Ed and Jackie moved into The George and opened for business on 1 June 2013.
‘It had always been an ambition to own a pub having met a couple on our honey moon who were doing the very same thing and who seemed to be having a grand time of it’ says Ed.
The time however was not right at that point and so Ed and Jackie pursued their careers in engineering and accountancy until in 2012, after their son went to University they revisited their long-held dream.
After setting the criteria for a pub with rooms in Yorkshire, the search began and with the help of a long-standing friend The George became the focus of their attention. ‘We loved it from the start ‘ says Jackie. ‘The location of the pub in beautiful Langstrothdale, the quirky nature of the building and the tremendous history of the place were just too good to be true’
The couple started their new adventure ably assisted by Jackie’s brother John who ran the kitchen, Ed dealing the bar and front of house and Jackie looking after the housekeeping and administration.
During the last five years the team has changed and grown a little to reflect the increasing numbers of visitors.
The George has gone from strength to strength, attracting visitors from various places across the world.
Many are Dalesway walkers, bravely undertaking the 82 (or so) miles from Ilkely to Bowness on Windermere.
‘We also get a lot of visitors who have been coming to The George for many years which is really gratifying, including a couple who spent their honeymoon night at The George and returned for their 50th Wedding Anniversary!’ says Ed.
And so to the candle…..history tells us that The George was at one time the vicarage for the nearby beautiful church of St Michael and All Angels and it was traditional for the vicar to keep a lighted candle in the window so parishioners knew that they were welcome to call.
When in 1754 the building became The George, it was still owned by the Church and the tradition of lighting the candle whenever the pub is open continued.
The other part of this story is that every year on the first Monday after New Year’s Day, there is a meeting of the Hubberholme Parliament at which an auction takes place for 16 acres of pasture land just up the road from The George.
The auction is preceded by a short service of prayer in the Church and then, the assembled crowd watch as the candle in the pub is lit to mark the start of bidding.
It finishes when the candle extinguishes itself.
It is a wonderful and ancient tradition and is always a grand night with some musical accompaniment (provided by the vicar) and raises some very useful funds for the Poor Pasture Fund, traditionally used to help locals in need.