OTLEY PUB CLUB
FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER 2017
SHORTEST MONTH, LEAST NEWS!
The thing is, I’m not here when you’re reading this [I’m in Texas!], so I haven’t really had the time to gather my usual array of scintillating news items – some with a local angle; some international; some pubby; some not. So I’ve just pinched a few from elsewhere and chucked in a couple of long ones to cheat! Have a fun February, enjoy Valentine’s Day, and I’ll be back soon.
PROTECTING OTLEY’S PUBS
You’re probably aware that, two years ago, Otley Pub Club worked hard to produce ACV [Asset of Community Value] applications for all its pubs in Otley. All the ones for pubs in the Leeds area were accepted, and the ACVs applied for a period of 5 years. ACVs offer only very limited protection against unwanted development and demolition, but until the law is changed with regard to development use classes, so that pubs are given automatic protection under planning legislation, they’re the best we’ve got. You may also know that the application of an ACV to The Old Cock has caused not only stress, financial expenditure and frustration for owners and landlords Lee and Linda, but has also strained the relationship between them and Otley Pub Club.
We obviously never meant for any of that to happen, and deeply regret the ongoing arguments of the last two years. At the end of 2016, the Leeds CAMRA official magazine ‘New Full Measure’ published a long article [which you can see here – page 27 onwards] about The Old Cock, which was critical of Otley Pub Club. It implied that we acted frivolously in applying for ACVs for all pubs and incurring Leeds City Council expenditure; that we were hypocritical in our treatment of some pubs; and that we were knowingly “interfering in the finances” of an Otley business. We have replied to them with an article for the Spring issue of New Full Measure, but in case they choose not to publish it, or to edit before publication, you can see the full text elsewhere on the Otley Pub Club website.
ARE YOU A BEER FESTIVAL FAN, OR NOT?
There’s a belief that anyone who enjoys a beer or three on a night out – or whenever for that matter – will find beer festivals a real treat. Normally accompanied by live music, food stalls, and lots of camaraderie, beer festivals are a great chance to enjoy a few brews you might not have come across before, and hopefully to have a lot of fun. On the other hand, trying to sample a dozen third- or half-pints of walnut, liquorice, peach or elderflower enhanced beers in a couple of hours can sometimes lead to more of a stomach-turning than a taste-expanding experience!
But as long as you’re sensible, and don’t go mad on the 7%-plus craft beers [like I did at Leeds International Beer Festival!] they really can be an entertaining day or night out. You can find details here of a few of the best and biggest beerfests across the UK in 2017. I especially love the look of the open-air FyneFest in Argyll in June!
OTLEY WALKING FESTIVAL
As I might have said before, Otley Pub Club will be ‘topping and tailing’ the walking festival this year. On the first Saturday, 24 June, there’ll be the ‘4 Pubs Walk’ that we’ve sponsored before. Starting at The Junction, up to The Royalty, back down into the valley to the Half Moon in Pool in Wharfedale; then over the river and up the hill to The Roebuck; and back down into town to finish at The Junction again [if anybody is still capable of walking and/or drinking by then!]
Then on the final Saturday, 1 July, there’ll be a ‘2 pubs walk’, which is really a Civil War walk to remember the build-up to the Battle of Marston Moor. We won’t be repeating in 2017 our Civil War battle re-creation ‘The Road To Marston Moor’ that we sponsored last year, but we will still be commemorating the Black Bull being drunk dry by Cromwell’s troops with this walk. Starting in Menston, we’ll stop outside Fairfax Hall, walk along the high ridge to the top of Otley Chevin, then down into the Parish Church to discuss the Fairfax connections, and finish at The Black Bull – giving us several hours to drink it dry on the anniversary of the eve of Marston Moor!!
The formal Otley Walking Festival programme will be out soon, and there’s no need to book for either walk – just turn up at the allocated place and time, and join in. We’ve been in touch with The National Civil War Centre in Newark; Bradford City Council Conservation Department [for information about Menston]; and Otley Parish Church; and we’re still gathering information that will make the ‘Fairfax Walk’ interesting and informative. Look forward to seeing you there!
