Mark Briggs has been a real ale connoisseur for over 35 years.  A self-professed ‘beer geek’, Mark visits East Lancashire’s pubs for his weekly column. Read of Mark’s adventures in ale at his blog or follow him on Twitter @realaleupnorth

This week's review is focused on a hostelry that has, let's say, experienced turbulent waters in recent times.

A pub that has opened, shut, opened again — before finally closing its doors in mid January of this year.

This historic, early 19th century establishment had become tired, run-down and had been ailing under the ownership of Enterprise Inns. In my opinion, the pub chain had shown little enthusiasm and vision of late to make The George an asset in this popular Pendle village.

Thankfully, the pub has re-opened after local man Chris Joyce purchased the Grade II listed building and, since the opening in May, the pub has been transformed.

The interior is delightful, with its low beamed ceiling, open plan lounge,comfy seated areas — and a games room that is tastefully decorated with Burnley FC memorabilia. Barrowford Clarets meet at the pub before home and away games.

Chris said: “I am very pleased with how things have progressed in a short period of time. At first it was purely a weekend pub but now trade is going well during the week and we have introduced an extensive menu, serving home-cooked food.

“We also have two pool teams and a darts team. And there is now a real community feel about the place. You will get a friendly, warm welcome at The George."

The pub is currently serving three cask ales, all locally sourced — Thwaites Wainwright, Moorhouse's Pride of Pendle and Blond Witch were on the bar when I visited. I sampled the Pride of Pendle, at £2.60, and it was in great nick.

Chris said: “The Pride of Pendle is selling really well. It gets excellent feedback from the customers and it could become a permanent fixture on the bar.”

The George and Dragon is a prime example of how an ailing pub, carrying a poor reputation, can be turned around in a relatively short period of time with some investment, vision and damned hard work, The residents of Barrowford once more have a community asset to be proud of.

Chris Joyce, in my opinion, is a local hero for restoring and rescuing this local historic landmark and returning the excellent reputation it had in previous years.

East Lancashire pub goers are fortunate to have many people in the pub trade like Chris. Their pubs that are run with passion, care and total commitment in order to provide first class service to their communities.