A DALES market town has won back one of its most popular pubs - more than a year after the brewery called time.

The White Bear has an enviable location, next door to Theakston's Brewery, in Masham.

But owner Scottish and Newcastle, which bought the smaller family brewery in the 1980s, was not convinced the pub was making enough profit.

Despite its history and popularity as a venue for live music, the doors were locked last autumn and the building has stood empty since.

A demonstration earlier this summer failed to change the company's mind - but now the Theakstons are back.

Father Michael and his four sons have taken on the White Bear, and have promised the pub will reopen in time for Christmas.

The emphasis of the new operation will be on cask ale, with a menu based on local products.

The licensee will be Sue Thomas, formerly of The Farmers Arms, Helperby, near Boroughbridge.

Simon Theakston said: "When my father asked my brothers and I if we would like to join him getting the White Bear up and running again, we didn't hesitate. The pub has always been part of Masham, and many people from the surrounding area were very upset when it closed."