Dismay as more Leeds village pubs shut

The local pub trade has been dealt yet another bitter blow after the closure of two landmark village inns in north Leeds.

The Old Star Inn, on Leeds Road, Collingham, has now been transformed into an empty eyesore after steel shutters were put over each of its windows.

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The large pub was boarded up last Tuesday and the shutters are believed to be there for security reasons.

Meanwhile over in Kirk Deighton, the village's only pub, the Bay Horse Inn on Main Street, is up for let.

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The pub has stood empty for weeks after licensee Stephen Mosckicki took over in December 2008.

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The windows – which aren't boarded up – show a stream of accolades including recommendations in the Michelin Guide for 2007 and 2008 as well as the Good Food Guide 2009 and Good Pub Guide 2009.

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Hubert Hayes, who lives in the village said: "I was a regular at the Bay Horse meeting a group of friends once a week. The closure of the pub is a great loss to the village. It breaks a tradition going back long into history."

Enterprise Inns own both pubs and it is unclear why both have closed. No one from the brewery was available for comment.

Andrew Pickles who owns Collingham News, which is opposite the Old Star Inn said: "It used to be a very popular pub. There was a real mixture of people as they would get coach parties stopping and having meals.

"They tried on more than one occasion to change the menu and I don't think they chose particularly well and people stopped going. The economy and smoking ban haven't helped. The boards went up on Tuesday and the general feeling is that it looks awful. The local parish council have asked for them to be taken down because it's a conservation area. I think I would rather see steel shutters than broken windows."

John Rowe, Chairman of Leeds Camra, said the closures were both major losses.

He said: "The Old Star Inn was a vibrant hub of the community in Collingham and that will be a big loss because the local societies used to use it as well as the cricket club and football club.

"These places, especially Kirk Deighton, surely could have been multi use, maybe with a Post Office or local produce store. The Kirk Deighton pub could have been a co-operative between villagers who were interested in keeping it open. This has happened elsewhere."

Only last month, the YEP revealed a third pub in the area had shut down and was due to be transformed into new offices.

The empty Travellers Rest pub, in Harewood Road, East Keswick, had been

up for sale since September for 450,000.

Building contractor Irwin Group Ltd bought the pub for an undisclosed sum and planning permission for change of use has been approved.

East Keswick Parish Council objected to the move after many hoped the pub would be revived.