Shock as 'one of the best pubs in Chesterfield' closes

Chesterfield folk have been left reeling after the sudden closure of the White Swan.
The White Swan.The White Swan.
The White Swan.

Mystery surrounds exactly why the popular town centre pub shut earlier this week.

A sign on the door simply states: "Sorry we have closed."

The St Mary's Gate building has been put on the market and many people are hoping it will be purchased and open its doors again soon.

The note on the White Swan's door.The note on the White Swan's door.
The note on the White Swan's door.

'Mucky Duck'

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The famous watering hole - situated across the road from the Crooked Spire - opened in 1902 after being built by John Smith's Brewery.

In its heydey, the venue - which became affectionately known as the 'Mucky Duck' - hosted live music nights, attracting rock and blues bands along with all their fans.

In 1988 the pub underwent a major refurbishment when it became open plan and changed its name to the Avenue.

The White Swan is famous in Chesterfield.The White Swan is famous in Chesterfield.
The White Swan is famous in Chesterfield.

It subsequently changed hands and opened as a Chinese restaurant in 2004.

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The eatery traded for eight years before it closed down, paving the way for yet another major refurbishment in March 2012 when the White Swan was re-born.

Jeanette Hamer ran the 'Mucky Duck' alongside her husband for four years in the 1980s.

She told the Derbyshire Times: "It certainly was a people's pub - and very successful too - with plenty of hub and grub!

"I worked like mad serving hot dogs and beefburgers to an impatient waiting queue.

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"It put me off tomato sauce forever and at the end of the night I stank of fried onions - but that is what you did to please the punters.

"My husband used to say 'it is all about PMP - people make pounds - and if you're lucky you may be privileged to enjoy it'.

"Well we enjoyed it, every day of those blessed four years we occupied those premises.

"We also ran the White Swan as a hotel after a long and arduous clean up of the wonderful large bedrooms above, and accommodated many walks of life.

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"We had the Crooked Spire to thank for bringing many tourists to the town and through our doors."

'I can't believe it'

The White Swan's owner is listed as Raw Brewery on whatpub.comThe Derbyshire Times has contacted the pub, which confirmed the closure on Facebook, for a statement but has not yet received a response.

It is six months since S41 Bar - just down the road from the White Swan - shut its doors.

Management blamed the closure on 'extortionate' business rates and urged people to use local businesses or risk losing them.

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Thankfully, new life has been breathed into the former S41 Bar building - it is now Distillery.

Commenting on our Facebook page, many people said they they were shocked at the White Swan's closure.

Nicola Clark said: "It always looked fairly busy."

Janet Atkinson said: "I spent many a Saturday night in the 50s in the 'Mucky Duck'. Oh what memories."

Kirsty Gough said: "It was one of the best pubs in town."

Derek Brough said: "I can't believe it."

Lynn Bothamley used just one word to sum up most people's feelings: "Gutted."