Generations of publicans gather in Harrogate to mark ninetieth

Samantha Nelson, Bob Nelson, Lily Rowe and John Nelson
Samantha Nelson, Bob Nelson, Lily Rowe and John Nelson

For nearly 200 years, it has stood in the heart of Harrogate close to the Stray.

And four generations of a family who have transformed the fortunes of the Coach and Horses gathered at the pub on Tuesday to celebrate the 90th birthday of the man who helped stem the decline of the business.

Bob Nelson started work in 1982 to overhaul the pub, which went on to win Welcome to Yorkshire’s pub of the year contest in 2016.

Celebrating alongside son John, 61, granddaughter Samantha, 25 and one year-old great-grand daughter Lily Rowe, Bob Nelson said: “It was a very run down place and slowly we built it up.

“I laid the foundation and John built on that to make this place a success.

“This is a place where there is no noise, no dart board or television.

“It’s a place where people can sit down and talk.

“In a town this size there is real support from a number of people of all ages who truly appreciate this.”

Handing the reins over to John in 1986, this ethos was ingrained in the family.

John Nelson said: “There have been changes over the years to the pub, but it is still all about people.

“When they come in we show them true Yorkshire hospitality.

“This work is part of the family, it is us, who we are.”

Samantha has followed in their footsteps, working full-time behind the bar with manager Dan Howard.

Ms Nelson said:“People do come here for that landlord experience, when they all get together and are bantering people really enjoy it, an experience that comes with going to a family run pub.

“In Harrogate there is nowhere else like this, even my friends enjoy coming here. Everyone just comes together.”

Raising a glass Mr Nelson toasted the day and looked forward to celebrating in the pub he and his family developed.

Mr Nelson said: “It is good to be here with my pals and my relatives, we are going to be celebrating and I don’t care what tomorrow brings.”

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