April 2021 Newsletter

Hi folks, Happy Easter! And a special welcome to our new members. Once again, our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who has lost loved ones during this awful time.

Here at Otley Pub Club, we’re obviously looking forward to pubs opening again on April 12th [unless something happens that leads to further restrictions!] Equally obviously, it’s unlikely that all the pubs in town will be able to open, or will even want to. For more info on the pubs opening that we’ve been informed of, see below.
First, not all of them have an outdoor space where they can put up tables.
Second, all orders have to be taken at the table, and orders delivered to the table as well. That means pubs will need a sufficient number of staff to keep going in and out to make sure everyone is being served adequately, as well as having someone being the bar all the time for security and preparing the drinks. With the numbers of customers severely restricted, it just won’t make financial sense for many publicans.
Third, most although not all, pubs that do open will probably operate a booking system for tables, and having seen how many no-shows there were during ‘Eat out to help out’, the number of customers who actually turn up might be even less.
Fourth, and finally, there is the problem of the weather – April showers, and all that! Even when landlords put up temporary or permanent structures to keep the rain off, they can face planning restrictions and/or additional financial penalties. You might already have seen The Black Bull mentioned in this context in the national press [eg – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9308119/Angry-pubs-accuse-council-jobsworths-sabotaging-plans-Alfresco-April.html ] and this article from The Morning Advertiser goes into a bit more depth about outside trading possibilities and restrictions. https://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Article/2021/02/24/How-can-pubs-trade-outdoors-only?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright
Notwithstanding all that, there WILL be some pubs opening in Otley on April 12th, we’ve got our table booked at one of them, and we can’t wait. It’s been the most difficult year imaginable for the pub trade, and we’re all – publicans AND customers – desperate to get pubs open and fully trading again.

STOP PRESS: You will have heard that the Government are again forcing the dreaded Test&Trace on us when we visit our already over-burdened hospitality venues (Note: not supermarkets by the way!). You’ll have to use the NHS App as before, but one big change is that all members over 16 in your party will have to “sign-in”. Again, as before, the premises must offer an alternative to the App by way of, for example, a sign-in sheet. Quite what level of info you’ll need to supply hasn’t been made clear, but please co-operate or you are liable to be refused entry.

If you have any news on openings that we haven’t learnt of, please drop us a note (info@otleypubclub.co.uk) and we’ll try to keep our Pub Updates page as relevant as possible:

This month we have the Answers to our Lost Pubs Quiz. Followed by the usual Pub News and Pub Events. We’ve also been following the Otley Business Awards – results below! And there’s a couple of very interesting “And Finally…” pieces

PUB QUIZ #2 – Otley’s Lost Pubs
Well, how did you do? Did anyone have a go? Hopefully you had a bit of fun researching the old pubs. Certainly opened my eyes to parts of Otley I hadn’t appreciated before. Anyway, the original Lost Pubs Quiz is here: http://www.otleypubclub.co.uk/news-and-events/otley-lost-pubs-quiz
And the answers are here: http://www.otleypubclub.co.uk/opc-pub-quiz-2-otleys-lost-pubs

We hope you enjoyed it – a little bit of fun I’m sure you’ll agree. Many thanks to Bob, our very own Pub Whisperer and friends for the time and trouble to get these quizzes done. Keep your eyes open and ears pinned back for more serious pub quizzing coming to you soon!


It’s all about the re-openings which are listed below under Pub Events


Black Horse
According to Kirkstall Brewery, it will open in April, but no date confirmed yet.

The Bowling Green
Re-opening 12th April. Limited food menu.

The Fleece
Opening Monday 12th April. No need to book – outside capacity 100+ seats!
Mon-Weds: 4pm to 10pm (kitchen 4pm to 8pm)
Thurs-Sat: 12pm to 10pm (kitchen 12pm to 8pm)
Sunday: 12pm to 8pm (kitchen 12pm to 6pm)

A message from Geoff at The Fleece:

Yes it’s true, we are hiring.
As we approach the summer and the world starts to return to some form of normality, we need to expand our little team.
We need 3 or 4 part time team, front of house,16-20 hours a week.
And an enthusiastic kitchen trainee, again 16-20 hours initially but this may increase over the summer holiday weeks.
All job roles will include Friday evening and weekend shifts, as these are our busiest times.
Please don’t apply if you can not work in a Friday Saturday or Sunday.
Applicants need to have relevant hospitality experience and be 18 and over, who are reliable but flexible that have great customer service skills. We are a busy food pub and applicants need to be forward thinking, polite and dedicated to delivering the best customer experience.
Applicants should be able demonstrate punctuality, dedication to the role and above all else focus on each customer and deliver their expectations.
Please send your CV and application to
Thank you and we look forward to meeting you for an interview. Which will be socially distanced.

