One of our readers recently said he liked the newsletter, but couldn’t always easily find out what was on in the pubs – until I pointed out that the pub information [when there is any] is always right at the end! So if that’s what you’re really interested in, you can always go straight there. Otherwise, read on  .  .  .  !



Did you know that on June 15th 1215, the Magna Carta was sealed. Ale was so important in England in 1215 that it was mentioned in one of the most significant legal documents in history. Article 35 of the great charter stated:

“Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single measure for ale and a single measure for corn, namely the London quarter.” So really, before that date, you couldn’t just go out anywhere and have ‘a pint’.

You can find out all about the June 15th celebrations at



The Otley Walking Festival runs from Saturday June 24th to Sunday July 2nd. Here are just some of the walks that feature pubs:

Saturday 24 June: Four Pubs Walk [in association with Otley Pub Club], starts at the Junction goes on to Roebuck, Half Moon in Poole, Royalty and will probably finish at the Junction.

Sunday 25 June: Cakes & Ale VI again finishing at The Junction.

Sunday 25 June: Despicable Liars Evening Meander, traditionally finishes at the Black Bull.

Tuesday 27 June: Wayzgoose Weave, starts at Manchester Square outside The Manor House’ traditionally goes to The Junction then Horse & Farrier. [Has finished at The Bay Horse but that might not be open.]

Friday 30 June: Walkulele starts at the Woolpack, [next door to North Bar Social for a first drink], probably going to The Fleece and The Horse & Farrier, and finishing back at the Woolpack.

Saturday 1 July: The Road To Marston Moor [in association with Otley Pub Club], calling at The Royalty on top of The Chevin, and finishing at the Black Bull.

Sunday 2 July: Grand Finale and raffle draw at The Manor House.

Lots of other walks call at one of the many cafes in Otley. Full details of all the walks, and more about the festival itself, are at

The OWF organisers would also like me to express their sincere thanks for the many raffle prizes kindly donated by the pub landlords in town. I’ll add my own thanks as well – because when you’re working on what can be very small margins, it’s not easy to cope with multiple requests for donations or prizes throughout the year, so thanks again everyone!



Having shared a bit about Tallinn last month, this time I’m nipping over the Gulf itself to Helsinki, home of the €10 pint! In fact, I’d heard that alcohol is so expensive in Finland that the cross-Gulf ferry is a bit like the Dover-Calais run in the old days. Sure enough there were a few people pushing trolleys with crates of booze on them onto the ferry in Tallinn – but not that many. On the boat itself [which was a massive North Sea-type, with cabins, several bars and live entertainment, even though the crossing took less than three hours] pale watery 3.5% Lapin Kulta lager was €4 a pint. So one of those was enough – and only coffee and muffins on the way back!

Sadly, we were only in Helsinki for a day and a half, and spent all that time walking round the city and sightseeing rather than sitting in pubs. [Yes, I know it seems strange!] There are two brilliant markets right down by the water at the eastern docks in Kaartinkaupunki. An open one on the Kauppatori market square that’s great for all the souvenirs you can imagine, as well as snacking on freshly-caught fish and freshly-brewed coffee. Then there’s the old indoor market hall dating from 1889, selling everything from cheese, fish, shellfish, vegetable, fruit and cakes to spices, coffee and tea. The city also boasts two amazing cathedrals. The first and most striking is the sparkling white Finnish Evangelical Lutheran cathedral in Kruununhaka, where the step s leading down into Senate Square are a popular meeting place. The second – the Russian-designed Eastern Orthodox Uspenski Cathedral – is again down by the Eastern waterside on the Katajanokka peninsula, and the inside is a must-see tourist location.

