A local pub described as “coming back from the dead” has received an award for not just surviving but significantly improving.
On 17 December, local members of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) gathered to present their “Most Improved Pub 2012” award to the Golden Ball at Snatchems on the Lune Estuary.
Lunesdale branch chairman Jenny Greenhalgh said: “This is a pub that has come back from the dead and it is impressive to see what what Stephen (the owner) has done with it since he got it.”
The Golden Ball languished for many years in the arms of a local company who failed to invest in it. In 2010, it was closed and put up for sale and looked set to become a private house. But there was a spirited campaign by pub regulars led by Russell Dunkeld to keep the pub open. Stephen Hunt, who had previously run a nearby pub but had moved to Spain, was drawn back to damp Lancashire by the challenge of owning and running this historic inn. He has spent large sums renovating the place, but — and this is the surprise — without removing any walls or otherwise spoiling the atmosphere of the eighteenth-century interior. It is just warmer and more comfortable than before. There is also a new extension with all modern conveniences including wheelchair access (and a great view across the river).
Stephen Hunt said: “We are quite isolated here, both geographically and in not belonging to a larger company and it is great to get some recognition.&rdquo