The owner of a guest house that was hoping to fill the void left by the closure of pubs for this year’s Haxey Hood has reacted with anger after being told that her venue will not be allowed to open.
The Stanholme Guest House in Haxey had planned to open this Saturday after it was announced that three pubs in the village will all be closed this weekend for the ancient game which is normally contested between four pubs in Haxey and neighbouring Westwoodside.
But in an angry Facebook post, owner Debbie Innes-Embleton has blasted those who have thwarted the plan saying: “Good luck to those that enjoy playing the system, You win. Hope you sleep well.”
This year’s annual game will still go-ahead as planned on Saturday – but only the Carpenters Arms in Westwoodside is expected to be open for business.
The Loco, Duke William and Kings Arms, which are all in Haxey, are all expected to be closed.
The game – which dates from 1359 – has faced a testing twelve months after a controversial plan to knock down the Duke William and replace it with houses was submitted shortly after last year’s contest.
Landlord Paul Chapman’s proposal was contested by angry villagers and was unanimously rejected by North Lincolnshire Council last November.
It is not known if the rejection of the plan is behind the Duke William and The Loco being closed this weekend. The Kings Arms is currently closed due to licensing issues.
Writing about the closure of the guest house on the venue’s Facebook page, she wrote: “Yet again someone has killed the Hood facility here at the last minute, presuming it’s someone local that does not want to support it.
“We’d bought the beer and done our bloody best.
“I’m sure someone will be happy. But we tried for the village and good luck to those that enjoy playing the system to ruin thousands of villagers’ day.
“You win. Hope you sleep well.
“Sorry for this last minute announcement guys but there’s a week’s admin to sort out - the reason hence we are not allowed to open so well done to whomever knows the system.”
Amy Jones replied: “This is so sad that in a village environment where everyone is working hard to keep the Hood alive that some small minded individual has put a stop on a local business that's supporting a long lasting tradition.
READ MORE: Haxey Hood pub plans rejected
“They should be ashamed! Sorry that they have done this to you I hope they hang their heads in shame.”
Tim McGuire said: “It’s shocking. Obviously tradition doesn’t bother some people. I come to see people I haven’t seen, friends I haven’t spoken to for a while. I’ve joined in as have both my brothers. I’m not from Haxey but worked in Haxey. It’s a shame.”
Penny Elsegood added: “This is so disappointing - why are people so determined to ruin this tradition?”
The game traditionally sees drinkers representing four pubs attempt to push the Hood – a tube of leather – towards their favoured watering hole with victory declared when the winning landlord takes delivery of it from the pub doorstep after hours of bruising and muddy battle in the fields.
Hood officials have declared that should the Hood make its way to Haxey this year, victory will be declared when the Hood reaches a pre-determined point near the Kings Arms.