Also from the “Award Winning” team at the Fleece:
“Introducing our Online Ordering System.
From the 12th April, ordering your Drinks & Food couldn’t be easier. Follow our 3 steps.
Step One SCAN – Use your smartphone to scan the QR code.
Step Two ORDER – Browse through the menu and follow the instructions.
Step Three RELAX – A member of staff will deliver your order”

The Manor House
A Paddy’s day message from our good friends at The Manor
“Happy St. Patrick’s day to all our customers in Otley and far afield. It’s hard to believe that for a second year running there will be no celebrations yet again, but make no mistake we will return with a vengeance, with music, with the craic and open arms!
See you all on Friday 21st May, until then wherever you are have a pint if the black stuff!”

North Bar Social
Opening 12th April – We’re looking for bar staff to join our lovely team – both full and part time positions available! And not just at North Bar Social! We’re hiring across all sites! At North, we strive to be an inclusive company; if you feel under-represented within the industry, then we encourage you to apply!
If you’re interested in applying for any of our sites, send across a cover letter and your CV to jobs@northbar.com – don’t forget to include whether you’re interested in full/part time role and which site you would be interested in working at!
Read the full job description here 👉 https://bit.ly/3bVDfcN

Old Cock
Planning for 17th May opening

Otley Tap House
Message from Joe:
“Hi guys, hope you are well.
Here is a brief description of what’s occurring at the taps.
The Otley Tap House will be open 12 – late everyday.
If we are allowed bands, we will have them Friday, Saturday and Sunday every week with everything from rock to jazz, acoustic to metal.
The table service app for the Otley Burger Co and the bar will also be up and running which is called the “the Otley taps” app. Great app to be fair. Available on Android and Apple.
The new upstairs will open when the government allows it to. However this is a couple week off finishing but will be ready before April.
We will be installing aircon at the end of this month. All work will be completed before April 10th. The taps will have had a 100k renovation after this latest upgrade.
We have also invested in Sky Sports which will be shown in the upstairs when bands and events are not on. A 86inch (biggest on sale in the uk) tv for Sky Sports outside for when the weather is great and big sporting events are on, such as the Euros etc this keep the main room tv and free so we don’t lose the vibe. More seating out front and more patio heaters.
We will have a new Otley exclusive pilsner on tap (Motörhead’s overkill) by Cameron’s brewery. Hopefully for opening. Depends on the brewers. There will also be a new improved wine and spirits selection.
The Otley burger co will be open from 12pm daily all being well.
Owner of The Otley Tap House
Owner of The Otley Burger Company “

The Roebuck
Opening 12th May

The Rookery
Message from Greg regarding re-opening:
“We’re undecided at the moment. It definitely won’t be the 12th April, but might be before the 17th May. We’ll see how it all goes”

The Royalty
“We have positions available in the kitchen and front of house, full time and part time. The successful candidate would be expected to work mainly at The Royalty but also have the flexibility to work at our sister site The Fox & Hounds, Bramhope. If you have a passion for providing great customer service and quality food & drink please send you CV to applytheroyalty@outlook.com”

Whitakers Arms
Message from Monica and Andy:
“We are planning on opening Monday 12th April (all going well). As you know, we have the beer garden and we have also introduced an 8mtrx4mtr marquee with lighting, heating, TV, sound system, wooden flooring and pub seating and tables. Taken inside to outside. To begin with, our opening times will be 12.00 noon – 8.00pm with reduced food menu. If the capacity warrants, we will stay open later.”
“We are now taking table bookings for our first day back out of lockdown, which will include live music acts on the deck! Bookings via Facebook page, or telephone/WhatsApp on 01943 968020. Just give us your name, number, time and date of arrival and party size in the message

The Yew Tree
Beer garden opens 12th April
Mon – Thurs: 4-8pm
Fri & Sat: 2-10pm
Sun: 12-8pm
Kitchen closed for first week

As you will know, we have been avidly following the nominations and now the results are in! Congratulations to all the winners. All fantastic ambassadors for our wonderful town. The one we were waiting for….
Best Pub/Bar Award – The Fleece – huge congrats to Geoff and the team. Looking forward to celebrating with a pint there in the very near future!
All winners in all categories are here: http://www.otleychamber.co.uk/otley-business-awards/oba-2021/

And Finally…..#1

It’s very interesting to read your emails that drop in from time to time. Last one was about the Royalty. Now here’s another gem….

