OTLEY PUB CLUB
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER 2015
First of all, I must apologise for the late delivery of the newsletter this month. I have been concentrating over the past couple of weeks on completing all 20 nomination forms for listing Otley’s pubs as ACVs, as well as a 3,000 word covering letter which makes the case for each and every one of the pubs to be listed. More info below. Because this is only a 4-week month as well, there isn’t quite as much info as usual. Hope you enjoyed Valentine’s Day – especially if you managed to book a table for a meal in a pub in Otley – and don’t forget Mothers’ Day and St Patrick’s Day are coming up in a month’s time!
ASSETS OF COMMUNITY VALUE
We’ve been intending to get all our pubs nominated as ACVs for a while, as you will know if you’ve been reading these newsletters. Well, two things have happened recently to make our applications even more exciting. The first was a proposed change in the law meaning that pubs in England listed as ACVs by communities cannot be demolished or have their use changed without planning permission. The second is that Otley Pub Club was mentioned in the official report of business in the House of Commons last week.
The quote from last Thursday’s Hansard report on Backbench Business – Pubs and Planning Legislation is below. (Full debate reported at http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/todays-commons-debates/read/unknown/280/#c280)
( Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West) (LD):) “I have exciting news for the House. The first multiple application, as a test case, will be made next week in my town of Otley, in my constituency, by the wonderful community organisation, Otley Pub Club. Otley has 20 pubs. As an Otley resident and occasional user of those pubs, I can assure the House that all 20 pubs are highly valued by Otley Pub Club and the local community. They are going to seek to list all 20 of them, which has never been done before. We will see what happens.”
Well everything’s now ready to go, and we’ll be handing them in this week. Fingers crossed!
870,000 JOBS DEPEND ON BEER AND PUBS
Just look at this joint report from CAMRA, Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), British Beer & Pub Association and Pubs of Ulster to see why Otley Pub Club is a supporter of other organisations who seek to promote the pub industry. It’s not just all about us – the pub industry is vital to the economic and social wellbeing of the whole nation.
WHARFEBANK BREWERY NEWS
I spoke to Martin Kellaway, the founder, MD and head of the team at Wharfebank Brewery in Pool recently about brewers and pubs, before he managed to grab himself a few days holiday. He confirmed that the brewery is moving away from its direct involvement in their three pubs – including The Fleece in Otley, to concentrate on the successfully expanding brewing side of the business – which after all is what they are all about! Their pubs have now been handed over on sub-tenancies for the new landlords to run as their own commercial enterprise. Martin told me that Punch Taverns were very good about the changeover, which was handled with minimal fuss – and as we have been known to criticise the big pubcos now and again, I’m delighted to pass on a good news story about them as well.
Their sales to supermarkets and overseas especially are increasing to such an extent that not only are they deciding to distance themselves from direct over-the-bar retail involvement, but that they’ve also starting to look around at the amount of space they need. That isn’t for the brewing side, where they have enough capacity to expand, but in the ever-increasing need for storage for their bottled product before it goes out to shops.
There has also been a bit of movement amongst the brewing team at Wharfebank. Steve Crump has moved on to a new venture in Bradford, as I’ve already mentioned. That means a full-time move into the brewing team for Tyler Kiley. Tyler hails from De Pere, Wisconsin via Savannah, Georgia [before he had the sense to meet a lass from Leeds and settle over here!] You can read more about Tyler on the Wharfebank website, and I believe that the Leigh who wrote that article is Leigh Linley, author of the book ‘Great Yorkshire Beer’ and ‘The Good Stuff’ blog, so Martin’s surrounding himself with a pretty good team.
Wharfebank brewery ‘open day’ tours usually take place at 11am on the first Saturday of every month, but they will put on bespoke tours, with food, at other times. In fact Martin offered to host an Otley Pub Club meeting sometime in the future, so watch out for the opportunity to join us there!
If you’ve never read this “Beer consumers’ magazine for Bradford and beyond” produced by the Bradford branch of CAMRA, it’s well worth picking up a copy from the bar, the next time you see one. Although it is centred on Bradford – with its much-lauded ‘independent quarter’, now having a vinyl record-selling bar, and a nearby brewery to add to its existing beery delights – the January/February edition had a lot of Otley-related news. There was an article about the Manor House re-opening; a report of a visit to Otley beer festival; a report of a gig at The Shipley Pride by Otley band ‘Summercross’; and the front page story was about the success of the ‘Fair Deal for Your Local’ campaign, and New Clause 2 [Market Rent Only option] tabled by our OPC President, Greg Mulholland MP.
WELCOME TO YORKSHIRE
I went along to represent OPC at last year’s annual Welcome To Yorkshire event in Harrogate, which was all about planning for the Tour de France. I’ll be there again in Scarborough next month, where the emphasis will be on the Tour de Yorkshire and “the very latest on other projects plans and details to maximise your involvement and the benefits”.