So, forgetting the Pirkka [lager] and Karhu [lager] in the hotel, and the Sandels [lager] in the zoo, [which is on an island to the East of the city] we only visited one proper pub! That was the ONE PINT PUB near the docks. By coincidence, they had live music on the first Saturday of every month, as well as a good range of beers – and there it is in the middle of the price board, the ten Euro pint! It was a pretty traditional pub really, smallish, wooden floor and bar, but with shop-style large windows, and a couple of hideous pillars spoiling the view of the band. Presumably these were a necessary support because it was on the ground floor of a large residential block. There were also a couple of old beer adverts – for local Karjala and, weirdly, Tetleys! I liked the place, but the younger member of my family found it a bit unfriendly [although she warmed to it a bit after a couple of drinks!] Like most pubs, there seemed to be a lot of regulars there who knew each other, and maybe it was a bit more crowded than usual because the band were on, but I’d certainly recommend it.

So that was our only pub experience in Helsinki! I did manage a Karjala in a restaurant, but drinking pretty ordinary lager at that price just seemed wrong. We toyed with the idea of the Brewdog or the TOMMYKNOCKER CRAFT BEER BAR which were both nearby, but as the reviews said they were both ‘a bit pricey’ [presumably more than the One Pint Pub!] my Yorkshireness came out and we rested our legs. So if you ever do visit either of them, please let me know what they’re like! Although having said that, I can probably guess what the BREWDOG was like. It probably had a neon sign saying ‘Love hops and live the dream’ and a plaque on the wall banging on about their ‘mission’ and how ‘passionate’ they are – just like the one in Tallinn, which I did visit when we got back over there. More soon.



Now the British Beer and Pub Association has put forward its Brexit manifesto. Its key demands include:

  •      A free trade deal with the EU;
  •      No tariffs or paperwork for beer exports;
  •      No changes to the rights of existing overseas workers in the industry;
  •      A future immigration system that supports the necessary level of staffing for the sector, which already faces a shortage of pub chefs; [Really? – Ed.]
  •      Effective and proportionate regulation of existing EU laws;
  •      Promoting British beer through support for exports and tourism;
  •      No changes to overseas visitor visa requirements for two years.

The last point is not strictly Brexit related but British pubs sensibly don’t want Britain to begin getting the reputation as a country that is unfriendly to visitors, tourists and immigrants.

As ever, there is more about this story online. This time on the InFacts website.


This Wednesday, the 14th of June [yep – my birthday!] will see the third week of Otley BID’s Wednesday afternoon entertainment programme for kids. There’ll be something on every week throughout the summer, up to and including the 30th of August. Not only clowns, bouncy castles and crazy golf, but even junior training provided by Leeds Rhinos and Leeds United! The animal petting zoo last week was a huge success, and I’m sure the remaining weeks will be as well. At the moment The Bay Horse [for sale – freehold guide price £220K] and The Black Bull [being refurbished] are closed, but you can take your kids for food and drink to Whitakers or The Black Horse over the road, or even Stew and Oyster or The Horse and Farrier which are both just a couple of minutes away. Why not come into town and make a day of it? All details are on the Otley BID website.



On Sunday the 18th of June, there will be a street party and picnic in Otley Market Square between 1 and 3 pm. Everyone is invited, and asked to bring a picnic for themselves and something for the sharing table. On the same day there will be a full day of music at the Woolpack Music and Art Studios, with a lunch break between 1 and 2:30 pm. Join in at the community lunch tables, with food from All Good Things – pay as you feel. And of course The Otley Tavern will be open on one side of the studios, and North Bar Social on the other, if you’re feeling thirsty! [The BBC forecast for the 18th is sunny and 21 degrees!]



Next Saturday, June 17th, is Carnival Day – a “Free, fun filled, family day out”. The carnival parade through town will set off at 1:15 pm, with Carnival Queen elect Hannah Pears in pride of place. When the parade ends in Otley Show Field there will be children’s rides, Punch and Judy, Charity and Trade Stalls, food and drink outlets from Burgers to Caribbean Food plus ice cream and much more! (Entry to the field is free.)

This year Otley Motor Club will have a display of cars of various ages and makes on display at the top of the Carnival Field.

