March 2021 Newsletter

Hi folks, and a special welcome to our new members (from far and wide!). Once again, our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who has lost loved ones during this awful time.

Well, the light is well and truly visible at the end of a long and terrible tunnel. Everything’s crossed that things go according to plan and we can finally get together with loved ones, friends and family from 29th March – it’ll be garden get-togethers first before the pubs can at last re-open for outside drinks from 12th April – oh joy!

Just a reminder, pubs are scheduled to re-open for indoor sales on 17th May.

Now then, did you know that all but 2 of our fantastic bars and pubs have outside seating available? And if the council saw sense (of which more later!) and relaxed the pavement drinking rules, all our pubs would be able to begin a long awaited recovery. But we’re not holding our collective breaths on that one.

Who will be open on the glorious 12th and who won’t? I guess it’s all down to being economically viable. A tough one. We’ll hopefully be able to give you some guidance in next month’s April newsletter – if you hear of any opening/closing plans, please let us know

This month we have our 2nd quiz. The usual Pub News and Pub Events. There’s a piece on “are you missing the pub?”, and in our And Finally section, a nostalgic look back to The Royalty.


How did you do last month? Did anyone try it during their daily exercise?

If you missed Quiz #1 aka Identify the Pub Doors, it’s here:
Check your answers here:

Here’s our 2nd pub quiz to entertain you during lockdown! Again, no prizes. Just for fun and to aid in your daily exercise.

A little bit tougher this month. It’s all about our “Lost Pubs”. We’ve photos of Otley’s Lost Pubs on our website here:

It’ll take some investigating. Either visit the site during your daily walk or use Google Street View (other street view apps are available!). Then in conjunction with our “Lost Pubs” website or indeed, your “Historic Otley Ale Trail” leaflet – just find which pubs are where. We’ve omitted 5 lost pubs on purpose! Why have we done that do you think?

Answers next month. Good luck and let us know how you go on!

Later in the year, when we will all be able to play out properly and safely, we will be having a real treasure hunt round all the pubs. You’ll actually have to visit all of them then, but there will be prizes at the end of it – and it won’t be compulsory to have a drink in every one [although you might want to, after you’ve been locked out for so long!] We reckon the shortest distance you’d have to walk to visit every pub is about 9 Km, so we’ll probably give you a whole month to manage it!

Are you #missingthepub? Join in the online conversation!

Our pubs, here in Otley and up and down the country remain closed (and with many only able to open again from mid May).

All of us who love pubs are missing them and the role they play in our town and community.

The Campaign for Pubs, the new national grassroots movement to promote, protect and support pubs has launched an online conversation where you can say why you’re missing the pub – and post one of your favourite pub photos.

So while we all wait for pubs to be allowed to open again, do join in and say why you are missing our famous pubs at


Black Bull – You must all have seen the recent Mail on Sunday article regarding the outside drinking regulations. We won’t go into the detail here as we don’t want to stir up a political debate – other than to say, come on LCC – give us a break! Nice photos of Mel and the Black Bull in the national press, but Otley, West Yorkshire please editor!!

Horse and Farrier – Leasehold up for Sale. Market Town Taverns owners Heron & Brearley intend to re-open pending the sale of the lease. This would be an amazing opportunity for interested parties to take over the lease on this fantastic pub.

From YEP – A Heron & Brearley spokesperson said The Horse and Farrier would reopen once Covid restrictions are eased, but would “sadly won’t be part of our long-term plans”.

Full YEP article here:

Otley Tavern – Freehold for sale. The Community Right to Bid (formerly, Asset of Community Value or ACV) expired on the 4th January 2021. We don’t “believe” anyone has made a bid, and this leaves the owner to sell the property on the open market notwithstanding the current tenant who has a 6 year lease and fully intends to re-open the pub and Stewie’s Kitchen when restrictions are lifted!


In this limited edition of the newsletter we thought we would showcase the pubs and bars that are still trading or providing community events, in whatever form is possible. If you want your event or activity publicising, please drop us an email:

The Bowling Green (Wetherspoon’s)

From April 12, around 394 branches (including ours!) will reopen from 9am until 9pm from Sunday to Thursday, and from 9am until 10pm on Friday to Saturday.

Wetherspoons customers will be able to pay through the free app, although staff members will still be on hand to take orders and payment at tables. A limited food menu will also be available.

