OTLEY PUB CLUB
JULY NEWSLETTER 2018
How’s your lawn? Unless you’ve been watering it virtually every day, I bet it’s just as brown as everybody else’s! The weather has been unbelievable, hasn’t it? Even at my advanced age I can’t remember many summers that have had so many weeks of glorious sunshine and high temperatures. Fortunately they aren’t [yet] associated with water shortages in our part of the country, so if you have had the lawn sprinklers on we can’t blame you. And being the nation, and the county, that we are, the main comment I’ve heard from people in Otley as the hot weather has continued goes along the lines of “Well, we’re not going to complain, because we get this kind of weather so rarely!” which basically means “But we are complaining inwardly, because it’s too hot, I can’t sleep properly at nights, and all my plants are dying”. And, as I seem to have been saying all year, it’s brought even more potential hardship to farmers – whether it’s from having to keep crops constantly watered, making sure there’s enough water in the fields for livestock, or even just watching out for wild fires caused by portable barbecues or discarded cigarettes. Yorkshire’s vineyards seem to be doing OK though!
But, with appropriate apologies to everyone who’s suffering – I’m loving it! And I bet the landlords all across town would rather have hot, dry and thirsty punters wanting to stay a bit longer in their beer gardens than freezing, soaking wet customers who are just keen to get home and dry off!
“New friends and blue skies that never end
Hey that’s the way we like it
Good times, sunshine and summertime”
[Faith Hill – Fireflies]
OTLEY PUB CLUB ‘PREMIER’ MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS
THERE ARE NOW 6 PUBS IN THE SCHEME. I’ll keep you up to date every month with all the new, and existing, discounts that you can get with our OPC ‘Premier’ card. The cards cost a mere £10, and are currently still only on sale at The Curious Hop in Newmarket in Otley. They were also on sale at the OPC stall at Otley’s food and drink festival on Sunday. We sold a couple more there, as well as getting some more new [free] members and creating a lot of interest. This year’s cards don’t expire until the end of July 2019 either, so you still get a full year for your money if you buy now! We even heard from one of our new cardholders that the weekend after he bought it, he went out and saved more than he had paid – and that was before the actual 12-month period had even started!! Current benefits are shown here, and are also included with the individual pub updates at the end of this newsletter. When you use the card, could you please say you are a cardholder before ordering, and confirm the savings on offer. This is something completely new both for us and for the pubs, so we want to make sure we get it right without any confusion or mistakes. As you know, staff turnover in the hospitality industry can be huge, and sometimes new personnel don’t know every offer that might be available.
THE YEW TREE – 20% off food [cardholder +1]
THE HORSE & FARRIER – 20% off food [cardholder + 1]
THE FLEECE – 10% off food [cardholder + family]
THE BLACK HORSE HOTEL – 10% off food [cardholder + 1] Thurs, Fri, Sat 12 – 2:30 and 5 – 8 and Sun 12 – 3.
– also 10% off any room bookings made by cardholder for family or friends staying in Otley, which is really well worth having!
STEW & OYSTER – 10% off all drinks and food [cardholder + 5 max!] Even if you’re only having a morning coffee with a free brownie!
THE ROYALTY – 10% off drinks at the bar [cardholder + 1], from the newest pub to come on board. Make the most of the remaining warm summer and autumn evenings and weekends in their huge beer garden
PUB-SAVING LEGISLATION IN ACTION: IN SHIPLEY
Many of you will no doubt know The Oddfellows Hall in Shipley. You might even have seen it standing empty, and subsequently being subject to demolition. But there is at least some good news, as revealed in this article from The Telegraph and Argus. Manual demolition had begun on the roof of one of Shipley’s oldest buildings without the requisite planning permission, when it was spotted and the council ordered it to stop. There’s no indication that anything other than a ‘misunderstanding’ by the agents of the asset management company who now own the pub led to the demolition starting. However, any agent who “didn’t realise” that the law regarding demolition of pubs had changed as long ago as last May isn’t really worth whatever they’re being paid for their advice! The prospective demolition will now be subject to a planning application, and a decision is expected next month as to whether the 1840 building can be knocked down and replaced by a residential development.
POPULATION AGAINST NUMBER OF PUBS
This article from the Stoke Sentinel about the closure of a pub in Leek, Staffs, shows how difficult it can be to keep a beautiful, traditional town pub open, even if you are a brewery with a track record of success elsewhere. Two quotes struck me. The first was “it’s probably because there’s a lot of competition. There’s about 13 pubs in Leek which is quite a lot for a small town.” [Population of Leek is about 21,000 – Otley’s is about 14,000, and as you know, we have 21 pubs; and almost 30 cafes; and a lot of other places where you can get a drink! So you can see how hard Otley Pub Club and the landlords in town have to work to keep all our pubs open and trading!]