As you know, Otley Pub Club’s French Banners campaign for all the pubs in Otley, gained nationwide and international publicity. If you have any suggestions of how we might advertise Otley and its pubs with a similar campaign for the TdY, do let me know. You can either reply directly to this email, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org [And yes, we did think about broad Yorkshire names for the pubs, but most just came out the same with ‘t’ instead of ‘the’!
Do you remember when the Tapped bar opened in Westgate in Otley, in 2006, where drinkers could pull their own pints at the table? Well, it seems once again Otley was way ahead of the game. Now a pub in Swansea has done something similar, if a bit more high-tech! (As featured on The One Show, Wednesday 04 Feb.)
LINK BETWEEN STYLISH BEARDS AND BEER AND GOOD PUBS?
The beard liberation front, the informal network of beard wearers, has named its top beard friendly pubs in the UK. If you yourself have a hirsute face, you might be interested in this article!
LORD HODGSON OPPOSES MARKET RENT ONLY OPTION
Following the successful passage through the Commons of the clause effectively breaking the beer tie between landlords and pubcos, it does still have to go through the Lords. Unsurprisingly, an ex-director of Marstons brewery [Lord Hodgson] has already tabled amendments to try to water down the effectiveness of the clause. He is the peer who attracted ridicule and contempt in December last year, when he said that the closure of pubs was not being caused by the commercial behaviour of pubcos, but by an increase in the Muslim population.
Our President, Greg Mulholland MP said ”Many people will feel there is something rotten about an unelected peer, who only stepped down as a director of Marston’s in 2014, tabling amendments in support of his pubco friends. . . . MPs sent a very clear message that they support the BIS Select Committee solution, the market rent only option – and any attempt to undermine this must be stopped in its tracks!”
There has also been subsequent concern that the Government has reworded the clause relating to a fair rent only option, even though they had previously said they accepted the will of the House and would work with MPs and the Fair Deal for Your Local campaign to make the clause workable.
CAMRA PUB OF THE YEAR
No, not in Otley, I’m afraid, but I thought it was worth congratulating The Salutation Inn in Gloucestershire, with a 31-year-old first time landlord “escaping the London rat race”. He says the pub is “where you go to drink real ale. No lattes!” Good luck to him!
AND FINALLY – ‘PUB LANDLORD’ AND POLITICS! [MARK 2]
When Susan Smillie, Food Editor of The Guardian newspaper asked Al Murray how he would tackle the fact that boozers are being closed every week around the country to make more room for doughnut-kimchi-cereal shops with three-hour queues full of beards and bicycles, this was his answer –
“It fills my heart with further sadness. At some point though the doughnut-kimchi-cereal-beardy-bike shop bubble will burst, and the only people crying will be the bankers daft enough to lend hipsters money; the hipsters will of course shave off their beards, change their names and disappear. We’ve all done it. But pubs are like the buttons on the fabric of the nation’s flies: without them the country will come undone. So what my guvnorment would do is nationalise the British pub. All publicans would become civil servants, jobs for life and pensions, and drinking in a pub – every pint purchased – would be logged on a central national computer to show how much effort you have put into doing your bit. Common sense.” !!
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OTLEY’S PUB NEWS
(I think I confused people by asking for information up to, and including St Valentine’s Day on Friday 14th February! Still, here’s what I did manage to find out – – -)
Proper-priced pub food! Sweet chilli jam and grated cheese sandwiches for vegetarians, only £1:50! Same for the usual carnivores roast beef and dripping.
Usual choice of hot meals at lunchtime, and hot drinks all day. Ghosts – only occasionally!
Mums and toddlers group on Mondays is already popular. All 6 Nations rugby still being shown. 2 pizzas for £12 all day, or 2 (Weegmanns) award-winning burgers £12 all day – wash them down with a pint of Otter bitter from Devon, lovely 3.6% session beer. In a glass with an Otter on it!
NB – The Black Horse has just been awarded the maximum 5 stars for food hygiene by the Environmental Health Office.
As well as the regular 3 beers – Ruddles, Doombar, Adnam’s Broadside – watch out for Harpoon from Boston MA, and the much more local Moorhouses, Black Sheep, Saltaire, Daleside and Leeds beers, all coming up. [Err – and I obviously don’t mean that in a bad way!]
Timothy Taylor’s Golden Best now on the bar, by popular demand. 2nd monthly poker night Weds 11th March. More pool players always welcome for the Otley and District League – practice night Friday, with free table. Kart league is going great guns – with a 13-year-old boy having won the last 2 races – but is currently oversubscribed, I’m afraid!
The new menu is now up and running after the pub’s short closure for a spring cleaning, and it’s a welcome back to chef Martin Sutton. And there’s a new range of ales on the bar.
