Haha! No question of whether it’s pub gardens or inside fires now! The weather’s just turned nasty, with several seasons in one day every other day! If your cellar’s flooded, or your tiles are blowing off, or your cat’s leaving muddy pawprints all the way from the catflap to the lounge – just try to leave it all behind you for an hour or two, and go down to meet your mates in the pub. The damp/broken tiles/mud might still be there when you get back, but at least you might just feel a bit more relaxed about it!


November, after Halloween and Bonfire Night, sometimes feels like just a few weeks in the way before we can start to look forward to celebrating Christmas. [Although every shop in the country is trying to tell you it’s Christmas next week, in an attempt to make you part with your cash. Still, after all the Stoptober/breast cancer/Go Sober issues last month, it’s back to the good old moustache month. Trouble is, all the hipsters who started growing them years ago, have never stopped, so it’s up to everyone else to step up and be laughed at! Here’s a bit from this year’s promotion –

A new way to fundraise for men’s health

This year there’s a new way to do Movember. The challenge is to get active and MOVE every day of Movember – 30 MOVEs in 30 days. No MOVE is too big or small.

Take a 30 minute walk to work, play a game of ping pong or go on an epic bike ride – no MOVE is too big or small.

Mo Sistas, this is your time to shine. MOVE is your way to do something tangible for men’s health.

I know we’re already half way through the month, but it’s never too late to start supporting the fight for men’s health [and of course you don’t have to stop at the 30th!] Here are some suggested moves you can do in just 7 days

Movember moves


 Prostate Cancer UK Cycling Event

Otley is well known and respected for its love of cycling, so you might be interested in using this Movember as a starting point to prepare for Prostate Cancer UK’s charity event next year.

Join Men United and cycle the first stage of the 2016 Tour de France, one week before the pros.


The Tour de France makes its Grand Départ in Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy in 2016, and the legends of the pro peloton are set for a flat stage one. The Grand Depart Classic is your chance to cycle the same 117 miles from Mont Saint-Michel Abbey to the iconic D-Day landing site, Utah Beach, just eight days before the Tour rolls through. It’s a challenge that’s achievable for us mere mortals though, with less than 1,000m of total elevation. Full details at


Just a bit of feedback on the Breast Cancer Awareness event last month. The Cross Pipes landlord Ian thanks everybody for their fabulous response – the place was packed and everyone had a fantastic time. [And he did apologise for the fact that the ladies’ toilet facilities were a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of people!] The event also showed how Otley’s landlords support each other – Ian wanted to publicly thank Fred from The Fleece for giving his time free to work behind the Cross Pipes bar for the evening. They couldn’t have managed without him!


There were some superb fires and firework displays and food in and around town. The Roebuck had their traditional fire and food on the night itself, and The Royalty followed up on the Saturday, with what we hope will also become an annual event to look forward to. [Even Wayne, the ex-landlord of Whitakers had a bonfire at his new pub, but as that’s in Eccup, we won’t mention it!] Still a shame that we don’t see the traditional celebrations at The Summercross any longer.


Yes it is that time of year again already! Sunday the 6th of December will see the fun and celebrations start at midday, for the 30th anniversary of the Fayre! We started long before most [if not all!] of the other Victorian or Dickensian Christmas fairs around West and North Yorkshire – and we’re rightly proud of it! This year, why not go the whole hog and dress up yourselves? Last year there was the first appearance of a few Victorian steampunk outfits as well, so let your imagination run riot! [Perhaps not the whole cosplay, but, you know – try to keep it Victorian!]

There’ll be events on the main stage all afternoon, as well as performances by various artistes at locations around Otley – from Punch and Judy, through jugglers, handbell ringers and Morris dancers, to the full Otley Brass Band. And of course, all Otley’s pubs will be opening, offering drink and food to suit all tastes! What’s more, many of them will be taking part in the Elise Brumfitt Victorian Alehouse Award competition, organised by Otley Pub Club. Landlords and staff will wear Victorian costumes, to be judged for authenticity and atmosphere both by official judges and ‘secret shoppers’. Pop into one or more pubs during the day and join in the fun!

Full details, with performance locations on a street map, are included in the Victorian F
ayre Programme. It’s available from many shops and other outlets in Otley, costs only £1, and includes a free prize draw worth £200.


On Monday the 30th of November, there will be an evening of festivities in Otley Market Square, to accompany the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights. There’ll be Otley Brass Band, Fairground Rides, Fireworks and much more. This year promises to be spectacular, with a performance from renowned street theatre group Spark – find out more about them here –


Did I imply earlier on that there wasn’t much happening in November? Well here’s another one of Otley’s famous annual events – OBF 2015

62 real ales from 3.5% to 6.2%, from blonde ales through wheat beers, brown bitters and ruby milds, to plum porters and smoked dunkelbiers, with every possible flavour you can imagine.