The second interesting quote was “I never really went into the pub mainly because of where it was located at the far end of the town”. I just looked it up online, and it’s right in the middle of town! But I know what he means. By their very nature, pubs appeal to people who are ‘local’. If you’ve got one near where you live that you like, why would you always want to be going to others? And I’ve even heard people drinking in the centre of Otley say they wouldn’t go to The Fleece, or even The White Swan or The Manor House because they’re ‘out of town’. So all we can do is keep plugging away at promoting what the pubs in Otley have to offer, and at working with the other organisations that are constantly trying to attract more visitors and tourists into town.
THE ROSE & CROWN: THE STORY CONTINUES . . .
. . . and after the previous stories, this is pretty relevant – but I hope it has a better outcome! I’ve spoken to the regional manager for the pub, to see if it would be open by the 1st of August, for our Yorkshire Day project. We were planning to have a poetry reading event in the pub to commemorate it being re-named ‘The Ian McMillan’. Unfortunately, he confirmed that it definitely wouldn’t be open in time, as the contractors who had gone in to sort out some non-compliance issues before it could open had discovered asbestos, which would take time to remove safely. He was hopeful that it would be open again in the Autumn – probably early rather than late – and we’ve got just a couple of weeks to decide whether to abandon the poetry event, or consider the [ir]relevance of moving it to another pub named after someone else!
. . . AS IT DOES AT THE BLACK BULL
Since Audrey and Sue left The Black Bull, I guess you could say it’s never really achieved what everyone in town sees as its full potential. The last landlords blamed the pub operators, the customers blamed the food, and some of the surrounding businesses blamed the clientele! But whatever the reasons, the pub seemed almost always to be empty and the opening hours started to decrease in length. We spoke to Malcolm from Whitakers, who said he was being given the keys this Monday – July 16th – and would be taking the pub on as well as keeping Whits [and The Half Moon in Pool!] I understand his intention is to concentrate on introducing a menu based on high-quality local produce, including steaks supplied by local butchers J B Wilkinson. And not just an indeterminate ‘steak’, but a full range of proper sirloin, ribeye, rump and T-bone offerings. We also spoke to people who called at the Otley Pub Club stall at the Otley food and drink festival on Sunday, who told us their own stories about the pub and gave us their opinions about its fall from grace. Some said they didn’t find it welcoming any more, others said they thought the food was awful and wouldn’t go back. Without exception though, they said The Black Bull is the most iconic pub in Otley; it is the centrepiece of the market square; and that it deserves a clientele and a reputation to go with that. We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation, and letting you know when the new landlord is settled in, and the new menus on the tables! [Of course the beer had better be be good as well!]
You know we’re all about promoting pubs in Otley as our first priority. Second is promoting the town itself and all the other businesses within it – shop local! But you’ve seen me banging on about vegetarian and vegan food in Leeds before, and this time I’m sharing something from Leeds List with a specific health focus. Here is a list of a couple of dozen places in and around Leeds that serve gluten-free food. So, as Leeds List say, whether you’re coeliac, or attempting to avoid that bloated gluten feeling – these are the eateries you might want to check out. I know it doesn’t seem right to not be promoting Otley restaurants and cafes, so if you know anywhere in town that serves gluten free food, or if you’re a business owner yourself, do let me know and I’ll publish your details next time. [This goes for any other local Otley business as well – if you’ve got something that you think 450 fans of Otley pubs (increased to 470 after the food and drink festival!) might be interested in, just email me and I’ll see about putting it in a future newsletter!]
HOW MUCH CAN YOU DRINK [AND EAT] IN 3 HOURS?
Now, having just said we’re all about supporting Otley – and then advertising a host of venues elsewhere in Leeds – I’m going to do it again!! [But I promise this will be the end of my Leeds promo, at least for this month.] The question above really is relevant though, because the Malmaison Hotel on the city end of Leeds Bridge has just introduced a 3 hour ‘Bottomless Brunch’ for just £29:95. I’m sure your immediate questions are the same as mine – when is ‘brunch’ served, what do you get, and is it worth that amount? All will be answered by the article from LeedsList.
Very briefly, it runs from 1pm to 4pm [‘brunch’? What time do they get up?] every Saturday until 1 September. You get as much prosecco, G&Ts or bottled beers as you can handle, and as much food as you can eat – from all manner of salads, alongside charcuterie, homemade terrines and an incredible seafood board; through finger food from sausage rolls to tortillas, and scotch eggs to pizza; finishing up with as many freshly made sweet crepes as you can stuff down yourself! Value for money? I would say if you fancy a party with your mates, thirty quid for all this, plus live music and a DJ is definitely worth it, even in the middle of the day! So much so that if you haven’t booked by now, you might find it’s too late [but maybe it’s something one of the pubs in Otley might like to have a wee experiment with?]
OTLEY FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL
Otley Pub Club will again have had a stall in the Market Square for the Food and Drink Festival by the time you read this! [So if you missed it, hard luck!] We will have been giving away free beer tastings in the sunshine, and promoting the Club at one of the tasting sessions at the side of the main stage. I’ll let you know how it went in the next newsletter.
The main month of celebrations in Otley are long gone, but you can still pick up a bottle of Chippendale Ale from Daleside at The Curious Hop as a memento [if it hasn’t all sold out at the Food & Drink Festival]. Paul Briscoe’s original draft Chippend’Ale will also still be appearing now and again up to the end of the year – there should be a barrel in The Otley Tavern right now, and keep an eye open for it returning to The Old Cock pretty soon as well.
