Please call 699023 or email [email protected] to reserve a table if you want to eat.
Further details will be made public as soon as possible. Please keep an eye on our website www.bayhorseroughlee.co.uk. We will get the menus up there as soon as they are finished.
We are looking forward to welcoming you all to the Bay Horse very soon!”
— The Swarbricks
Highlights from the 2017 campaign to save the Bay Horse
Throughout 2017, following a severe kitchen fire that closed the pub, villagers and well-wishers from around Pendle raised nearly £500,000 to save the Bay Horse from developers. The campaign attracted local and national coverage including:
- BBC’s Sunday Politics Show – see the report here
- BBC North West News – see the report here
- BBC Radio Lancashire – short video clip
- Nelson Leader
- Lancashire Telegraph
- Pendle Today
The Bay Horse Inn
Blacko Bar Road
Tel: 01282 699023
Bay Horse Inn Website →