Good grief! September’s here again, summer’s over, the kids are back at school and everyone without child care responsibilities has grabbed the cheaper holiday opportunity and jetted off to the sunshine! At least those of us who are still here have got one of the annual Otley highlights to look forward to, with the Folk Festival coming up this weekend. The best way to make the most of it is to grab yourself a weekend ticket, and catch as many of the official programme events as you can. If you can’t commit to that, you can still see performers practising or hosting singaround and other informal events in the pubs in town – some of which are even hosting their own ‘fringe’ events to add to the festival atmosphere. Saturday’s looking like the better day of the weekend for weather, but even the rain doesn’t matter when you’re tucked up in a cosy pub with a pint, a pork pie and a [musical word beginning with ‘P’ anyone? Pianist? Percussionist?] Anyway – you get the message, come into town at the weekend and have a good time!

The other notable thing about it being September, is that next month is October – the month of Otley Pub Club’s AGM, meaning this is my final month as Secretary [and Membership Secretary]. So, there’s the usual set of brief job descriptions towards the end of this newsletter, and the usual invitation to anyone to come and join us. I know I’ve said this before, but it is quite likely that there will be a big change in what we are able to do if we don’t get some more willing helpers. With 2019 being our 10th anniversary, it would be a shame if we were unable to celebrate it in an appropriate fashion!



AS FAR AS WE KNOW THERE ARE STILL 6 PUBS IN THE SCHEME, but there are new management teams both at The Black Horse and at The Fleece, and we haven’t yet been able to discuss the existing offers with them. This is obviously important in terms of choice, and value for money of the card itself, so you can rest assured that we’ll be clearing up the situation as soon as we possibly can. As before, 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, and maybe even as a special offer earlier than that – watch out for other merchandise coming your way soon!] 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 will also continue 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!]



One of the things we’ve discussed in the past is the redevelopment of high street retail units into residential accommodation, and then the new residents complaining about the noise from pubs nearby. In the past, pubs and other live music venues have had to pay for sound-proofing their own premises – even though they were there long before residential units were created. It was back in 2014 that the musician Frank Turner started a petition asking for the so-called ‘agent of change’ principle to be adopted, meaning that new developments would have to pay for any sound-proofing necessary to meet residents’ requirements.

On July 24th this year, the government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which includes the agent of change rule, was finally introduced. Local authorities are legally bound to comply with the NPPF, meaning all planning committees must consider the principle – which requires property developers to take into account pre-existing businesses, like music venues, before proceeding with a project – when making decisions on applications and in framing their own planning policy. The agent of change principle effectively means property developers rather than existing premises, such as music venues, are responsible for ensuring new dwellings are protected from factors, such as noise. At a time when pubs and other small live music venues are struggling, it’s good to see at least one victory. Now let’s work on business rates and POB [Pub Owning Businesses] rip-offs! In the meantime, here’s a bit of light relief on the subject from The Daily Mash.



I’ll never forget the wonderful day the Grauniad called them The Buttercross Bellies, but of course dancing is wonderful exercise, so there’s ne’er a belly in sight. [Unlike the 400 Roses dance side, but that’s a story for another day!] Anyhow, The Belles are a North West Morris side based in Otley, and they’re hosting morris dancing taster sessions at St Joseph’s school off Manor Square, on Thursday evenings 20thand 27thof September and 4th of October, between 7:30 and 9:30pm. Although all the dancers have to be female I believe, they aren’t just looking for new people interested in dancing. You can also join them as a musician, and for that gender is apparently irrelevant. The Belles don’t just hang around Otley dancing outside pubs [although that isn’t necessarily a bad way to spend your spare time!] They also dance out at country and town events throughout the North, and even have trips to dance at folk events across the Channel. I know from personal experience [Mrs Bob was a Belle for a while] that these trips are great fun, and as a hanger-on rather than a dancer I also had the opportunity to try out pubs both home and abroad. So if you want to keep fit or show off your musical prowess and have fun into the bargain, why not give them a try?



CAMRA’s latest list of the best real ale pubs in the country is out, with the winner to be announced in February 2019. The pub judged to be the best in Yorkshire, based on the atmosphere, decor, welcome, service, value for money, customer mix, and real ale on offer, is yet again the multi award-winning The George and Dragon in Hudswell near Richmond.


One of the things that very rarely gets mentioned in any National media debate about pubs is the amount of money they collect for charity. Whether it’s the pub team taking part in an individual charity event like walking the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, or individual staff members supporting local or National charity initiatives, or even just having a collecting box on the bar for customers’ spare change. So I’d just like to mention 3 collections that I know about over the last couple of months – but I’m absolutely certain there are more stories out there, so please, please let me know about them!

THE JUNCTION – £1,000 for The 53 Foundation

THE YEW TREE – £500 for Yorkshire Air Ambulance

THE ROEBUCK – £100 for Yorkshire Air Ambulance



You might remember that I informed everyone recently about dogs being barred from all Wetherspoons pubs, with effect from Monday September 10th. What I didn’t expect was the number of comments it prompted locally on social media – some of them not only critical of the new policy, but also of the Wetherspoons brand and even the Bowling Green itself. I just want to reiterate that all I was doing was sharing what I saw as an important piece of pub news, and one that might impact on customers locally. I was also trying to save the local staff some potential future arguments, by letting dog owners know in advance so they would no longer take their dogs with them to that pub.

