No regrets, no excuses – this newsletter will be mainly about our Yorkshire Day event, the celebrities who got involved, and the media coverage gained by Otley and its pubs because of it. But before continuing, I must thank ALL the publicans in town for agreeing to take part and for allowing us to set their agenda for Yorkshire Day. Thank you for allowing us to drape our own banners outside your pubs [and for putting them up for us!]; for having information posters inside the pubs – ours as well as your own; for displaying gifts and messages from celebrities or providing your own cardboard superstar; and for inviting and hosting celebrities yourselves. You have a hard enough job as it is, and we really do appreciate it when you take extra time out to help us with projects like this. So – photos of every single pub appear below somewhere! But first .  .  .



THERE ARE STILL 6 PUBS IN THE SCHEME, but I did say I would keep you up to date every month with all the new, and existing, discounts that you can get with our  OPC ‘Premier’ card. This is especially important for our new members [and numbers are growing every single month!] but I know it will get tedious for some of our existing members. So from now on the offers will just be highlighted against individual pubs at the end of the newsletter. The cards cost a mere £10, and are currently on sale at The Curious Hop in Newmarket in Otley. The annual cards all expire at the end of July 2019, so the earlier you buy them, the more value for money you get! [Although we will probably reduce the price half way through the year.] Please remember – when you use the card, could you please say you are a cardholder before ordering, and confirm the savings on offer. Sometimes new personnel behind the bar don’t know every offer that might be available, or might have to get the discount authorised by a duty manager.

We are continuing to try to persuade other pubs to join the scheme, even if they can’t guarantee a permanent fixed percentage discount. They could offer cheap entry to their quiz night, or make single spirits up to a double for £1 off, or – if they have a loyalty card – give you the first stamp free. If you have any suggestions for offers that pubs might make [50p a pint off all beers during January, for instance?] no matter how weird, just let us know and we’ll suggest them to landlords on your behalf? [Well, possibly – it depends just how weird they are!]



I’m sure you all know the line from the Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams, where the mysterious voice says to him “If you build it, he will come” and James Earl Jones as Terence Mann says to him later “Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.” Well, I don’t think we ever believed that’s what would happen when we first started the Yorkshire Celebrities project back in the summer of 2017, but we certainly hoped it would! And even if we did only get three out of the 21 celebrities to turn up, the Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire; an internationally-renowned cricket umpire; and a multi-gold medal winning athlete are pretty good. When you think we are a pretty unremarkable small market town, this was just a random project suggested by a bunch of volunteers – AND we were asking people to turn up at their own expense – it sounds even better!

First to arrive was Sir Gary Verity, in response to a personal invitation from our President. Sir Gary came over on the evening of the Otley Town Centre bike races, and took time out to visit The Black Horse and have a photoshoot with the mayor who was there to greet him. Then on the Saturday before Yorkshire Day, Dickie Bird came over with some of his colleagues from his sports foundation, and spent a couple of hours in The Otley Tavern, meeting and chatting to the customers – and again being formally welcomed to Otley by the town mayor. This visit was arranged by the Tavern landlord Peter Jackson, and was linked with a charity darts competition being organised by the pub. Unfortunately the competition had had to be postponed – but the good news is Dickie liked it here in Otley, and might come back when the competition final is rearranged. Finally, on Yorkshire Day itself, Paralympian Hannah Cockroft spent the evening in The Junction with family and friends – and even joined in with the dancing from local Morris side Wayzgoose. [Although Hannah was again greeted by the town mayor, I don’t think she also took part in the dancing! I know I certainly didn’t!!] Again this visit was organised by the landlord of the pub, Tony Grey, who presented Hannah with a cheque on the night for £1,000 for the 53 Foundation of which Hannah is patron. Wharfedale Brewery had also brewed a special beer for the occasion called ‘Hurricane Hannah’s Yorkshire Blonde’, which was on sale in the pub. Hannah posted a photo on Twitter of her name on the banner outside The Junction Inn, with the message “A massive thank you to the fabulous Junction Inn for raising an incredible £1000 for @the53foundation! Hurricane Hannah’s Yorkshire Blonde will be on sale until Sunday in the Hannah Cockroft MBE so be sure to go and grab a pint!”



 Obviously not everyone could visit ‘their’ pub on Yorkshire Day itself, or even within a week or two. But some of those who couldn’t make it because of training or filming commitments, or because they were just too far away, did send us messages and/or tokens to display in the pubs to show that they appreciated being chosen as some of the most popular Yorkshire-born celebrities.

