The Regulars: David Rishworth and Hedley Richardson have been drinking in The Sailor for over 20 years

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The Independent Online

Hedley Richardson: 'My life would completely change if The Sailor closed. I'm at the pub seven nights a week; it becomes part of who you are. As the wife doesn't drink, she doesn't come — fortunately!

I use the pub as a social meeting point; it's a place where you can have a chat — tear the world apart then put it back together — and also talk about what's good for the village, like getting a new scout hut.

I wouldn't be comfortable in a gastropub surrounded by young people. Although The Sailor does serve food, it has a separate eating area. The bar is still recognisable as an area for guys who need to have a drink and a chat or just a bit of peace.

I've come to know people down here over 20 years; I know their business, what they do, what they don't do, what makes them tick. I know some of them better than I know the wife.'

David Rishworth: 'It's not about drinking for drinking's sake – it's the company. When you've been working all day at home on your own – as I do – and you live alone, which I have done since I got divorced, you just want to go somewhere you can have a chat about life.

Addingham has become much more of a commuter village since people stopped working in local industries, so fewer people have time to go to the pub. Or they might go for a meal, and just eat and go home.

The smoking ban has made a difference. I know a few people who no longer come to The Sailor very often because they smoke. They'd rather stay in with a can on the sofa or a glass of wine. They say it's not worth it – but you go for the camaraderie, don't you?'

The Sailor, Main Street, Addingham, near Ilkley, West Yorkshire, tel: 01943 830 216

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