This year [I think for the first time] there will also be at least three additional ‘craft’ beers, not yet shown on the website at  They will be:

Leeds Brewery Monsoon

Magic Rock Salty Kiss

Kirkstall Framboise

And if they should all disappear on the first day, who knows – there may be backups!

13 ciders and perries from 3.9% to up to 8.5%. From Marmalade and Fanny’s Bramble, to Pear-Shaped and Gladiator in the upstairs bar, along with global beers and soft drinks. Food will be available throughout the 2 days, and there will be live music as well. Well worth a visit, and profits go to  worthwhile causes.This Year’s beneficiaries of monies raised will be…

Children’s cancer charity – Candlelighters
Domestic abuse charity – Behind Closed Doors
Yorkshire Air Ambulance
Otley Parish Church


Many of you will already have heard the news that Guinness stopped using isinglass [from fish swim bladders] to filter its famous stout. The announcement was made at the beginning of November – World Vegan Month – and means that the beer will indeed now be vegan. As there is both a vegan and vegetarian presence on the OPC committee, this is good news for us, although I have already heard people criticising the decision.

As this article by Liz Dodd in The Guardian says, “in reality, all Guinness has done is catch up with the craft beer movement, which has long preferred animal-free beer.” She points out that commercial producers only use isinglass because it’s cheaper than other options for filtering beer, and that unfiltered beer tastes better anyway! [Worthington White Shield, anyone?] She also suggests 5 other vegan beers that sound amazing – including Green Gold from one of my own current favourite breweries Mikkeller – which I’m definitely going to try. Maybe those people who “think that ‘vegan’ means the beer is missing something” should try them too. They might even surprise themselves.


How would you like to get a phone message as you walk past a pub, telling you what beers are on tap right then, or what special offers they had on at that time? Well now there’s an app for that – see more at –


Otley Carnival is one of the lucky winners in the Yorkshire and Humberside group of the Skipton Building Society’s Grassroots Giving, and would like to thank everyone who supported them. You can find them in the Yorkshire and Humber section here –


What’s more, the Leeds & Bradford Triathlon Group are another one of the Skipton Building Society Grassroots Giving 2015 winners. This means that they will be using the funds to purchase a defibrillator to keep at the sailing club which will be available for club use too if ever needed. Well done to both!


. . . and I’m really not trying to be lazy here, but 12 out of the 20 pubs have current active Facebook pages [indicated by FB after the name below]. For those 12 from next month onwards, I will just post the outline of any event, and link the pub name to its Facebook page. That way, not only can you get the details in full, but also keep bang up to date between Newsletters. Of the remaining 8 pubs, 4 have pages that are not current [NC], and the other 4 just have pages for comments and reviews [CR].

I do apologise if I’ve made any mistakes with these FB pages, but I’m sure the respective landlords or their regulars will soon let me know! So, starting from my local, and going vaguely anti-clockwise round town –


Meal bookings being taken for festive period. Limited availability remaining for Victorian Fayre and Christmas Day. Quiz night every Sunday starting on November 29 – with your tea free! Cask ale club continues every Tuesday – £2:50 a pint after 6 pm.


Now has a fantastic in-house complete music system, capable of playing virtually any request you can throw at Ian – so why not call in and see if you can beat it?


Kids film club after school every other Thursday. See Facebook to choose film.

Taking bookings for works parties and Christmas meals. Phone or call in and speak to Steve for details. Keep checking Facebook for other events.


Every Sunday night music session, with John and Jane plus guest singers. Darts league on Mondays; pool league on Tuesdays; free pool table all day on Thursdays; and European football on TV on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. Theakstons Best and Sharp’s Doombar have been joined OTB by Old Peculier and Sharp’s Atlantic.


Every week there’s a quiz on Thursday, karaoke on Friday and live music on Saturday, with a Northern Soul night on the first Sunday of every month as well. Coming up – Kwame D on the 21st; The Furtles on the 28th; and Blueprint on the 5th of December – with an open mic night in between, on Sunday the 29th.

If you prefer foonorth bar cyclingd to music, there’ll be a carvery in the bar every lunchtime from Sunday the 22nd onwards,.


As their website says “There are no upcoming events at this time”, just the usual quality range of real ale and craft keg beers as well as international bottles and cans. Gives me an opportunity to share the North Bar/Paria Cycling Jersey with you though [see picture]. Details of availability on the website at


The girls are starring on the Tavern’s music bill this weekend, with Elli Jo on Friday the 20th, and Kerry M on Saturday the 21st. The following weekend, it will be Alan Turner on Friday the 27th, and Jennie Laine on Saturday the 28th. You can keep up with all the Tavern’s entertainment on their Facebook page – and follow the exploits of the pub’s football team on the sports pages of the Wharfedale Observer.


Look out for Wetherspoon’s Christmas menu coming up, and for the drinks featured on their website this month – Shipyard American Pale Ale, and Zubrowka Polish herb-flavoured vodka. They are also introducing gingerbread latte, spicy mulled cider and a range of up to 25 Christmas-themed ales.


