CUSTOMERS who voted for this Ribble Valley pub to take its place as one of the top six told us that the landlords Linzi and Dale had given them a ‘village pub’ and was ‘exactly what they had been missing for many years’.

That is high praise indeed for the Trader Arms in Mellor as they support the community to a T - as in the cost of living crisis they have come up with meal deals for customers.

Linzi Whittaker was delighted to hear the news.

She said: “We are very humbled to be in the top six pubs and having taken the gamble to work for myself, it’s an amazing feeling.

“It would mean the world to receive an award like this and to be acknowledged for all the hard work and effort that has gone in. I feel our customers would also be delighted as it is them who have been our biggest supporters and promoted our success.

“I have a fantastic team behind me who put their faith in me and support my vision, this I am truly grateful for. We would like to thank our customers old and new and the locals for their continued support, they are genuinely at the heart of everything we do at the Traders Arms.”

The 38-year-old landlady added that she felt ‘at home’ when she took over the place and wanted it to be a success.

“We asked locals when we first opened what they wanted from us and their pub. The biggest response was they wanted their local pub back. Somewhere not only to have a good meal, but to meet with friends for drinks and to socialise. We focused on making the pub just that, a family and dog friendly pub which serves homemade ‘pub grub’, has a drinking side with sports and regular live entertainment.

“We have a warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

“Our customers, especially our regulars, have really gotbehind us and want us to succeed. They understand the difficulties we face such as the energy crisis and have been donating wood and coal for our fires since the start of autumn to help us tackle our energy bills. “

Linzi says they have tried to support local firms too.

“I feel the way we operate our business makes us different from other pubs. We are a small independent business and where possible, we use other local or small businesses for our produce. Our customers know this and I feel this is what has been a big part of how well the Traders is doing!”

Linzi told us about how they have tried to improve the venue.

She said: “We have already made numerous changes which we feel have been greatly received but our next step is to enhance our outdoor space and improve the beer garden facilities. We have a lot of families in the area who would like to see more things for them to do with children.

“The best thing has been the customers and how welcoming they have been, it’s become a community pub. The thing I am most proud of is the turn around. We have managed to turn what was a quiet pub into a pub people enjoy and want to come and support. We have been overwhelmed how welcoming everyone has been in the village and I’m proud to call them our customers.”