Christmas News Letter 2013




Welcome to the first of a new series of OPC newsletters, which from January I hope to send out straight after our meeting at the beginning of each month. This one concentrates mainly on what’s happening in our splendid pubs over the two weeks around Christmas and New Year. In future newsletters I’ll concentrate on a different type of regular event or service each time, like:

  • which pubs have regular quiz or karaoke nights;
  • which ones have a darts team in a local league;
  • which have a bar that welcomes dogs, or bars dogs because they serve food;

– and so on. But first . . .




As you might have noticed, the bad news is that THE BLACK HORSE is closed yet again. Obviously OPC isn’t happy about this iconic central hotel being blacked out, as it spoils the reputation of Otley as a thriving town as well as
that of the pub trade itself. As in the past, we’ll be doing all we can to help get it re-opened and then to support the incoming management and staff. The future of THE ROYALTY on the other hand looks much more promising, and we’ve been told it’s likely to open again in Spring 2014 – possibly with a name change to ‘The Aviator’, so we’ll wait and see.


Two other pubs in town have seen changes in December. Ken and Karen have moved into THE MANOR HOUSE, and are new to Otley after having pubs in Leeds and Halifax. Their regular Sunday night quiz and ‘Thirsty Thursday’ when all pints are only £2:50 will continue over the festive period, so why not go along and welcome them to the town? Helen is the brand new manager at THE HORSE AND FARRIER and is especially looking forward to welcoming you to their New Year’s Eve dinner. It’s on a Scottish theme, with full vegetarian options including haggis!




BDO World Darts Champion Scott Waites, from Halifax will be challenging pub customers across Otley in an all-day event for the charity ‘Help For Heroes’ on Saturday 28 December. If you can’t get a game, you might be able to get a photo with his World Championship trophy that he’ll be bringing with him. This should be a massive event for the pubs of Otley, so try to catch up with Scotty sometime during the day. His full timetable is:


12 noon           –           Grove Hill Social Club

12:50               –           The Cross Pipes

13:40               –           The Bay Horse

14:30               –           The Black Bull

15:20               –           The Otley Tavern

16:10               –           The Red Lion

17:00               –           Whitakers

17:50               –           Rocca Bar

18:40               –           The Bowling Green

19:30               –           The Junction

20:20               –           The Rose and Crown

21:10               –           The White Swan




I apologise in advance to all landlords for perhaps not including absolutely everything they told me was on over Christmas and New Year. Here are some of the best [in no particular order], but do nip into your local and see what else they’ve got on (if you need an excuse!)


THE FLEECE – Open and serving food every day, but fully booked for Christmas Day lunch. So you might want to book early for the New Year’s Eve Hog Roast [which will also have a vegetarian option] £15 including a drink.


THE CROSS PIPES – Music all the way, with Disco Karaoke on the 21st and 24th; Party Night on Boxing Day; Glen Folk 29th @ 3 pm; and discos on New Year’s Eve and 4 Jan.


THE RED LION – Downstairs disco on the 21st, and the Blackpool v Leeds United game live on a huge screen in the newly-refurbished upstairs room at 5:15pm on Boxing Day.


WHITAKERS – Christmas menu every day til the 24th, and food at lunchtime on Boxing Day; Owls of Athens live on the 21st, and Taylor Max at 9pm on the 28th.


THE NORTH BAR – Their special ‘Advent Calendar’ daily free offers are continuing on Twitter @North_Bar_Otley until Christmas Eve. Their own house beer ‘Prototype’ from Kirkstall brewery is always on at £3 a pint, and they’re now selling Prosecco by the glass! Closed Christmas Day, open from 5 on Boxing Day.


THE OTLEY TAVERN – So much going on that you really need to keep checking on their Facebook page or on Twitter @TheOtleyTavern. They’re members of OBE [Ossett Beer Excellence Club] and have THREE screens which they can split between Sky and BT Sports 7 days a week.


THE BOWLING GREEN – Why not pre-book a Christmas meal for only £8.75 including a drink? Available every day up to 1 Jan, excluding Christmas Day [when the pub is open from 11 to 3]. All the usual Wetherspoon’s club deals also apply over the holidays.


THE ROSE AND CROWN – A late night disco on Christmas Eve, and a Christmas Jumper party on Boxing Day! Open late again on New Year’s Eve, and food available during 1 Jan.


THE JUNCTION – The usual live music on Saturdays and Tuesdays will continue over the festive period. Currently running a raffle for a signed Leeds Rhinos shirt (jointly with Whitakers) for St Gemma’s Hospice, Pancreatic Cancer Action, and Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Draw will take place during Scotty Waites’ darts event, 19:30 on the 28th.


THE WHITE SWAN – There’ll be food during Scotty Waites’ darts at 21:10 on the 28th; a ‘tasteful’ (??) disco, with music from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s on New Year’s Eve – with free nibbles, and open til 1-o-clock; and there are always those gents toilets . . . .


THE OLD COCK – Open for the usual wide range of real ales all over the festive period, including 11 to 3 on Christmas Day. Come down and join the Otley Ukulele Orchestra carol concert at 8pm on Tuesday 23rd.


THE BAY HORSE – Nothing ‘special’ over the next two weeks, but then the regulars at The Bay Horse know it’s always special – and they’ll be celebrating! Why not call in during a break in your Christmas shopping and help them!


THE BLACK BULL – Another town centre pub that allegedly doesn’t have anything ‘special’ over the festive period – apart from its location, its beams, its history . . . and a disco on Christmas Eve to help you relax before Santa comes.


THE BRIDGE – A good staging post when you’re coming or going over the river, The Bridge will be open over the whole festive period, including 11 to 3 on Christmas Day. They’ve got both SKY and BT sports, and local rock and blues band BLUEPRINT will be live on Saturday 28th. The popular open mic night ‘Bar Room Buskers’ will start again on 9 January.


THE ROEBUCK – The usual fine food and real ales will be available over the next two weeks, but unfortunately it’s too late now to book a meal for Christmas Day or earlier. Phone 01943 463063 to book a table for their 3-course New Year meal, or check their website  Note – The Roebuck will be closed every Monday from now until Easter.


THE YEW TREE – Try not to self-destruct at the ‘Kamikaze Karaoke’, which is here on Christmas Eve, so you can come back for the DJ and party into the night the following week on New Year’s Eve! In between, the pub’s open from 12 to 3 on Christmas Day, normal hours every other day, and there’s a carvery on Sunday the 29th. Enjoy!

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