The first, and probably the biggest, star to respond was Dame Judi Dench, who replied immediately to our first contact via her agent. You’ve probably read these quotes before, but I was so happy to receive them that I’m going to force them on you again! The first in December 2017 read:

Dear Bob Brook –

 How absolutely wonderful to have a Yorkshire pub named after me!  I could not be more pleased.

 I will put the date in my diary and keep my fingers crossed that I will be able to get to Otley on August 1, or some time during that month.

Please thank everyone for voting for me.  I shall boast about it for ever!

With very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year, and I hope to see you in August.

Judi Dench

The second:

I had hoped that everything would change and I would be able to be with you on Yorkshire Day, or at least some time in August.  Alas, it is not to be, but I shall definitely be there in spirit!!!  Have a lovely day.  I am so proud and pleased to have been born in York.

With love, Judi Dench

Next came the response from Alan Bennett, a notoriously shy man who we had asked for a signed photo if he couldn’t come. We were delighted to hear from him – thanks to the help of one of our members, who was able to contact him through a personal connection. Alan sent us a postcard, with a line drawing of his face on one side, and this note on the other:

I hope this will do rather than a photograph (there’s never been much demand for them). I’m slightly surprised to find myself in a pub but am happy to help.

All good wishes

Alan Bennett

Lizzie Deignan sent us an autographed cycling shirt, but even that was fraught with difficulty! Her agent posted it to us in our SAE that we’d sent with the original request, but when the envelope was delivered – in a Royal Mail wrapper – it was empty! The agent’s note was still there, but the envelope had obviously been ripped open, and the shirt was missing. So [again with the help of one of our members] we arranged to pick up a second signed shirt that was very kindly offered, from the agent’s office just off the M40 in South Oxfordshire! On Yorkshire Day she tweeted “I’ve enjoyed reading tweets from some of my punters today! Thanks to @OtleyPubClub and @TheRoyaltyOtley for renaming your pub after me in celebration of #yorkshireday unfortunate timing for me as I am designated driver for the foresable future!”

Finally – and sadly after the event itself – we received a personally-drawn and signed cartoon from Corinne Bailey Rae, with the word ‘Enjoy!’ added. We can’t really complain about its late arrival, as I’d been corresponding with her agent in Los Angeles, from where the drawing was eventually sent, and received here by courier.



As well as the seven stars mentioned above, there were another 9 who we managed to engage in conversation, either via email or social media, w

ho weren’t able to visit but whose involvement helped to advertise the project and the town.

Ian McMillan was approached at a performance in Saltaire back in 2017 and seemed amenable to the idea of putting in an appearance. Unfortunately, when we discussed the matter at length with his agent by phone and email it transpired that other commitments meant Ian would be unable to make it. However, Otley Pub Club contacted Otley Playhouse and put them in touch with Ian’s agent with a view to his appearing at the Courthouse sometime. That resulted in a booking for February next year, and not only will we be advertising that closer to the event, we will also be reminding Ian [through his agent] that it was through OPC renaming The Rose & Crown that he finished up in Otley. Hopefully he’ll at least give us a mention from the stage! We had also arranged a mass poetry-reading event to take place in the Rose & Crown on Yorkshire Day, featuring the works of local and Yorkshire-wide poets. But then real life intervened – Ian and Sue retired from the pub, which was closed for refurbishment throughout July and August – so the event was cancelled.

The Brownlee Brothers’ agent said they couldn’t guarantee when they would be able to visit, but that they would try to get down to town sometime – and take photos at the pub themselves. [I’m still waiting!]

Ralph Ineson posted a photo on Twitter of his banner at The Otley Tap House, with the message “Thanks @OtleyPubClub , what an honour.

 #YorkshireDay2018 #YorkshireAndProud”

Kadeena Cox replied to a number of our messages to her on Twitter, both before and after the day itself, but she was on a placement away from Leeds so couldn’t attend.

Dynamo didn’t respond to us, but we found out later that his mum had visited The Roebuck and said that he was in Australia on tour – and that he has promised to call in on his return!

Nicola Adams’ agent said that she would be atway at a training camp , so she wouldn’t be able to come either.

Angela Griffin was excited at having a pub named after her and said she would try to get over, but couldn’t in the end.

