Resurgent village pub recognised by Alliance

Cath and Michael Patterson outside The Plough Inn, Mitford. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Cath and Michael Patterson outside The Plough Inn, Mitford. Picture by Jane Coltman.

A popular Mitford pub is going from strength to strength after it was saved five years ago.

Cath Patterson started working at The Plough Inn part-time when it re-opened in spring 2015 after being closed for more than two years.

She took over the tenancy from the previous incumbents in September 2016 and after various periods of short-term contracts, her husband Michael decided to concentrate his efforts in helping to run the pub with her on a full-time basis.

One of their major coups since then was hosting an evening with the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, in September last year.

In addition, it was recently announced that The Plough Inn is on the shortlist for the best pub category in the 2019 Countryside Alliance Awards.

The judging panel will visit some time in spring ahead of the regional winners being announced in May.

Cath said: “Villagers rallied round to try to save the pub and were looking into purchasing it as a community asset before Richard Gill (a retired local farmer) bought it, so my main aim after taking over the tenancy was to continue building back up the relationship with local residents.

“We provide a friendly atmosphere and as well as a live music night roughly every month, there is a buskers’ night every three weeks.

“It’s like a little family with our regulars and we also get a fair bit of passing trade.

“Our customers have been great with me and Michael and it was a customer who put the pub forward for the Countryside Alliance Awards.

“We’re over the moon to be on the North East shortlist for the best pub category. It’s amazing to have received such recognition after such a short period in business.

“It was fantastic to have The Archbishop of York in the pub last September. He is a lovely man and as well as taking questions from the locals, he bought a round for everybody and stepped behind the bar to pull a few of the pints himself.”

She added that the couple are confident about the long-term future of the pub given its importance to the village.

Residents started a campaign to save The Plough Inn in 2014 after plans were lodged to turn it into a dwelling house and began fund-raising to potentially buy it as a community asset.

However, Mr Gill then purchased the pub in October 2014 and after a major refurbishment, it re-opened the following spring.