Saturday, January 24, 2009

Strange Goings On in the White Swan, Hebden Bridge

A very bizarre incident happened to Kate, Oscar (my 8 year old son) and I today, which goes to show that for all the many people in Hebden Bridge who strive to make people feel welcome, there are others who do exactly the opposite.

One of the things I do on a weekly basis is give advanced, one-to-one Spanish tuition to the managing director of a large Calderdale construction firm for a couple of hours. (We're deep in subjunctives at the moment.) A few weeks ago, he was at a charity event organised by Hebden Bridge Saints and won, in a raffle, a "voucher up to the value of £20 to be spent on food in one visit, kindly donated by Liz" to be used at the White Swan, at the opposite end of the Packhorse Bridge to the Hole in t'Wall.

"Here Jason" he said, "You're a Hebden Bridger so you may as well have this as we probably won't get down there to use this."

Great! I thought. That'll be very nice when we're out and about as a family one weekend and, sure enough, today seemed like the ideal time for some good old fashioned home cooking in a "Great British Pub".

In we went and got the last table and I wandered over to the bar, ordered and paid for our drinks, before showing Pauline (pictured above) the voucher I'd been given and asking if it was ok to use it for some lunch.

In front of a busy bar, and not knowing me from Adam, she retorted "Why couldn't you bloody come in the evening? That would be better wouldn't it!".

I looked along the line of dropped jaws at the bar and said "Well no. Not with my son really. I don't suppose it would," before going back to our table where we quickly finished our drinks and headed off to get some food elsewhere.

So, to all of those incredible people in Hebden Bridge who work so hard to make people feel welcome, people like this only serve to drive business your way.

To anyone who's not familiar with this pub and is thinking about going there, apparently the food is pretty good, but I suggest you might like to try Mooch, the Hole in t'Wall, the Shoulder of Mutton, B@r Place, Moyles, the Trades Club, the Fox & Goose, the Inn on the Bridge, Nelson's or the White Lion first.

Needless to say, I phoned the landlady later to politely relate the day's events (who didn't seem surprised in the slightest) and, whilst she did apologise, we will never set foot in the place again.

30th Jan 09
Click here to see the very positive follow-up to this story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pauline is a cranky old sod, but she's always been fine with me.

This just goes to show, if you're in business, especially dealing with the public, you can't afford to let your grumpiness get the better of you, or you could lose custom! There should be a lesson there for businesses, especially in this economic climate ...