So I do apologise to any of the staff who felt they were being included in the criticism from trolls, when they are all obviously just doing their job and have absolutely nothing to be criticised for at all. Incidentally, I called in at the pub after the ban had been in place for 5 days, and a member of staff told me she had only had to let 2 people know that dogs weren’t allowed, and there had been no other problems.



All the usual fun of an OFF weekend – local bands, bigger name singers, morris dancers all over town and of course the George Formby Appreciation Society. Stuff happening all over town all over the weekend, from Friday onwards. Check out the webpage for all the information, then turn up after tea on Friday and don’t worry too much about going home till 11 o clock on Sunday night. There are plenty of pubs, and plenty of performers who’ll be playing and practising in most of ‘em. The BBC’s weather forecast for the weekend (at the time of typing) is ‘sunny intervals with a light breeze’, temperature not too bad at 15C. So let’s get as many people in town as possible, see the place buzzing, and create a real festival weekend atmosphere! As an added bonus, a member of the Otley Pub Club Committee [t’other Bob] and famed announcer at Otley Rugby Club will be the MC for Friday night’s concert at The Black Horse, and for both concerts at the same venue on Saturday. So be there or be [at one of the other 8 official Friday and Saturday events, or having a singaround in a pub!]



. . . until I watched this programme about his drinking habits! [Available on iPlayer only until 04/10/2018.] It’s basically about him considering whether he drinks too much [6 days a week, sometimes up to 6 or 7 times the new advisory limit of 14 units], but it addresses the questions [and the excuses] that many heavy drinkers come up with. Some people don’t consider themselves to have a drinking ‘problem’ or to be ‘addicted’, for any number of reasons – or excuses. They might be able to have one day a week without alcohol [like Chiles]; they might only drink beer, not anything stronger like wine or spirits; they might not ever drink before a certain time in the evening – and any number of other reasons.

I guess the programme is really just another part of the current [and ongoing] attempt by a number of organisations to reduce the amount of alcohol we all consume – and not all of them necessarily doing it for health reasons. But it’s entertaining, and it’s no doubt made a lot of us already think “Well I don’t have a problem, because I drink a lot less than Adrian Chiles!” – which I suspect is NOT the reaction the programme makers were looking for!



As I’ve said before, I know some of you brave the mean streets of Leeds now and again, and although my own preference when I get there is for the traditional [Whitelocks, Palace, Duck and Drake] there may be others who prefer something a bit different. So I thought I’d share with you this article from BusinessUpNorth about a new gin bar opening in Grand Arcade. Aiming to ‘re-awaken the prohibition era in the heart of Leeds, Tailors will indeed be a bespoke tailor by day, but after 6pm on Thursday to Saturday you can “step back in time, drink  gin or champagne and dance like no-one is watching” [but you can bet they will be!]

Not sure the place would attract me though – but perhaps with some local Otley folk in charge who knows, maybe a retro or modern cocktail bar might work here – and Korks still hasn’t re-opened .  .  .



You’ll see from the list below [which might not be exhaustive!] that OPC does a lot of work and carries out a substantial amount of business. Currently, the majority of the work of the [roughly] 15 to 20 different jobs is carried out by just a handful of active committee members. With the upcoming AGM retirement on October 4th of the Secretary, Membership Secretary, one PLO and a committee member who has been assisting the Secretary at meetings, the amount of work left for the other committee members to undertake might be unsupportable. We’ve been warning for so long that we needed additional help that it might have seemed like ‘crying wolf’, but now the crunch has arrived. It will be OPC’s 10th anniversary in 2019, and we would like to celebrate that in style. But unless additional help is forthcoming, our profile and our future ambitions might have to be substantially reduced. So if you fancy any of these, let us know right away, or turn up at the AGM and let’s see if we can strike a bargain!!

Chairman – Bosses the meetings; tells everyone what to do; is OPC’s ‘official’ external representative.

Secretary – Organises the meetings; liaises with all OPC project/event organisers; keeps committee members informed about all OPC business; deals with external correspondence.

Treasurer – Manages the OPC bank account; monitors all expenditure and income; seeks sponsorship/grants for OPC projects/events.

Membership Secretary – Maintains a record of all members; sends out the twice-monthly newsletters and ad hoc emails from the opcmembers email account.

Newsletter Editor – Gathers information and contributions; produces twice-monthly news and invitations.

Press/Publicity Officer – Maintains contact with local press and media; sends out press/media releases; first point of contact for press and media enquiries.

Social Media Officer – Manages OPC Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts; suggests additional platforms/ways of promoting OPC.

Webmaster – Keeps the whole OPC website up to date; maintains/updates individual pub information; manages the website contract with supplier.

Merchandise Officer – Manages our new ventures into merchandising – Premier card; T-shirts; sweatshirts; etc; liaising with webmaster for online promotion/sales and Treasurer for finance.

