IF ever there was proof that pubs can bounce back from adversity it has to be the George and Dragon at Hudswell near Richmond.

Way back in 2008 it was closed and it appeared it would remain so, joining the almost countless list of pubs that have vanished into history, leaving villages with gaping holes in their community.

But local people felt otherwise and, determined to save their watering hole, actually did something about it.

They set up a community pub company, launched a share issue and, after extensive renovations, re-opened the hostelry to much local acclaim in June 2010.

The George and Dragon is now at the centre of the local community, offering a little local shop, library, community allotments and free internet access.

And as the icing on the cake Spectator hears that the pub once deemed unviable has more than simply bounced back but has been named as one of the best boozers in Britain and is one of four finalists in the Campaign for Real Ale’s national Pub of the Year competition.

It follows its success in becoming the Yorkshire Pub of the Year and regulars will no doubt be looking forward to the New Year when the national winner will be announced.

Camra describe the George and Dragon as “a shining example of how a pub has been resurrected as a true community asset” – a statement which is almost impossible to argue with.

Current licensee Stuart Miller took over only in 2014 and he and his immediate predecessors should be justly proud of what they and their teams have achieved.

They have taken the pub back to its roots and created a profitable business that benefits the entire community.

Come the New Year, Spectator will be among those cheering them on.