To the wider world, Tadcaster is perhaps best known as a citadel of the brewing industry, with some of the most famous names in the trade produced in the town.
But there is far more to Tadcaster than just its industry, even if the 14 million pints a week produced there is responsible for the familiarity of its name and location.
Although brewing is a long-established trade, Tadcaster is a market town with a charter that is centuries old and its historic bridge, which spans the River Wharfe, is as much a landmark as a vital link between the two sides of town.
Community links are not always physical, however, and although the rebuilding of the bridge following the 2015 Boxing Day storm is symbolic of the town’s fortitude, the bonds which bind the community are present on many levels.
While the bridge was rebuilt with great speed by North Yorkshire’s engineers, their efforts were not overlooked by residents, who even turned out with tea and cakes to sustain their work.
Those bonds within the town provide a strength that benefits the whole area, typified by The Barn and Tadcaster’s swimming pool.
The latter emerged from a public ‘wish list’ in the 1990s, with the pool and gym emerging as a community trust in the space of only two years – standing the test of time in the hands of a largely volunteer workforce.
The Barn made use of a former North Yorkshire school youth club building, providing a base for public activities across the whole age range.
Coronavirus proved as much a challenge for Tadcaster as the rest of society and The Barn’s presence helped provide support during lockdowns, particularly for the young who found their usual opportunities for social interaction, such as schools, out of bounds.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Don MacKay said: “Tadcaster is a wonderful town and the reason the community thrives is because there are so many people keen to help each other.
“Facilities like the swimming pool help ensure the town is vibrant and an enjoyable place to live, but they only exist because so many residents are willing to support them.
“That public spirit has helped to see Tadcaster through the pandemic and there is every reason to be optimistic about the town’s future.”