Sisters take overe Hurst Green pub

Family Affair - Samantha, Michelle and Mandy are pictured with their parents just before opening the door to customers at The Eagle and Child, in Hurst Green, for the first time.
Family Affair - Samantha, Michelle and Mandy are pictured with their parents just before opening the door to customers at The Eagle and Child, in Hurst Green, for the first time.

TWO Ribble Valley sisters have fulfilled a long-standing ambition to follow in their family’s footsteps and run their own licensed business.

Samantha Hubbard and Michelle Cummings have taken over at The Eagle and Child pub in Hurst Green. They’re looking forward to putting the pub – which also offers accommodation with two rooms to let – on the walkers’ map with Michelle explaining: “The Eagle and Child is on the Tolkien Trail.”

In fact, The Eagle and Child took its first lunch booking for a walkers’ group within 48 hours of its official opening on March 16th.

Michelle continued: “It’s a beautiful location and the views from the back of the pub are incredible. It’s a cosy pub with open fires and a large garden. We hope it’s going to be focal point for local residents and a walkers’ retreat.”

The sisters have a wealth of experience in the catering and licensed trades – in fact it’s a family calling. Together with their other sister, Mandy, who will also be helping them, they have worked for many years at the Ribchester Arms, run by their cousin Leon and formerly by their aunt and uncle Maria and Steve Joyson.

The sisters grew up in Bolton, where their grandfather had the first open grill restaurant in the country, selling Greek Cypriot and English food; their uncles ran a Toby Inn in Edgworth and their mother ran a café called Speedy Snacks and Sandwiches with her twin sister.

All three sisters have lived in Ribchester for many years with their families and Michelle recalled: “When we lived in Bolton we used to come over here for days out in Hurst Green and to look at Stonyhurst College.”

Samantha added: “It’s an opportunity to have my own business after 23 years working in the industry and I’m looking forward to meeting residents and old friends and new. We’re aiming to make this a traditional pub, with bar snacks and a really nice specials board.”

And as you might expect, there’ll be no shortage of family support when it comes to helping out.