CAMDEN BLACK CAP MIGHT GET LISTED STATUS
The Black Cap pub in Camden is one of the country’s few venues with a queer performance history pre-dating partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967, and it warrants the same recognition as the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, which was given Grade-II listing in 2015 – according to Ben Walters from a campaign group trying to re-open the pub. It closed suddenly in 2015, but now an as yet unknown supporter has quietly applied to have the building given protected listed status. Historic England confirmed that they are currently considering an application to list the historic gay bar and cabaret venue in Camden Town, and you can read more about it here.
This is a bit speculative at the moment, as we are only in the very early stages of trying to sort out a float for this year’s carnival. Let’s just say that if it does come off, it will be very appropriate for a pub-themed float, and is likely to be very popular with all age groups, as well as with allotment owners!
ARE BIG BEER BOTTLES A THING OF THE PAST?
If you ignore the terminology and the American measures in this article, it does pose an interesting question. With the increasing variety of beers available and the increasing strength of a lot of them, have the litre and pint bottles had their day? Craft beer shops like The Curious Hop in Otley, and modern bars like Stew and Oyster and North Bar Social – and even good old Wetherspoons – are offering increasing ranges of beers in small bottles and cans. Price is certainly one factor affecting customer choice, as imported beers especially often carry a higher tax because of their higher ABV. But the fact that there is now such a massive choice of beers available means that buyers often want to buy smaller amounts of each, so they can try out a wider range. I still love pints [or 500mls] of English ale in bottles, but I am starting to appreciate canned beers as well. We’ll see where the 21st century takes us!
THE NEXT BIG THING!
Well, the next big Otley Pub Club project at least.
We haven’t had an ‘All Pubs’ project since the 2014 Tour de France ‘Grand Départ, so you’ll be glad to know that we’re now planning another! This one’s got a very long timescale though, with events on Yorkshire Day [August 1st] in both 2017 AND 2018.
We’re planning to re-name all the pubs again, because of the successful national and international media coverage the town and its pubs gained during earlier re-naming campaigns. This time we want to re-name the pubs after Yorkshire celebrities – hence the link with Yorkshire Day. We’re hoping there’ll be well-known names from sport, music, acting, politics and elsewhere, with the final group being as varied but inclusive as possible, and appealing to all ages. The only qualification is they must have been born in Yorkshire – not just lived here. But it doesn’t end there! We’ll also be trying to contact each named celebrity, to ask them to come to ‘their’ pub on Yorkshire Day 2018. At the very least, we hope they will send some memento to the pub – even if only a signed photograph – to acknowledge the connection, and the ‘honour’ of being named.
The project covers two years mainly because we don’t have time to organise it all this year, but also because we want to build up the excitement with this year’s interim event. We’re gathering a ‘long list’ of names, which we’ll then ask people in Otley to vote for [probably via the OPC website.] Then on Tuesday, August 1st 2017, we’re planning to put all the pub names in one hat and the celebrities with the top votes in another, and we’ll have a public ‘FA Cup-style’ draw to link each celebrity with a pub. Otherwise, every pub might want one particular celebrity – like Sean Bean, or Lizzie Deignan [was Armitstead] and we’d have a fight on our hands! With luck, we’ll even be able to get 2 celebrities from our short list to do the draw! It will also give us a whole year to contact the celebrities and try to persuade them to actually take part.
I’ve already got a list of about 130 names, but I’m sure there will be some obvious and well-known people I’ve missed. For example, I’m not the County’s biggest ‘soap’ fan nor do I know who is popular amongst the 18-25 [or even -35] age group. So if you have any suggestions at all for Yorkshire-born celebs you’d like pubs named after, let me know, and I’ll add them to the long list! [But bear in mind it might not be your favourite pub that ‘gets’ your favourite celebrity in the draw!]
If a pub’s not mentioned, it just means they have nothing ‘special’ on over the next 4 weeks – just the usual beer, food, music, or whatever that they have every week!
ROYALTY – Nowt special this month – except a new menu, starting this Monday, Feb 13th
YEW TREE –
- Quiz Tuesday at 8
- Quiz Sunday at 8
- Sat Feb 25th Karaoke
- Quiz Wednesday
- New [and reasonably-priced!] menu launched Friday 10th of Feb
- New Landladies/New Beers [Pride of Pendle and Wainwright; with Deuchars IPA and Spitfire next week!]
- Beer prices dropped by 15p a pint!
- Open Mic night first Sunday every month.
- 6 Nations live, and a new TV in the snug.
RED LION –
- Prosecco at £9:99 a bottle throughout Valentine’s week.