FREE CAMRA GBG APP, AND HOME BREWING BOOK
You might not be a member of the Campaign for Real Ale, or even want to be, but there’s no reason why you can’t share the benefits of their knowledge about beer. They currently have a phone app that lets you get the latest info and up-to-date reviews of pubs. For some beer drinkers nothing beats the excitement associated with the publication of the Good Beer Guide every year. However, did you know you can keep an up to date personal record of Good Beer Guide Pubs on your phone? With reviews, information, and records at the touch of a finger.
- over 4,500 Good Beer Guide entries
- over 32,000 pubs and venues
- 1,800 breweries throughout the UK.
I haven’t tried it myself yet, but it’s free to try and for a small fee you can subscribe and unlock the full functionality, so I might tell you more in the next news.
There is also an upcoming publication called CAMRA’s Essential Home Brewing which will be published on Thursday 19th July, which means you still have almost a whole day to order it at the special pre-release price of only £7.99! (RRP 11.99) This is a new book based on a best-selling classic CAMRA title – a practical pocket-sized reference book that provides an introduction to home-brewing in an easy-to-understand way. It includes recipes from leading British and international craft breweries for keen brewers to recreate at home. [30 exciting recipes from brewers from all over the world.] Suitable for first-timers trying out a new hobby or old hands looking to develop their brewing repertoire
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. I’ll have more time once our Yorkshire Day event is over, and the newsletter should get back to its best. Sometime soon we’ll also link each pub below to its page on the OPC website.
In the meantime, you could always check out the May Newsletter, which (at the end) contains details of regular events at most pubs.
Watch out for exciting developments – Under New Management!
NORTH BAR SOCIAL
- Irish Trad Sessions every Sunday from 9:00 PM
- Open Mic Night every Friday from 8:30 PM
- Manor Sessions every Thursday evening –
- 19/7 Tim Gomersall, Steamtown and Open Mic
- 26/7 Dave Speight, Cornell Daley and Open Mic
- Saturday music –
- 21/7 Marshalls and Friends
- 28/7 James David Thompson
- 11/8 Red House Trio
- Every Tuesday from 9:00 PM on, there is a folk play along upstairs.
- Other details on Twitter or Facebook
OTLEY TAP HOUSE
- Open Mic night first Wednesday of month
- 27/7 Kwane D Duo
- 4/8 Sand Dancers (Acoustic act)
- Keep an eye on Facebook page for any other special events
- Quiz on Sunday going well
- Karaoke on Thursday popular
ROSE AND CROWN
- . . . 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.
- Don’t forget Yorkshire Day 1st August. The Otley Tavern will be renamed Dickie Bird following his visit to the pub on 28th July.
- 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 Thurs Quiz with interesting supper thrown in.
- Every Fri Disco.
- Every Sat live music.
- Every Sunday traditional lunch with great Yorkshire Pud. [They also have top secret recipe for Scotch Eggs!]
- 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
- 22/7 Classic Car Meet. Classic Cain beer garden, BBQ and music
- New “cygnet” due for Chris and his partner. We wish them well.
- Every Wednesday from 7pm – Bingo!
- Every Sunday from 3pm – Karaoke.
- Every day – Horseracing shown
- Dominos now available [The game, not the Pizza!!]
- New opening hours are on the OPC website.
- 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!)
STEW & OYSTER
- 6 hand pulls Over 30 gins over 30 whisk(e)y labels
- Open for breakfast.
- Tuesday baby mornings
- Thursday quiz night start 2000 win a £40 voucher
- Friday night is pie night. Free pies.
- Offer to OPC card holders is 10% off all drinks and food (Card holder + any party up to 6 in total.)
HORSE AND FARRIER
- 5 handpull and 20 plus gins
- Thursdays is open mic night with Cleve Freckleton. Have a go singing or playing in a supportive atmosphere.
- Offer to OPC card holders is 20% off food ( Card holder + 1)
- 4 handpull range of bottled beer at £5 for 2
- Monday board game night
- Tuesday quiz starts 2100 win a meal voucher
- Thursday seniors lunch £4.95
- Friday free food in the Tap room. Free wine if spending £20 on food.
- Sunday quiz start 2045. Win a meal voucher
- 1st Saturday of the month karaoke
- Offer to OPC card holders is 20% off food (Card holder + 1 and not in conjunction with the Carvery or pensioners lunch)
- Offer to OPC card holders is 10% off food (Card holder + family and not on Sundays or Bank Holidays or in conjunction with any other offer.)
- Offer to OPC card holders is 10% off drinks at the bar [cardholder + 1], from the newest pub to come on board with our Premier scheme. 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]
– – / / – – / / – – / / – –
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. [If you’ve let me know already, but you’re STILL receiving things, something’s gone badly wrong so please let me know immediately and I’ll make sure I put it right!] 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 – email@example.com , or get in touch via the website and I’ll put you back on the mailing list right away. Thanks!