The Merrymen Club

“All the Merrymen support the Robin Hood Inn, our local friendly pub and amenity.”


“No one individual can own a village pub, merely the buildings: because it’s the regulars who define and own the feel of the pub, and its sense of community says everything about its success”

“A rural village pub that does not offer meals is not a viable business, for wet sales alone cannot support an income for a manager or else a tenant. And food is part and parcel of the amenity a village pub must provide”

The Merrymen Club is the information exchange vehicle for the supporters of the Robin Hood Inn, Cragg Vale, West Yorkshire. The club is an extension of the general interest originally vested in the company Merrymen Ltd, which was intended to purchase the then empty pub property and install a tenant to run it as their own business. Insuperable obstacles made this impossible, and so the company directors have agreed to dissolve Merrymen Ltd. and continue supportive operations as an open club as of their Special General Meeting held on 24 October 2005, occasioned by the imminent closure of the pub on 28th October 2005. Members will be kept informed of progress and it is intended that any residual funds will be transferred to a new club account based at a local bank or post office in Hebden Bridge. Tip: You can join the Merrymen Club Yahoo Groups forum and newsletter at the foot of this page by using this link. As soon as possible existing Merrymen members will be advised by e-mail and /or letter of the progress of our conversion to club status. Those joining the Merrymen Club Group forum will, of course, have the most say and influence of future proceedings, with the opportunity for sharing their opinions and ideas with the entire club membership of supporters. You can rest assured that feedback will be robustly targeted for the greatest positive influence on the outcome.

The intention is to ensure that support for the business model that has proved so successful over the last 2 years of the Robin Hood Inn is continuously promoted in the interests of all club members and local residents. Phil Thomas and Walter Mirauer, who have had the pub over the last 2 years, have made a spectacular success of the business both commercially and as a village social amenity. This has reestablished the pub as a much lauded village amenity that attracts a wide range of clientele from the general locality, and conclusively shown one certain path to business success. Sadly the owner of the property and the partners Phil and Walter were unable to agree terms for the sale of the property and so the business looks likely to close again as the partners leave to pursue other business opportunities elsewhere. The last day of opening for sales will be Friday 28th October, after which the pub will be closed again as Mr. Sid Connor, the property owner from the North East, has nobody lined up to take over the business. We may be being overly pessimistic but past experience indicates months of closure rather than weeks, and that is if anyone can be found to take it on from yet another closure - anyone out there?

The club intends to further the cause of getting the Robin open and keeping it open and operating along the broad lines that Phil and Walter have proved to be so successful. Meeting, and even surpassing, the needs, views and ideas for the business originally broadcast by the Merrymen membership both Walter and Phil brought a closed pub (with a 5 year history of poor management, business failures and closures) back to a thriving business of the first water. The business has been characterised by the promotion of friendly traditional village pub values within an envelope of innovation; and providing interesting meals, with real ales and fine wines at attractive prices; and also providing a lively welcoming atmosphere with open fires, and the very best Crak you will find anywhere in Yorkshire.

Having tasted the success of their venture we do not wish to see a slide into closure or poor and insensitive management yet again. The club is composed of around 280 members who generally support our common objective of a sound business based on the Robin Hood Inn that satisfies the needs of the locals for a friendly village pub, and the needs of visitors for rest and refreshment. In the event of a closure, however temporary, it is the intention of the club to promote contact and information exchange through our Yahoo Groups club forum, which is open to anyone to join. So come and join us using the subscription box below, just enter your e-mail address and click the “Join Now” button, and we will do the rest - couldn’t be easier. Oh, and it’s FREE too!

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