Otley Town Liaison Officers [as required] – maintain contact with other groups in town: Pub Watch; Otley Town Partnership; Otley Town Council; Otley BID; Otley Chamber of Trade; etc; etc.

Project/Event Managers [as required] – Plan and organise individual events agreed by the committee; liaise with Treasurer for funding and Press Officer for promotion; manage projects to completion.

Pub Liaison Officers [PLOs currently 5] – Gather information monthly from individual pubs on their ‘beat’ and pass to newsletter editor/webmaster; maintain close contact with individual publicans and feed back important pub news/changes to OPC committee; tell publicans about OPC projects and events.

Other Committee Members – Additional non-postholders always welcome, with ideas for improvement or new projects, or just help with events themselves.



We usually only include here anything special or extra [or even 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.


  • Saturday 22 Sept to Sunday 07 Oct – Oktoberfest, celebrating beers from Germany.

BOWLING GREEN – See item in news, above



  • Quiz night on Sunday at 9:00 PM
  • Irish Trad Sessions every Sunday from 9:00 PM
  • Open Mic Night every Friday from 8:30 PM
  • Friday 21/9 Joe Gallagher’s Noises playing outside in the Marquee

Manor Sessions every Thursday

  • 20/9 Steamtrain
  • 27/9 12th Street
  • 4/10 Bar-room Buskers
  • 11/10 Sawdust Unplugged

Saturday music

  • 22/9 Stormtrees 6:00 PM, Raisers 9:00 PM
  • 29/9 Live Band
  • 6/10 Doc Brown
  • 15/ Kwame D


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


  • Poker on Monday nights
  • 21/9 That Lad from Armley
  • 5/10 Peculiar Blue
  • Keep an eye on Facebook page for any other special events


  • The changes are certainly being rung in Otley pubs at the moment! [Maybe it’s the influence of those church bell ringers!] There is a new tenant in The Red Lion as well [although you might recognise Michaela when you see her].
  • Every Sunday will still see the quiz, and ‘key to the box’.
  • Bingo and ‘golden oldies’ every Thursday.
  • Octoberfest at the end of September
  • Joshua fight live on Saturday September 22nd.


  • . .  .  pending!  .  .  .


  • Last Tuesday of every month is Indie Open Mic night
  • Last Wednesday of every month is Rock ‘n’ Roll night with a local band
  • Friday night is disco night
  • Last Friday of the month features Motown, Ska and Northern Soul
  • 12/10 Louie Stephens

Saturday live music

  • 22/9 Brogan Collins
  • 29/9 Cassie Kennedy
  • 6/10 Danny Stevenson
  • 13/10 Rochelle


  • DJ every Saturday night
  • Entertainment for Otley Folk Festival weekend [see photo alongside]


  • Every Fri and Sat – DJ [except for live music nights].
  • Sat 29/09 – Flashback
  • Sat 06/10 – Andy from Redhouse


  • 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


  • Karaoke on Sunday afternoons from 2:30 onwards. Just turn up, plug yourself in, and off you go!


  • Yet another pub in Otley with someone new in charge, so we can’t tell you what’s happening here just yet. New food offer will be announced in a couple of weeks.
  • We haven’t been able to discuss the existing offer to OPC card holders with the new management yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we can.


  • 6x handpull 14 keg 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 the Victorian Fayre, 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 and 8 keg
  • 4 B+B rooms available but you need to book early ( As Fred Pontin would have said)
  • Thursdays is open Mic night with Cleve Freckleton
  • Offer to OPC card holders is 20% off food ( Card holder + 1)


  • 4 handpull 7 keg
  • 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  family fun day raised £500 for Yorkshire Air Ambulance
  • Karaoke 1st Saturday of the month. Try it before sending off your X Factor application.
  • Offer to OPC card holders is 20% off food (Card holder + 1 and not in conjunction with the Carvery or pensioners lunch)

 JUNCTION (#keepingmusicliveandfree!)

 A full weekend of entertainment for Otley Folk Festival – see photo alongside!


  • Awaiting our first meeting with the new management team.
  • The Fleece is under new management, and we haven’t yet been able to speak to them about their existing offer to OPC card holders. Full details should be in the AGM invitation newsletter in a couple of weeks’ time.


  • Happy hour is every hour
  • 6 x handpull 4 x Keg
  • 72 gins ( go on try them) including a sicilian pink grapefruit variety
  • Quiz Wednesdays win a meal voucher and the chance for £100 cash


  • An early notification that The Royalty’s bonfire party is on Saturday the 3rd of November, so you can put it in your diary. They get hundreds of visitors on the night, and use the field next door for car parking, but you can always put your boots and head torch on and walk up The Chevin. That way, you can enjoy a drink as well as the fireworks! More details next month.
  • New winter menu from the 8th of October, and festive options for the December Christmas menu already being planned!
  • Offer to OPC card holders is 10% off drinks at the bar [cardholder + 1]. Make the most of the remaining autumn evenings and weekends in their huge beer garden









































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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