As you know, we decided to break with the tradition of meeting on the first Thursday of every month, so that you could suffer the election at home with your loved ones. But if you now fancy a pint in celebration or commiseration of any result, be it in Otley, Leeds or Westminster, this week’s social evening will start at 8 pm on Thursday, 14 May in –


THE BLACK BULL. This is one of the most distinctive-looking pubs in Otley, and possibly THE most central. It’s been sitting right there in the corner of the market square for 400 years, and had Cromwell’s troops ducking under its low doorway and beams before marching off to Marston Moor. Home made food and an open fire, as well as a beer garden with tables at the rear, make it a perfect stop on this or any other day. Then at about 8:45 we’ll move on to –


THE HORSE AND FARRIER. (Out of the front door of The Black Bull, straight across the market square and down the passage at the side of The Bay Horse. When you emerge at the bottom of Bay Horse Court, you can see the pub about 25 metres down Bridge Street ahead of you on the right hand side) It’s a big relaxed pub with comfy leather chairs round the log burning fire at one side, and tables on a raised area at the other where you can try out their fine pub food. Still remembered by many as The Three Horseshoes, It was completely refurbished when it changed its name. it has a wide range of real ales and bottled beers, open mic and ‘meet the brewer’ nights and does bed and breakfast as well. If the weather’s fine there’s a large ‘beer garden’ at the back with plenty of tables, if you still crave for the odd cigarette. Around 9:30 we move on again, back to –


THE RED LION. (Out of the front door of The H&F and turn left. This time follow the road round the right and left hand bends to the traffic lights, go straight on past the memorial clock, and the pub’s on the right-hand side of the road.) I still think it should have changed its name to The Phoenix a few years ago, after it had come back from the (almost) dead so many times. Now rescued from its once “open-all-hours” disco reputation, and under the same management team that took over the running of The Black Horse last July, it’s been redecorated with 4 new large TV screens installed to show all sports channels, including horse racing. You can play darts, dominoes or pool, or just enjoy a real ale in one of the typical town-centre pub rooms downstairs. Upstairs, there’s a large room that’s now being re-furbished to be brought back into use as a live music and performance venue.




Dementia friends are helping to create more dementia friendly communities – to give people an understanding of dementia and the small things that you can do to make a difference. They would like everyone to call in and discover what they are all about, in the following locations:


Monday 18th May at 8pm in the Horse & Farrier, 7 Bridge Street, Otley LS21 1BQ


Thursday 21st May at 2.30pm in The Fleece, 61 Westgate, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 3DT


Friday 22nd May at 2.30pm at Otley Core Resource Centre Unit 11 Orchard Gate, near the Bus station, Otley, LS21 3NX

If you want to know more, you can contact them at www.dementiafriends.org.uk/ or ring Gwen on 0113 231 1727





While I was at [almost] the other side of the world, it seems a great time was had by all in Otley – and I missed it! Mayday, Mayo Day, Street Festival, Tour de Yorkshire AND the first BOOM festival all brought thousands of people into the town, and brought increased business to shops, cafes and of course our beloved pubs! I saw a lot of it from afar on social media and caught up with the Tour when I got home, and I’m quite jealous I missed it all. Can’t wait til next year!




You might have noticed that in the April Newsletter, I reported that Edel Fox would be performing free at The Manor House on ‘Sunday    May’. Well she’ll be there THIS Sunday, May 17 at 6pm, so if you want to see this internationally-renowned star ABSOLUTELY FREE, make sure you get down there early! And there’s still more! – This Saturday, May 16, the shire horses from Thwaites Brewery will be arriving outside the pub around midday, and they’ll be there all day [although they might take a trip down to the Otley Show sometime in the afternoon]. So why not take the kids down to see these magnificent traditional animals? [Hope they don’t cause more traffic chaos in Walkergate! – The horses, not the kids!]




Some of us met Helen Pidd, the Northern correspondent for The Guardian, a couple of weeks ago, to talk about Otley’s pubs being granted ACV status. Her report on her visit to Otley appeared online this week. It wasn’t 100% positive, but it’s always good to make the National media. The only surprise was that after spending an hour or so talking to us, there is no mention of Otley Pub Club in the article, or of our role in getting the ACV status granted. I’ll have to add a comment to her article online . . .




Sorry I couldn’t tell you all about the visit of Si King and Dave Myers to The Black Bull on Wednesday April 15, but their producer had asked us to keep it quiet, to avoid crowds potentially disrupting the filming. Hence all my mysterious comments in the last couple of Newsletters.] I couldn’t even be there myself, as I was guiding a party of U3A [University of the 3rd Age] visitors round the lost and current pubs of Otley! If you haven’t already seen the article about their visit, in last Thursday’s Wharfedale Observer, try to grab a copy – I failed to find the article on the Newspaper’s website, I’m afraid. And don’t forget to look out for the series of programmes “The Pubs That Built Britain” on BBC this Autumn. (They were filming in the Black Bull because of its connection to Cromwell and the Battle of Marston Moor, and apparently turned up wearing Roundhead uniforms!)




I’ve already mentioned Otley Show, but do try to get down there and support it this Saturday, 16 May if you can. It’s a highlight on the Otley calendar, and attractions include –

The Stampede Stunt Company’s Magna Carta Display

Ben Potter – Birds of Prey Display

The Sheep Show

Otley Brass Band

plus much much more

Early indications are that the weather will be cloudy but dry, with a temperature of about 12 degrees. Not perfect – but better than some years!


Further ahead there’s Sport Chevin’s Sports Day [June 7]; Buckfest Music Festival at The Roebuck [June 19]; and Otley Walking Festival [June 27 onwards]; but there’ll be more about them in the next Newsletters.




Bob Brook

OPC Secretary

11 May 2015

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