Anita Rani posted a photo of Stew & Oyster Otley on Instagram with the message “This magnificent place has been renamed The Anita Rani!! The proudest day of my life!! Yorkshire and proud! If you’re near have a drink, post the pic and link me so I can see. I’ve got to make the pilgrimage north for a beer!”

Ricky Wilson mentioned us on the Jo Whiley drivetime BBC Radio 2 programme on July 31st, after he’d had a text telling him a pub was going to be named after him on Yorkshire Day. That led on to his mum visiting the pub on Yorkshire Day [but before it was open – so she had to go on to The Dynamo!] and his producer phoning me the next day to arrange an interview with Ricky on the programme. So we had a few minutes chat, being listened to by millions [well, hundreds of thousands] nation-wide, about Otley, its pubs, the bypass – and even Ricky’s favourite toy shop, which was nice! You can catch it here until the end of August –



 .  .  .  AND THE REST

Well, like I said at the start, we never really believed that “People will definitely come!” when we started the project. So the fact that we got such a positive response from over two-thirds of the celebrities was amazing. The remaining five who never responded at all were – Sean Bean [although there was someone/something very much like him in The Fleece all week!]; Jodie Whittaker; Jimi Mistry; Jarvis Cocker; and Michael Palin. We don’t know whether the messages ever got through to their personal agents, or whether they got lost in the internal mail of a big agency. If the messages did get through, either they must have thought the whole thing was a joke, or too trivial for them to be concerned with. Well, I hope that if they ever do hear or see anything about the event in the national media, they realise it turned out to be their loss as well as ours! [Apologies for Michael Palin omission, but when we were taking the photographs, the two Bowling Green customers in front of the banner refused either to move, or to allow us to take their picture. As Tim Martin is such an ardent fan of Brexit, I’m sure he won’t mind his pub leaving our collection .  .  .




Bradford Brewery has been awarded SIBA accreditation, the national quality standard of the Society of Independent Brewers. This article in Beertoday relates how the brewery, off Westgate, Bradford, was visited by an independent auditor who scrutinised all its processes to check that everything was in order. The auditor was apparently particularly impressed that their spent malt, hops and grain are distributed to local farmers for use as cattle feed or to gardening projects to enrich topsoil. The accreditation means that Bradford Brewery can now use the BeerFlex direct delivery scheme, which operates without profit to ensure that more than 2,300 pubs and shops across Britain receive the best quality products at a fair price. The qualifying standards do of course have to be maintained on an ongoing basis, and an independent assessor will revisit every two years to carry out an additional audit.



You might have heard of this .  .  . what? I don’t really know what to call it – a campaign? A cult? A millennial mission? It seems to be a set of ‘mind-hacks’ to help anyone stop drinking alcohol, although as I haven’t signed up I can’t see the details. And that’s my first issue with OYNB – they aren’t transparent. You’re probably familiar with organisation websites – they all have a home page, they all have contacts, and they usually have a page headed “About Us”. On the OYNB home page they talk about their 25,000 ‘members’ [who they call a ‘community’ elsewhere]. One headline yells in capitals “THE SECRET BEHIND TRUE POWER”! Really? That sounds a bit sub-Illuminati to me, or at a more mundane level, the sort of advert you see in Reader’s Digest. Worst of all, there are a number of short videos from ‘members’ whose testimonies are frighteningly almost word-for-word the same as the website’s own promotional statements higher up the page. The contacts are an ‘info’ email address and a company name and office address, with no further details – although an annoying pop-up box appears as soon as you log onto the page, asking if you want to ‘chat’. As for the ‘Who Are We’ page, that’s even more murky . . .

 . . . Again it just says ‘we’ are 25,000 members in 21 countries, and again there are half a dozen video testimonies BUT there are also a few more links at the foot of the page. One is headed “Disclaimer”. According to this, the website is owned and operated by Enhanced Life Group, who I could not find anywhere on Google! The disclaimer goes on to mention Enhanced Life Practice and Enhanced Life Academy – both of which do not seem to exist either, and the latter “makes no representations, warranties, or assurances as to the accuracy, currency or completeness of the content contain (sic) on this website or any sites linked to or from this site. So all in all, the website is meaningless and could all be lies?

