Exciting times coming up! Tour de Yorkshire on the 30th of April; BOOM Festival on the 29th and 30th of May; Otley Carnival on the 18th of June; Otley walking Festival from June 25th to July 3rd and a Civil War battle on the 1st weekend in July. Then there’s the Otley Food and Drink Festival; Otley Folk Festival’s 25th anniversary and loads more. It really does look as though it’ll be a great summer in Otley. 



After a few false stIMGP2158arts, and promises of a screening date any time from the beginning of January to the end of April, they’re finally on. The new series is called ‘Pubs That Built Britain’, and the first episode, called ‘Yorkshire’ will be on tomorrow at 6:30 pm on BBC2. [Apologies for the very late notice!] As you will remember, this episode features The Black Bull, and the story of Cromwell’s
troops drinking the pub dry on the eve of the Battle of Marston Moor. We believe that the interview with members of Otley Pub Club committee might have been completely edited out [boring old f@rts that we are]. So in return, I’ve included a picture without The Hairy Bikers in it! But the important thing is that yet another Otley pub is being featured on National TV at peak viewing time. Not for nothing does Otley Pub Club call this a #famouspubtown !



And while we’re on the subject of Otley pubs being on TV, did anyone notice The Fleece pop uotleywood signp on an episode of the B&B series 4 in a bed last week? They weren’t one of the featured lodgings in the programme, but the participants were all staying at Castley Camp outside Pool in Wharfedale. When they went out for a meal together, to be filmed for the programme, they chose to come into town to The Fleece. Yorkshire is a real up and coming centre for film and TV production companies nowadays. Bradford was the first UNESCO City of Film anywhere in the world, and is home to the National Media Museum, and recently a 440 acre film studio was opened on an old airfield site across the County in Church Fenton. And because Yorkshire really does have everything, it’s doubled for the Midlands in Peaky Blinders; Cornwall in Jamaica Inn; London in A Royal Night Out; Switzerland in The Hunter’s Prayer; and of course Walmington on Sea in Dad’s Army. So if anyone wants to film in a pub, why wouldn’t they come to Otley, where they are so many and so varied?



One of the ways businesses – including pubs – can get their message across to casual shoppers and passers-by, is by advertising pub a boardon A-boards. They are those wooden or metal easel-shaped signs you see on pavements on just about every shopping street in the country. Some have posters on them; some have chalkboards with the day’s offers; some have gas balloons attached – they are many and varied. And yet they cause great controversy. Partially-sighted people say they get to know where permanent obstacles are sited on shopping streets, so when a business puts out a random A-board, it can be disruptive and dangerous. Some residents think they are ugly and that too many of them destroy the ambience of popular streets. Businesses rely on them to get their message across, and when they are told to move them, they ask why they are any different from waste bins, road signs or even flower beds, which can all block the footpath.

In Otley, the use and siting of A-boards is controlled by Leeds City Council, and because the subject can be controversial they have produced a small leaflet explaining the dangers, the rules, and the punishments for disobeying them. The leaflet is available from Otley Town Council in the Otley Core office. There are too many rules to repeat here [18] but basically the boards must always be put out in the same place, as near to the property as possible, leaving at least 1.8 metres of footpath free between it and the road. Break the rules and the boards can be taken away and destroyed, and the owner made to pay the costs!



EUROPEAN REFERENDUM DEBATE – The debate about whether or not the UK should leave the EU now looks as though it will take place on the evening of Wednesday, May 25th. We’ll let you know as soon as we can, where and at what time the debate will take place, and how you can guarantee a ticket [entry will be free, but ticketed to avoid overcrowding]. We’ll also let you know who will be on the panel to give us some factual information on which to base a personal decision in the upcoming referendum.

BOOK OF PUB POEMS – Otley Word Feast Press sent out the request for contributions to this new collection at the beginning of the month. Within just the first 24 hours they had received 25 replies! We are hoping to help them launch the collection on National Poetry Day, October 6th, with live music and poetry readings in one of Otley’s pubs, so keep an eye out for that. It will be an exciting and different night.



The full details of the events in and around Otley on Saturday the 30th of April are now known. The women’s race will start in Boroughgate at 08:15, and the men’s race at 14:20, but there is so much going on throughout the day, as you can see from the attached programme of events. Also, The Junction will be hosting a Cooperage display by the Theakstons Cooper Jonathon Mamby, which should be fantastic. The Old Yorkshire Pit are providing catering, with the best ribs, brisket and burgers around; and Whiskey Pistols will be providing the evening’s entertainment. [By the way, apparently no-one is allowed to use the official name ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ in any advertising or promotion that might make it look as though they are authorised to do so. I am merely reporting the event, and therefore using the correct name!]



Planning and promotion for the Roundhead Association’s re-creation of a ‘skirmish’ from 1644 is going ahead at a cracking pace. There’s more information available on Twitter, Facebook and the new dedicated website, and they’ll all be kept updated as the event gets nearer. All the links are below –

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rd2MarstonMoor

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/OtleyRoundheads/?fref=ts

Website – http://secretary741.wix.com/roadtomarstonmoor

The event, as you’ve seen already, will take place over the first weekend in July – the 2nd and 3rd – which is the actual anniversary of the Battle of Marston Moor. Otley is likely to be flooded by people in authentic 17th century costume, so don’t be too surprised at who you might bump in to.



This Newsletter attempts to let you know what’s happening in and around the pubs of Otley, as well as giving you all the news items of interest like those above. Unfortunately, I am finding it more and more difficult to find all the time needed to collect that information, while planning and promoting the events that Otley Pub Club has coming up over the Summer. Individual landlords will have noticed that I haven’t been able to visit them for the last couple of months, and all last month’s pub information was culled from social media.

We received a comment on the OPC Facebook page this month saying with lots of pubs having live music and quiz nights wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a list showing when and where they all are. Well that’s partly what the Newsletter used to do, but it is very time-consuming collecting that information and keeping it up-to-date. We are however, working on having a calendar on the website that will show just that, and I’ll let you know when we make further progress.

Until then, [or until we get some more volunteer resources on the committee!] all I can say is keep checking individual pubs’ Twitter and Facebook accounts, and their websites. There are so many quizzes, beer promotions, carveries, pool or darts days, snack offers and other things that go on in Otley, that you should never be at a loss for some pub activity or other, every single day (or night) of the week.

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As ever, I might have missed things or misrepresented the facts, for which I apologise.  If you no longer want to receive these newsletters and any other correspondence from Otley Pub Club, just email the return address. On the other hand, if you stop receiving our newsletters but you still want to be a member, something’s gone wrong! Just send an email to secretary@otleypubclub.co.uk , or via the website and I’ll put you back on the mailing list. Thanks!


Bob Brook

OPC Secretary

17 April 2016

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