HORSE AND FARRIER
Early warning for Mothers’ Day event [although sadly no details yet]. The ‘Meet the Brewer’ event in conjunction with OPC has had to be postponed in March, so watch out for that in April.
Music every other Saturday evening; Happy Mondays beer offers; Live music Tuesdays; Wednesday quiz; and Sunday it’s Radio Celia.
Now serving food everyday 12-3pm. With a full menu, wide range of starters, mains & deserts to choose from, tea, coffee & hot chocolate. Sunday quiz only £1 a team, with finger food and a prize of a gallon of your choice of beer. [Not necessarily all to be drunk in one go.] Plus a Spin The Wheel raffle, with tickets at £1 a strip. A range of big and small prizes, and the jackpot goes up each week if it isn’t won – last week it stood at £90! Early warning for St Patrick’s Day, when the pub will be buzzing ALL day!
NORTH BAR SOCIAL
Look out for Tequila Tuesdays, when you can get 3 Tequila and Verditas for £6 [a saving of £1:80], or 2 Tequila Cocktails for just £10. Also, there is now a FULL TIME VACANCY AVAILABLE. NBS are looking for an enthusiastic person with a genuine passion for all things beery, who can offer fantastic customer service at North Bar Social.
Applications should be sent alongside a cover letter to Otley@northbarsocial.com
Their second beer from the wood should be in by the time you read this – Five Towns Mild. They are currently planning this year’s brewery trip for the summer, and there’s an early warning to look out for the Easter Beer Festival, showcasing champion beers of Britain.
OTLEY TAP HOUSE
Now open until 23:00 on Sundays. Open mic every other Tuesday. Piano on Friday nights, and occasional other live music. Loyalty card for Krusovice – buy 5 and get the 6th free [and experience the Krusovice glass!] and if you miss the Staropramen, it’s still behind the bar in bottles.
The best way to keep up to date with the full line-up of great music and performers at The Otley Tavern is to ‘like’ their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/OTLEY.TAVERN?fref=ts Real ales and all TV sports channels available all day, every day!
Already have 2 teams in the Otley and District Pool League, but new players always welcome. League plays on Tuesday nights, and the table is free of charge on Thursdays. 6 Nations is proving popular, so arrive early to bag a seat!
Mothers’ day will be the next big event in the restaurant, so here’s an early warning to make sure you book in advance – especially if you’re hardy souls intending to walk up there. You don’t want to be disappointed when you arrive!
ROSE AND CROWN
Tuesday quiz, Friday and Saturday disco, fine food every day. Make sure you book in advance if you’re hoping to eat there on Mothers’ Day [4 roasts on the carvery] – when there will be a small gift for every mother dining with them!
They are now looking to build their Summer team and are looking for Chefs, waiting and bar staff. Please send CVs to email@example.com – see their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Royalty-Otley-Chevin/228009990706203?fref=ts
Look out for an early St Patrick’s gig, with Glen Folk on Sunday the 15th of March
Sunday lunches from 12 to 3 will be back in a couple of weeks, under experienced landlord Brett Booth. The quiz nights are still on Sunday and Tuesday, and there’s now a poker night on Wednesdays. Karaoke will be starting on March 7th, from 8pm. They are also keen on starting live band performances, so if you or anyone you know is interested in performing at The Yew Tree, please get in touch with Brett.
Opening hours are 4 til close, Monday to Thursday; 2 til close Friday; and midday til close, Saturday and Sunday. But they will also open outside those hours for meetings, parties, buffets or whatever – again just get in touch with the pub. Brett is currently being helped out by our own OPC Committee member, and ex-Landlord of the Yew Tree, Barry Tomlinson, but he is looking to build up his team. Brett is an experienced professional trainer in the licensed trade, and is offering a live-in position to someone wanting to learn the business and help run the pub. This is a great opportunity, and Brett has said that he’s looking for someone with the right personality and willingness to learn, rather than with a specific CV and skill set. So if you think that’s you, and you’d like a career in the licensed trade, please get in touch with the pub!
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That’s all for now – with extra apologies for things I’ve missed or misrepresented, and for the delay this month because of concentration on other OPC business. Thanks as usual to everyone for giving me their time and information, especially Bob McLaughlin, who accompanied me round the pubs last week.
And don’t forget – if you no longer want to receive these newsletters and any other correspondence from Otley Pub Club, just email the return address. All your details will then be removed from all my records – it will be as though you never existed (to us)! Likewise, if I get three newsletter non-delivery reports for the same reason of email failure each month, I will delete all your records as well. So if you suddenly stop hearing from me but you still want to be a member, something’s gone wrong! Just send me an email and I’ll put you back on the mailing list. Thanks!
17 February 2015