OK, so our May meeting is going to be a day late for Star Wars day, but you can’t blame a guy for trying. Anyhow, there’s only one thing to talk about today – and that’s tomorrow! Stuff happening all over Otley, and not just in the pubs. All I can say is, turn up and enjoy the day. If you came to the Tour de France because you thought you might never have the chance again, then you should come tomorrow for exactly the same reason! A stage of World class men’s and women’s cycle races rarely begin in the same town on the same day, and it’s unlikely to happen in Otley again for a long time. So make the most of it! The sun will be shining [possibly], the weather will be fine [probably], and the drinks will be flowing in all Otley’s pubs as the day goes on [definitely]. There’ll be entertainment well into the night, so come prepared! See you there, I hope.


This is now arranged for a 7pm start, upstairs in The Black Horse Hotel, on Monday May 25th, just 4 weeks before the poll itself. We’ve already got an ‘out’ speaker confirmed, but no ‘in’ yet. Read into that what you will. Entry to the debate will be by ‘gold coin’ donation on the door [that’s at least a pound sterling to you!] and I suggest you come early, to make sure you can get in after buying a pint to lubricate your vocal cords!


I might have mentioned that we’re helping to promote a new book of poetry from Otley Word Feast Press – about pubs. There’s still a couple of weeks left to get your poems in to them, so here’s a complete copy of their request for submissions to inspire you. [If they let us, we might put some of the ones that DON’T make it into the book into our newsletters!

OWF PRESS invites submissions of poems about:

The Pub

from poets throughout the UK

In co-operation with Otley Pub Club, we want to celebrate pubs and their significance in our communities.  We are looking for interesting and innovative poems, either set in pubs or relating to pubs or a specific pub, hostelry, inn etc. We’ll be publishing a book and putting some of the poems on beermats.

Send us poems of up to 48 lines for consideration for the book. Any poems of 10 (shortish) lines or under will also be considered for the beermats.  Please send no more than 3 poems in total. Poems submitted must be your own work.  They may be unpublished or have been published elsewhere provided you hold the copyright and are willing for us to use them.

Email – send your poems to Put your name, uk address and telephone number in the body of the email and include each poem as a separate attachment.  Please do not put your name or any other identifying information on the poems.

Post – send typed copies of your poems to us at the address below. Include a cover note with your name, uk address and telephone number and a stamped addressed envelope.  Please do not put your name or any other identifying information on the poems.

We will publish the book and will get enough beermats to distribute to the locals of the beer-mat poets, but we’d like them to go far and wide and this will depend on some money coming in.  We are NOT asking you to pay to send your poems in, but if you make a donation of £5 or more, we will be able to order and distribute more of the beer mats; and if you give a UK address, you will receive a set of 5 mats to thank you for your support.  Making a donation has no effect on the chances of your poem getting into the book or onto the mats as all selection will be done without names attached.  Of course you are also welcome to make a donation without sending a poem.

Please make your donations at (Paypal including credit card facility) or post a cheque to OWF Press at the address below.

We can’t pay for poems we publish in the book, but copyright remains with the author and if you have a poem included in the anthology, you will receive a free copy of the book and can buy further copies at a reduced price. Poets whose work is on the beermats will receive a good supply of mats for their local.

Please send your poems no later than  14th May 2016

Community Interest Company

Half Moon House, 9b Westgate, Otley, West Yorkshire.  LS21 3AT
A not-for-profit organisation promoting the reading and writing of poetry.


TOUR DE YORKSHIRE – #famouspubtown

Here’s what I know is happening in the pubs on Saturday, when the women’s Tour de Yorkshire and stage 2 of the men’s race will both start in the centre of town. There is bound to be more that I just haven’t found out about, so get into town and check out a few pubs!

NORTH BAR SOCIAL Opens 7:30. For bacon sarnies, tea and beer. TdY projector screening all day.

Sky #CakeOff location. First 50 people who correctly answer a “Cycling-related question” will bikingget a free coffee and cake courtesy of Team Sky!

YEW TREE – Open at 8 for coffee and buns, so if you’re driving through Otley from the North, and you want somewhere to stop until the rolling road closures for the women’s race have finished, The Yew Tree has a big car park. Why not stop off for a drink?

MANOR HOUSE – Open at 10

BOWLING GREEN – Open at 07:00 with its usual array of Wetherspoons food and drinks.

JUNCTION – will be hosting a Cooperage display during the day by the Theakstons Cooper Jonathon Mamby. The Old Yorkshire Pit are providing catering, and Whiskey Pistols will be providing the evening’s entertainment.

BLACK HORSE – Tea, coffee, and breakfast from 8am

CROSS PIPES – ‘Fast Feast Food Van’ will be providing food and drinks all day from 7am.

FLEECE 7:30 for breakfast butties and brews

ROSE AND CROWN – Open at 7am, usual lunches, then a disco from 4 in the afternoon!

OTLEY TAP HOUSE – Serving beer wine and spirits from 8am (tea and coffee if it’s a little early for you also available) Food being served in our beer garden by Street Eat all day long.

OTLEY TAVERN – Showing live Tour TV coverage on all screens

WHITAKERS – Open from 9am serving sausage and bacon sandwiches tea and coffee and alcohol!
Live band Whakkinell from 4pm in our beer garden! At night an 80s/ 90s night with fantastic DJ George! Free shots for everyone in fancy dress!!



We’re hoping it’s not going to be too cold, or too wet, or too dark to walk up the Chevin to The Royalty and back next Thursday, May the 5th, because that’s where we’ll be having our meeting. I haven’t been up there since they closed for refurbishment a couple of weeks ago, so I’m looking forward to seeing what changes have been made. You know there’s a massive car park if you don’t fancy the walk, and you can persuade one of your party to stay off the alcohol and be a dedicated driver. Because of the location, we won’t be officially visiting a second and a third pub as we usually do. But that doesn’t mean we might not have a quick half somewhere to recover from stumbling down the hill, before we make it back home!

AND . . .

. . . always keep checking the rest of the website for more news, and updates on future meetings. Hope to see you next week [and of course every now and again in Otley’s pubs!]


Bob Brook

OPC Secretary

29 April 2016

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