OK, I’ve gone on about it enough now, and maybe it is just a couple of ex-City dealers trying to make a packet out of [some] Millennials’ need to find a mission in life other than finding the latest variety of chia seed; the latest avocado recipe; or any outlet that doesn’t charge for using a card to buy a packet of gum. But if it is more underhand than that, if it is a front for one or more religious temperance groups, or if they’re ‘astroturfing’ [yes, really – look it up!] for organisations who for whatever reason don’t want to be seen, it would just be nice to know about it! (But if you think the neo-prohibitionists and teetotallers have gone away, just read this article about groups in America – file:///C:/Users/ROBERT/Downloads/Social_sustainability_beer_and_anti_alcohol_lobby_516466691.pdf Finally, there is now a book associated with the OYNB ‘movement’ called “The 28 Day Alcohol-free Challenge” in which it says “A tipping point is on the horizon, with the world waking up to the fact that life is so much brighter without booze.” Whilst I have always said that we in Otley Pub Club promote and support pubs [which are STILL closing at a rate of 18 a week], NOT alcohol, I refer you to the wording of the OYNB disclaimer above!



Every now and again Otley Pub Club receives unrequested mail. Usually it’s someone offering to get our website to first place in Google searches, or sell us fax machines [yes, really!] But sometimes we do get more interesting approaches.

Last week a self-styled ‘comic poet, humourist and singer’ called Rob Barratt, from Cornwall, got in touch to say he’d love to perform in Otley. He was really trying to get in touch with the folk club, where he did a floor spot a few years ago, but I think we were a good second bet. Rob isn’t a stand-up, rather a poet and singer whose material happens to be funny. So instead of leaving you with a music video this month, how about this from Rob – and if you’re interested in booking him, or just want to find out more about him, visit his website



We usually only include here anything special or extra [or extra special!] going on over the next month. So although we’ve included all 21 names here, to remind you what they are, if no events are mentioned, don’t worry – it hasn’t closed [apart from The Rose & Crown], and the regular weekly quiz, open mic or whatever will still be on.

We’re constantly updating our website to try to include all those regular events so you can check them out at any time. Information changes all the time, so you can never be 100% sure, but we’ll do our best. Sometime soon we’ll also link each pub below to its page on the OPC website.



  • Watch out for exciting developments – Under New Management!
  • Now serving food again, but new menu will be appearing soon.
  • DJ every Saturday night
  • Quiz every Sunday starting on 26/08 at 8pm


  • Saturday 25/08 The Curious Summer Social back for its 3rd year running! A celebration of beer in the heart of Otley, hosted by North Bar Social and The Curious Hop bottle shop. A pocket sized beer festival, with an ace lineup of beers! For more details on beers and food available see –
  • Oktoberfest beers will be arriving at the end of Sept/beginning of Oct



JUNCTION (#keepingmusicliveandfree!)

  • Sat 18/08 – Gipsy Bill and the Resonators
  • Tue 21/08 – Ste Leech Duo
  • Sat 25/08 – Feedback
  • Sun 26/08 – Rory Hall
  • Tue 28/08 – That 60s Band
  • Last Thursday every month at 8:30pm ‘Up The Junction’ open mic night hosted by Rory Hall. Everyone welcome to perform!


  • Irish Trad Sessions every Sunday from 9:00 PM
  • Open Mic Night every Friday from 8:30 PM

Manor Sessions every Thursday

  • 6/9 Mila Lee & David Broad
  • 13/9 Greg Mulholland & Leather’O

Saturday music

  • 11/8 Red House Trio
  • 18/8 Peculiar Bloke
  • 25/8 Kwame D
  • 1/9 TBC
  • 8/9 TBC
  • 15/9 TBC


  • Every Tuesday from 9:00 PM on, there is a folk play along upstairs.
  • Other details on Twitter or Facebook


  • Open Mic night first Wednesday of month
  • 18/8  Road Kill a rock covers band
  • 15/9 Joe Kemp a solo acoustic artist
  • 15/9 Brewery Tour of Saltaire Brewery. First come first served. Tickets available over the bar. 7 places available
  • Keep an eye on Facebook page for any other special events


  • Remember the Quiz on Sunday!


  • . .  .  pending!  .  .  .


