So far, we’ve had a reasonable response to our invitation to Yorkshire-born celebrities, to visit the pub named after them in Otley on Yorkshire Day. 9 out of 21 have responded, and now with only 3 months to go we’re trying to contact the remaining 12 via Twitter and/or Facebook and/or their website. We will be giving them a link to this page, and asking them to read this letter – and then consider coming to join us all on the day!
DEAR YORKSHIRE-BORN CELEBRITY,
In June 2017, Otley Pub Club created an online survey asking people to name their favourite Yorkshire celebrities, in a range of different categories of film, TV, sport, writing, music and so on. The ultimate objective was to name each of the 21 pubs in Otley after each of the chosen celebrities, on Yorkshire Day 2018 – and then invite those celebrities to visit ‘their’ pub on the day itself!
So on Yorkshire Day last year, the top 21 celebrity names chosen were drawn out against the 21 pubs, to decide which pub would be allocated to each celebrity. We then wrote to the agents of those celebrities, inviting their clients to visit the pub that would be renamed in their honour – on Yorkshire Day this year. If a visit simply wasn’t possible, we asked for any item of personal memorabilia that could be displayed in the pub.
Unfortunately your agent was one of many who didn’t even reply to our invitation, so we’re appealing to you directly. We have already had responses from Dame Judi Dench CH, Allan Bennett, Sir Gary Verity and others, and we would love you to join them. The 21 names chosen reflect fully the diverse range of skills, abilities and personalities that this great County of ours has produced [and they are listed below alongside ‘their’ pubs].
We think the project itself has the potential to grab media attention not just locally, but at least nationally as well. [The mere fact that we received a personal response from Dame Judi herself has already prompted coverage in the local press.] Yorkshire’s reputation is probably most rooted in its people, in its landscape, and in its pubs! Otley can bring all three together on the 1st of August, and it would be great if you could show you love the County as much as it obviously loves you! If you’re at all interested, even in just sending us a signed photo, please do get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org – and don’t worry if you can’t make Yorkshire Day itself. We love our town and County so much here in Otley that we tend to celebrate ‘Yorkshire month’, and we’d greet you just as warmly on any other day!
Whatever responses we do get, all the pubs will be temporarily renamed anyway, with the new names going up on banners at the end of July. Each pub can then celebrate in its own way – maybe with a dalek in The Jodie Whittaker; a punch-bag boxing competition in the Nicola Adams; a gathering of as many cyclists as possible at The Lizzie Deignan; a singing talent competition at The Ricky Wilson; a lookalike competition at The Sean Bean; or any crazy idea any pub can think of to celebrate the re-naming! And although this event is being delivered for love, not money [because we don’t have any!] I’m sure each pub could be persuaded to collect for your chosen charity throughout the month of August if you tell us in advance what that is.
Thank you for spending the time to read all this, and we look forward to welcoming you to Otley in 3 months’ time.
Otley Pub Club Secretary
|Bay Horse||Angela Griffin|
|Black Bull||Jodie Whittaker|
|Black Horse||Sir Gary Verity|
|Bowling Green||Michael Palin CBE FRGS|
|Cross Pipes||Alan Bennett|
|Horse + Farrier||Dame Judi Dench CH|
|Junction||Hannah Cockroft MBE|
|Manor House||Jarvis Cocker|
|North Bar Social||Kadeena Cox MBE|
|Old Cock||Jimi Mistry|
|Otley Tap House||Ralph Ineson|
|Otley Tavern||Dickie Bird OBE|
|Red Lion||Nicola Adams OBE|
|Rose and Crown||Ian McMillan|
|Stew + Oyster||Anita Rani|
|White Swan||Corinne Bailey-Rae|
|Yew Tree||Ricky Wilson|