The Town Mayor of Otley will formally open the Carnival at 2pm, followed by the crowning of the 2017 Otley Carnival Queen Hannah, and the Arena Displays at approx. 2-30pm

The Arena Displays this year are:

“Little Nippers Terrier Racing Display”

Slick Stick Sambastic Samba Band

Otley Zebra’s Tag Display

Otley Rhythmic Gymnastics Club Display



The Otley Town Centre Races remain the most prestigious criteriums in the British racing calendar, with past winners including Mark Cavendish, Jeremy Hunt, Adam Blythe, Jonny Clay and Chris Walker. Now in its 32nd year, the race in 2017 is set to carry on the long tradition of world class racing in Otley for both men and women. You can read all about them on the British Cycling website if you want to know more.

What we do know already is that it’s a great evening’s entertainment for residents of Otley and visitors alike, and it brings especially good business to the pubs on Bondgate – The Junction; The Rose & Crown; The Old Cock (on Crossgate); The Bowling Green; The Otley Tavern (on Newmarket); and North Bar Social. It’s almost as though we’d lined up a great choice of pubs there on purpose to cope with any demand! Do feel free to enjoy them (and all the others in town of course – they’re only 2 minutes’ walk away, and are likely to be a bit quieter!



Yes, a four-page article by local food and drink writer Phil Penfold, called ‘Otley Full of Cheer’ appears in the June edition of Dalesman magazine. What’s more, the subtitle is “Phil Penfold visits the town with the most pubs per head in the country”! We know that’s a bit contentious, but no publicity is bad publicity! There’s some great historical stuff in there, as well as information about current pubs, all thanks to Otley’s own Jeff Utley MBE who originally provided Phil with the information. So go and grab a copy – the rest of the magazine is pretty good as well!



Carling has launched a nationwide campaign, in partnership with Wetherspoon, to donate money to local good causes that will have a lasting and genuine benefit to the community. The campaign runs throughout June and July [so I’m sorry I only just found out about it!] but Carling will be choosing which projects to help, right through to October. All you have to do is go to and follow the simple steps to nominate your own local community project!




  • Closed at the moment. The pub freehold is for sale, and when I spoke to the agents they quoted me a guide price of £220K. So if you have a bit of spare cash that you want to splash on an iconic piece of Otley’s pub history, do let me know! If you’re wandering about Wayne, the manager, he’s up at The New Inn in Eccup. It’s quite a nice walk up there from Otley, so why not pop over and see him sometime, like me!


  • Also closed at the moment! But this is only temporary. I’ve had no formal word about the re-opening date, but I understand there’ll be a familiar face in charge!


  • 16/06 – Kwame D Duo
  • 24/06 – Chris Lee, comedy hypnotist


  • The Great Get Together Otley – part of the national celebration in honour of Jo Cox MP is on Sunday June 18th from noon till 6pm. The Woolpack Studios will have a music stage outside, so grab a drink and enjoy!
  • There’ll also be a Woolpack concert on Otley Carnival Day, Saturday June 17th, after the parade has passed by.
  • Every Tuesday night is now ladies’ cycling night (informal social get together and ride out, not a club).
  • Thursday the 15th of June, the Otley women’s Morris dancing troupe The Buttercross Belles will be dancing outside the pub from about 7 pm onwards.
  • Saturday the 24th of June there’ll be a Magic Rock tap takeover, with half a dozen of their beers to try. There’ll also be a real rock painting competition – to see who can produce the most ‘magic’ looking one! All the necessary stuff will be provided – including the rocks!
  • The pub is currently hosting an exhibition of fantastic photographs of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Yorkshire coast, by Simon Carey. It’s worth visiting just to admire them, but you can also buy prints for just £20 [mounted and framed £35]. They really would make wonderful gifts [or just keep them for yourself!]


  • Hey – here they are, all together again! Two pubs on opposite sides of the valley on the fringes of town and one right in the middle, and all three expecting big demand for meals on Fathers Day. So if you fancy taking your dad out for a Sunday roast and a pint, make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointing him! Everything prepared and cooked on the premises in all cases.


