The Midland Hotel in Appleby-in-Westmorland is in dire need of local support to stay open.
News articles are published regularly about how tragic it is to lose good local pubs. According to CAMRA, 3 pubs close every day in the UK, and 80% of us have witnessed a local pub close. Unless support is found for The Midland Hotel in Appleby-in-Westmorland, it might be the latest village to succumb to these sad statistics.
The pub was opened in 1876 next to the Appleby Midland Railway, which ran from Settle to Carlisle. Steeped in local history, the pub has been central to life in Appleby for more than 140 years, and owners Amie and Clive would hate to see it close.
In a recent interview in Cumbria Crack, owner Clive said: “We want the local community to see The Midland as their pub. Without local support it will not stay open, so this has to work for us and for the locals.”
The Midland Hotel was recognised by the Westmorland & Eden branch of CAMRA as “Pub of the Year” in 2013 and 2014.
Sadly, the local has been fraught with temporary closures, first to refresh and renovate the traditional pub, and then due to ill-health. Both Amie and Clive have had to take time away from running The Midland in order to recover from cancer, but despite putting the pub up for sale, no buyers were found in more than three years. The couple saw this as a sign to continue working on their dream, and keeping the pub between them.
Now both Amie and Clive are back to full-health, they are hoping that drinkers, regulars and visitors to the beautiful area of Westmorland will pop in and show their support for their beloved pub.
How can we help?
We all hate that our pubs are closing, but unless we visit them for a drink, or a meal, or encourage others to do the same, how can we say we’re helping them to stay open? Amie and Clive are asking their customers to tell them how they’d like The Midland to incorporate itself more into local life – whether they’d like more local events, a space for local groups to meet, different beers and drinks on offer and even weird and wonderful requests will be taken into consideration. In this way, they hope their community will see The Midland as “their” pub, a place to visit regularly, to feel welcome and to be adopted as their “local”.
Every town, village and city has a good pub that’s on the brink of closure. The easiest way we can all help pubs like The Midland Hotel is to visit them ourselves. If you already visit the pub often, why not encourage non-pub-going friends to join you? Or try to organise a small event there? Even leaving a recommendation on a local Facebook group or on your favourite pub’s TripAdvisor or Facebook page can help get more customers through the door.
This sort of community action seems small, but it’s the type of significant support our pubs need to stay open.