- 18 year old piano player every Thursday 14:30 to 17:30 [He is brilliant! Starts at Guildhall school of music in September!]
- Old people’s Thursday afternoon also includes 2 games of bingo and tons of fun!
- The Goodfellows play on Sunday afternoon from 4 til 8pm.
- 2 teams in the pool league every Tuesday night.
- Thinking of having a ‘jam’ night for singers and musicians if anyone’s interested.
OTLEY TAVERN – See photos!
- This Sat 11/02 ‘Subject to Status’
- Disco/Karaoke every Friday
- Northern Soul/Motown Saturday18 Feb
- Quiz every Thursday; £770 current open the box total
- Sat 25th, ‘Flight Level 60’
- Sat 4th March Jo Gallagher
- Sat 11th March The Names – this is a must!
HORSE AND FARRIER –
- Not strictly an H&F event, but “a few people in Otley are going to start a theatre group, and would welcome anyone interested. Former OCP and OLT members most welcome, but also anyone who might want to perform, play music, make stuff, help out… Regardless of experience. There’s a meeting at the Horse and Farrier on 8th March, 8pm. Please visit the Otley Players Facebook group and ask to join if interested.” (Copied from Facebook.)
- Open mic night every Thursday
- New pizza menu – baked in house with local beer/yeast
- Premier League and 6 Nations sport on TV
- Timothy Taylors new summer blonde ale launching soon.
MANOR HOUSE –
Sat 18/02 Jo Gallagher’s Noise
Sun 19/02 at 16:00 Woolpack Concert Band [Ukuleles and Singers]
Sat 25/02 The Twisters
Sun 26/02 at 16:00 Dave McKendrick and Wolker Schmidts
Sat 04/03 Nigel Rae
Sat 11/03 Blimey O’Reilly
And Paddy’s Night 17th of March – The Razors
STEW AND OYSTER –
Sponsoring the Otley Carnival colouring competition. Results on 10 March
NORTH BAR SOCIAL –
- US beer festival on now and all this month.
- ‘Gin Social’ back as well – 6 different gins, with lots of different mixers and additions!
THE CROSS PIPES –
- Friday 03 March, Ladies night with Ann Summers. Men welcomed, must be kept on a leash!
- Every Fri/Sat play your own playlist direct from your phone, or request whatever you want – they can play ANYTHING!
OTLEY TAP HOUSE –
- Quiz every Thursday
- Steve Chapman Smith Sunday 12 Feb 16:30 – 19;00
- Having to raise the prices by 10p a pint because of the ridiculous business rate rises – not to mention the cost of imports as the value of the pound falls.
- Sun 12th – We Ghost
- Tues 14th – Northern Epidemic
- Tues 21st – Dr Brown and the Blues Cats
BLACK HORSE –
- Friday Feb 24 at 8pm Mammoth Quiz and Raffle in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support. Teams of 4, £5 per head, including pie and peas supper. BUT ALREADY SOLD OUT!
- Every Friday ‘Fizzy Friday’ – fish and chips and a glass of Prosecco, 5 – 9pm
- Valentines week special – £99 for 3 course meal, and bed and breakfast for 2.
PUB FACEBOOK LINKS . . .
As these pages are the responsibility of the individual pubs, I can’t guarantee they’ll be up-to-date, I’m afraid – but where they are, the information is likely to be much more current and comprehensive than my monthly newsletter! It’s worthwhile checking with the one you fancy going to, just to make sure nothing’s changed.
AND IF YOU’D RATHER FOLLOW PUBS ON TWITTER’ . . .
As with Facebook, some of these might not be up to date, but if you follow them you’re likely to get timely updates on what’s going on between our newsletters.
Although I think there’s only two pub accounts in town so far – [but OPC now have an Instagram account as well, at otley_pub_club. Trouble is, we’re all so old and non-tech savvy, that we don’t really know how to use it to its best advantage! Anybody who’d like to take it on, please get in touch!]
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Finally – I do apologise for any mistakes and/or omissions I might have made while writing, editing and proof-reading the above. And – If you are receiving these newsletters and any other correspondence from Otley Pub Club by email, but you no longer want them, just email the return address and let me know. Third – if you stop receiving our newsletters in future but you still want to be a member, something’s gone wrong! Remember this email address – firstname.lastname@example.org , or get in touch via the website and I’ll put you back on the mailing list. Thanks!
11 February 2017