  • “Beautiful food and good value, 7 days a week!”
  • June steak offer – 2 x rump steaks served with hand cut chips, home-made onion rings, mushrooms, peas and salad, PLUS 2 x 175 ml glasses of house wine ALL FOR £25
  • Karaoke every Friday, 8 pm til late.
  • 28/06 – Big screen racing in aid of Bowel Cancer, first race starts at 8 pm


Live entertainment still to come in June:

  • 16/06 – Marty Jones
  • 17/06 – Jamie Ansbro
  • 23/06 – Adam Ooleman
  • 24/06 – Holly Tandy
  • 30/06 – Ajay Jackson


  • 18/06 – Free drink for your dad on Father’s Day [as long as you’re buying one for yourself!]
  • 24/06 – Armed Forces Day (no details yet)
  • 01/07 & 02/07 – A ‘Wild West Weekend’ to celebrate the upcoming US Independence Day on the 4th of July. A ‘fast draw’ competition; live country music artists both evenings; and US drinks promotions. Well YEE-HAA!
  • All ICC World Cup


  • The chalkboard outside the pub says “Cask Ale is an experience chalk just can’t convey”, and with the amount of awards they win for their cask ale – they should know!


  • Nothing concrete yet, but hoping to put on a food and drink pairing event to coincide with the Otley Food and Drink Festival on Sunday the 16th of July.


13/06 – La Fox

Last Thursday every Month, Up the Junction open mic/jam night at 8:30 pm.


  • Opening hours are now –
  • Monday and Tuesday, 4pm til 12 midnight;
  • Wednesday to Saturday, 12 noon until late!
  • And they serve food from Wednesday to Saturday from midday to 7 pm.
  • [And just look at the choice of puddings alongside – I wanted them all, and I’d only called in for information!]
  • Don’t forget the quiz nights, at 8:45 pm on Tuesdays and Sundays, and there’s a karaoke evening this month on Saturday the 24th in the evening.


  • It’s Wetherspoons Cider Festival from July 7th to the 23rd. Featuring flavours like rum and raisin, strawberry; toffee apple; elderflower; and ginger, lychee and ginseng! You can taste three one-third of a pint glasses for the single pint price of £2:85
  • There’s a new ‘brewery of the week’ every week on the bar now. This week it’s Ossett.


  • Closed at the moment, and you can see from the piles of rubble and stuff out the back of the pub, just how much work is going on to refurbish the place. Desperately hoping it will be open for 1st of July at the latest, so we can end our ‘Marston Moor’ walk in the Otley Walking Festival by emulating those Roundhead troops by ‘drinking the Black Bull dry’ yet again!


  • 17/06 – Big Noise acoustic
  • 24/06 – Rory Hall
  • 02/07 – OWF closing ceremony & raffle
  • 08/07 – The Marshalls and Friends
  • 15/07 – Dave McKendrick
  • PLUS – THE MANOR SESSIONS, every Thursday – see programme alongside [apologies for the glare!]
  • AND – Sunday quizzes; open mic Fridays; evening Irish sessions every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month [evening] and 1st Sunday of the month [afternoons].


  • Sunday menu for Father’s Day, so come on down and treat your dad to a meal out – and a couple of drinks in the fabulous riverside beer garden!


  • Open mic night 1st Thursday every month at 8:30
  • Planning a mini music festival and barbecue out the back in the summer [and hoping for good weather]
  • Watch out for a special menu for Fathers Day on June 18th
  • National Beer Day [or Beer Day Britain] is on June 15th, so watch out for special beers on that day!



As these pages are the responsibility of the individual pubs, I can’t guarantee they’ll be up-to-date, I’m afraid – but where they are, the information is likely to be much more current and comprehensive than my monthly newsletter! It’s worthwhile checking with the one you fancy going to, just to make sure nothing’s changed.























As with Facebook, some of these might not be up to date, but if you follow them you’re likely to get timely updates on what’s going on between our newsletters.
















I think there’s only two pub accounts in town so far, [as well as ours at otley_pub_club]


Stew and Oyster


– – / / – – / / – – / / – –


Finally, my usual apologies for errors and/or omissions this month. 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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