  • Live Entertainment Every Friday & Saturday Evening. 
  • Rock n Roll Evening Every last Wednesday of each month with local band Haley Storm. Musicians and singers welcome. 
  • Monthly Sunday Afternoon Live Entertainment 
  • Coming Soon. The Otley Tavern will be hosting a monthly midweek Jazz Night and a Monthly Motown/Reggae Evening. These will be increased to fortnightly once established. 
  • We also have a great selection of Gins and Vodka.
  • For information on the entertainment and dates please look at our Facebook page or advertising boards outside the pub. 
  • The Otley Tavern also has Sky Sports, BT Sports, At The Races and Racing UK. 
  • Proud sponsors of Old Otliensians RUFC. 


  • Every Fri Disco.
  • Sat 18/8 DJ
  • Sat 25/8 Andy from Red House
  • Sat 1/9 DJ
  • Sat 8/9 Red House.
  • – and watch out for Otley Folk Festival in the beer garden, 22/23 September


  • Ace of Spades Jackpot game every Wednesday at 7:00 PM
  • Quiz Night every Tuesday at 9:00 PM
  • Fizz Fridays with prosecco at £10.50 a bottle


Coming soon –

  • Tapas Tuesdays &
  • Music Sundays!


  • Otley Folk Club upstairs every Wednesday evening.
  • Offer to OPC card holders is 10% off food (Card holder + 1: Thurs, Fri, Sat 12 – 2:30 and 5 – 8 and Sun 12 – 3. ALSO 10% off any room bookings – especially useful if you have friends or relatives coming to stay in Otley!)


  • New General manager Rochelle. Pop in and welcome her to Otley.
  • Gemma is off to run the S+O up in Malton
  • 6x handpull 20+ gins, 20+ whiskies
  • Breakfast from 0900
  • Baby social Tuesdays 10:00
  • Quiz Thursdays win a £40 voucher
  • Barrel sponsored for beer festival. S+O Birthday coincides with Victorian Fayre, watch out for a possible tie in event.
  • Offer to OPC card holders is 10% off all drinks and food (Card holder + any party up to 6 in total.)


  • 5 hand pull
  • Thursdays is open Mic night with Cleve Freckleton
  •  (possibility of Rum + Reggae day on Sat of B/H weekend but not confirmed as yet)
  • Offer to OPC card holders is 20% off food ( Card holder + 1)


  • 4 handpull 7 cask
  • Food Thursdays to Saturday. Senior meal for a fiver on Thursdays, dessert £1
  • Fridays spend £20 on food get a free bottle of wine, free food in the Tap room
  • Quiz Tuesdays and Sundays win beer and a meal voucher
  • Monday is board gamers night
  • 25/8 in family fun day (bouncy castle, BBQ, stalls etc) leading on that night to live band Flash back (how are the 80s retro?)
  • Offer to OPC card holders is 20% off food (Card holder + 1 and not in conjunction with the Carvery or pensioners lunch)


  • A fond farewell to Sean Bean!
  • Offer to OPC card holders is 10% off food (Card holder + 1 and not on Sundays or Bank Holidays or in conjunction with any other offer.)


  • Happy hour is every hour
  • Not only did Ricky Wilson’s mum show up but so did Dynamo’s. D is in Australia on tour but promised to call in on his return
  • 6 x handpull, 72 gins (go on try them) including a sicilian pink grapefruit variety
  • Quiz Wednesdays win a meal voucher and the chance for £100 cash
  • Raised £100 for Yorkshire Air Ambulance
  • The belly pork is back on the menu by popular demand. Sunday roast includes roast sirloin of beef
  • 27/8 Joe Gallagher is back with music on the Terrace


  • Offer to OPC card holders is 10% off drinks at the bar [cardholder + 1]. Make the most of the remaining warm summer and autumn evenings and weekends in their huge beer garden



[JDWetherspoon have closed all individual pub Facebook accounts, so remember any page you see for The Bowling Green will be unofficial.]






















TWITTER (Including us!)

[JDWetherspoon have also closed all individual pub official Twitter accounts]






















AND INSTAGRAM! (With added OPC!)

[JDWetherspoon have also closed all individual pub official Instagram accounts]



Otley Pub Club


Stew and Oyster


– – / / – – / / – – / / – –


Finally, my usual apologies for errors and/or omissions. If you are receiving these newsletters and any other correspondence from Otley Pub Club by email, but you no longer want them, just email the return address and let me know. On the other hand, if you stop receiving our newsletters in future but you still want to be a member, something’s gone wrong! Remember this email address for the future – , or get in touch via the website and I’ll put you back on the mailing list right away. Thanks!



Bob Brook

OPC Secretary


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