Following the success of the ‘dark side’ real beer festival, the pub will receive yet another Leeds CAMRA award for Pub of the Season. The award will be presented this Friday night, the 20th of November at 7:30 pm. Let’s get as many people down there as possible to help them celebrate keeping Otley prominent on CAMRA’s map!


Usual quiz Tuesdays, and disco Friday and Saturday [until 01:30, doors close at 01:00]. Taking bookings for meals over Christmas, but already fully booked for Christmas Day. Open New Year’s Day. Discos over the Christmas period yet to be decided. [BTW, If you like Dandelion and Burdock, you’ll love the Hooper’s 4% alcoholic version here. They also had alcoholic sloe and plum when I was there.]


Live music – Hailbails on the 17th; Street Legal on the 21st; and Rocko and the Reverbs on the 24th. All free! And don’t forget the Wednesday quiz – with free snacks! Not to mention cheap beer every Monday! They almost pay you to turn up! [OK, not quite!]


It’s fast approaching the 1st anniversary of the ‘New’ Manor House! It’s 1 year old on the 28th Nov. and it’s going to be a great night with The Raisers Irish Band playing on the night and much more! Remember the date –  Saturday 28th Nov.!!

Also – free food every Thursday at 6 pm, with donations welcomed towards the Thomas Constable memorial fund. Irish music sessions every other Wednesday. Quiz night every Sunday with ‘Spin the Wheel’. Great prizes.


The Names playing live on Friday 27th of November, and Bar Room Buskers going strong every Thursday. Quiz every Tuesday and cheap beer every Wednesday!


Open Mic night every 2nd and 4th Tuesday, and live music on Fridays – Neil and Sarah on the 20th; Steve Chapman Smith on the 27th; and on Saturday the 28th, Rocko and the Reverbs.


Still going strong under temporary management. I’ve spoken to LT Management Services, who say there have been several people interested in taking the lease already. Their Ops Manager is phoning me back this week with more details – in the meantime, do call in and make the pub feel wanted!


Monthly disco night starting at the end of November/beginning of December. Watch out for more details and actual date. [Although I’m always tempted by the offer of Kraken Caribbean Black Rum at £2:35, I’ve still never had any. Someday . . . ]


Open Mic night with Paul Briscoe every 2nd and 4th Thursday. 21st a live acoustic performance [details tba], followed by a DJ playing ‘old classics’.

Taking bookings for Festive menus [incl. vegetarian options] – 2 courses £15:95; 3 course £19:95 – and for the function room [up to 40 people] for parties, buffets etc. Phone or call in for details.


FREE food on Fridays from 5pm! Christmas menu from the start of December, 3 courses £12:95 weekday evenings and all day Saturday. Booking  preferred – forms in pub, or phone and ask. Normal menu on Christmas Eve, pub open Midday to 11:30. Christmas Day open Midday to 2:30, no food. Boxing Day full menu, open Midday to midnight. New Year’s Eve disco – free entry, no advance ticket required.

MUSIC Saturdays – Night Patrol on 28th November; Above Average Weight Band 19th December.

FUNCTIONS catered for – wakes, birthdays, parties, meetings – just phone or call in and ask. Examples of catering range from biscuits, scones and hot drinks at £3:95 a head, to hot carvery or full cold buffet at £9:95 – but feel free to discuss any alternative option.


Throughout December up to Christmas Eve there will be a festive lunch menu at £16 and dinner menu at £22. Pre-order and a deposit required. Open all through Christmas and New Year for drinks. Food as follows:

Christmas Eve, Midday – 12:30 and 5:30 to 8 pm

New Year’s Eve, Midday – 5 pm

Boxing Day, 27th, 28th and New Year’s Day, Midday – 7 pm.

Christmas Day was fully booked when I called in, but you could always check for cancellations!


Christmas Fayre menu available from 1 December to Christmas Eve, then a special 4-course Christmas Day menu. Open on Boxing Day at 10 am for breakfast, then a normal menu will be served from midday [for those who are all turkeyed out!] All menus are available on the Royalty website at Closing at 9 pm on New Year’s Eve, with normal food menu until 8.

[Listen out for their adverts on Pulse 1 and 2 over the next couple of weeks.]

– – / / – – / / – – / / – –

 As ever, I might have missed things or misrepresented the facts, for which I apologise.  Thanks to all pub landlords and staff for giving me their time and information – and remember, the more you give me, the more I can tell potential customers about!

If you no longer want to receive these newsletters and any other correspondence from Otley Pub Club, just email the return address. On the other hand, if you stop receiving our newsletters but you still want to be a member, something’s gone wrong! Just send an email to , or via the website and I’ll put you back on the mailing list. Thanks!


 Bob Brook

OPC Secretary

16 November 2015

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