“Dear OPC ,
Did you know that the landlord of both pubs (Rose & Crown and The Royal Oak) in the late twenties, Harry Waites was the first football trainer in the Netherlands who won two league titles with two different clubs, Be Quick in 1920 and Feijenoord (their 1st!) in 1924?
I’m writing a book about English trainers in Holland at the moment. If you know more about Waites who returned from Holland to Otley in 1925, 1926 or 1927 the latest, and lived there until his death in 1938, it is more than welcome.
Kind regards,
Tijs Tummers”

So, a little digging and I discovered:
Harry Waites, sometimes also called Jim Waites, was an English football coach active in the Netherlands in the 1920s. Waites, was also a rugby player in his youth.

Born: 8 June 1878, Stockport, Greater Manchester,
Died: 1 January 1938, Otley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, (aged 59 years) Harry is buried in Otley church yard.

He joined the British Army and retired in 1907 but was called up again in 1914 for the mobilization for the First World War. His unit had to flee to the Netherlands after the Siege of Antwerp. He was captured and sent to Prisoner-of-War camp at Groningen in the Netherlands, alongside footballer Arnold Birch. There was a highly regarded internal football league among the POWs.

After the war he was briefly trainer and masseur at Dutch football team “Be Quick 1887”. In mid-March 1920 he became head coach of Be Quick, with which he became national champion just under three months later. Waites was on the coaching team of the Dutch national football team at the 1920 Summer Olympics. In 1921 he was also a one-time coach of the Dutch national football team replacing Fred Warburton. In January 1921 he became trainer of “LAC Frisia 1883” and in 1924 of Feijenoord. In 1924 he won the club’s first national title with Feijenoord. In April 1925 he was fired for poor results. Waites returned to England and in August 1925 became a trainer of Leeds RLFC and a masseur for Yorkshire County Cricket Club. For the last ten years of his life he ran a pub in Otley. His death was reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post on October 3, 1938.

There is a book – “Harry Waites ‘Boys’ – the first champion coach of Feijenoord”
A fantastic long read (ed – so I’m told!) about the trainer who made Feijenoord champion for the very first time in 1924, the Englishman Harry Waites. His life story, reconstructed by Jelle Simons, shows how war, forbidden love and a good dose of bluff gave the club from South its first champion coach. Mandatory reading for every Feyenoord football fan.

If anyone can add to the story, please let us know info@otleypubclub.co.uk – Many thanks.

And finally…..#2

If your memory is as good as that of a dolphin, you might remember an OPC newsletter back in 2015 where we mentioned a pub in London that had been demolished by developers just 2 days before it was going to be awarded Grade 2 listed status. Westminster Council said it had been demolished illegally, and should be rebuilt “brick by brick” to be a perfect facsimile of the original. At the time, we didn’t believe it would ever happen, because of the power and wealth of developers, and the lack of appetite for a protracted fight from the council.

HOWEVER – just to show we aren’t right all the time, The Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale is due to re-open on the 12th of April, looking [and hopefully feeling] exactly the same as it used to do. Local campaigners celebrating the council’s victory have said “To be fair to [the developers] they have done amazing work. It looks fantastic.”

It certainly is fantastic to be reporting on one small success, but all the old concerns are still around. James Watson, the pub protection adviser for the Campaign for Pubs, advised the Carlton campaign. He said “Most developers tend to be slightly smarter than sending in the bulldozers . . . the age-old trick is to take some tiles off the roof and let the rain in. The beams rot, it collapses and they say to the council, ‘This is a derelict site that needs to be rebuilt as flats.’” [Remind anyone of The Summercross in Otley?]

So it remains to be seen whether The Carlton sets the ”incredibly useful precedent” that James Watson says it will, or whether developers will just find more ways to get round the wishes of the local community. Either way, it’s nice to celebrate one success in the battle against the destruction of our pub heritage, in a case that we first spotted 6 years ago! [Full story at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/mar/21/rising-from-the-rubble-london-pub-rebuilt-brick-by-brick-after-bulldozing ]

That’s it for this month folks. Remember, if you want your news/event covering just drop us an email.

Stay safe – keep your distance – wear your mask – wash your hands and hopefully we’ll be out of this before too long.

Enjoy the 12th. Please be patient and respectful to all staff and other customers, and that way we can all enjoy the return to our amazing pubs and bars.

Very best regards

OPC Committee

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