Further good news for CAMRA members is that the 2020 discount vouchers redeemable at ‘spoons, which were due to expire Jan 2021 have been given an extra 12 month life – hopefully, unlike me, you didn’t chuck ’em! Thanks Tim!

Groove Pad Beer & Vinyl

Our Delivery and Click & Collect service is now live.
Delivery available:
Monday / Wednesday / Friday 1pm – 3pm
Click & Collect available:
Monday/Wednesday / Friday 4pm – 6pm
We have an amazing selection of craft ales/ Ciders and IPA’s in cans and bottles. Including Gluten free, Vegan friendly and alcohol free.
Freshly prepared to order Cocktails and draft Ciders, lagers and IPA’s in sealed bottles.
We are also offering a £5.00 voucher for every £50 spend.
Check out our website for all we have to offer.
Just remember all orders have to be pre-ordered, call, message or order online 😉

#OrchardGate #ShopLocal #SaveHospitality

Also from Groove Pad, Lee’s fantastic on-line quiz is back. Check out the quiz times on the dedicated Facebook site:

Otley Tap House & Otley Burger Company

Winners of the 2021 Good Food awards !! 🏆
Call 07584357229 to order or download “the Otley taps” app and use code INSTA2 for £2.50 off your first order.
New Opening hours
Mon- Thurs 4pm till 10pm
Fri – Sun 12pm- 10pm
Last orders 9:30pm
Or you can order through this link

Great to see live music bookings taking place at the Tap House for when we re-open. Well done to all. Looking forward to it!

STOP PRESS! What’s this? A new upstairs music venue at the Otley Taps! Just what we need. Looks amazing – well done to all at Otley Burger Co and O’deli

Whitakers Arms

Watch out on Whits Facebook page ( ) for on-line music nights. Also doing Takeaway food Tues, Fri, Sat, Sun from 11am. Check out the Facebook page for ordering details and menus.

“You might not be able to take your mum out properly this Mother’s Day, but you can take her out for a nice stroll. Why not walk past Ourselves and treat her to a lovely hot roll & a bunch of daffodils this year? 😍 Here @ Whitaker’s Arms we will be serving food on our stall outside the pub from 11am till we run out!
We’ll have hot beef, turkey, pork & stuffing and honey glazed gammon rolls available @ £3.50 Each!
Plus, small bunches of 10 daffodils for £1 each. A little extra for mother
Brilliant from Monica and Andy – well done both!

Yew Tree

The award winning pub is continuing with it’s ever popular Sunday Lunch carvery takeaway (1pm til 4pm) for just £7.50. Veg option available. Text 07392 306247 or message via Facebook

Check out their website for full listings of nominations in all categories. Congratulations to all the nominees!!

As an addendum to last month’s post, the winners will be announced to the public by a video which will be released on Friday 19th March 2021

And finally….
I had a lovely email exchange with Roger Stott. He’s the son of Jack Stott, who was licensee of The Royalty from 1957 to 1983 (roughly, exact dates not to hand) and prior to that Jack was licensee of The Melbourne Vaults (hmmm, I wonder where that was?)

Roger gave us a photo of the Royalty from when James A Cookson was the licensee. No date – anyone any idea? I’ve updated our entry of The Royalty to include Roger’s photo and information. You can find it here:

More from Roger:
“Incidentally, two of the chimney pots in the picture are currently garden ornaments at my home on Anglesey. Dad managed to save two from breakage when the pub was being altered in the early sixties.

We moved to the Royalty from the Melbourne Vaults when I was four years old, at that time the pub had no electricity, so we had gas mantle lighting.

The water was hand pumped from our own well, (and woe betide the person that let the header tank empty and then had to prime the pump!) we had outdoor chemical toilets and a cess pit to dispose of the effluent.

Heating was by coal fires throughout, with a coal fired Yorkshire Range in the kitchen for cooking and heating. Early recollections are of taking a bath in the galvanised tin tub in front of the fire in the kitchen.

Sounds horrendous by modern standards but thinking back it was a lot of fun. It’s just the way things were.”

Fascinating stuff. If anyone has any more info or memories of Otley’s pubs past or present, we’d love to hear from you. We’ve tried to incorporate a little history into each pub’s entry on our website and would love to add more.

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 all be out of this before too long.

Very best regards

OPC Committee

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