November already, Christmas just round the corner, and the next 4 weeks topped and [almost] tailed by another 2 big events in the Otley annual calendar. There’s more about the beer festival and Victorian Fayre below, but first, the big news of the week for pubs is this –


MP Greg Mulholland – Otley Pub Club’s Honorary President, Chair of the Save the Pub Group and Coordinator of the national Fair Deal for your Local campaign – is leading the fight against pub companies who exploit hardworking licensees and take an unfair share of pub profits. He has laid a cross-party new clause – New Clause 2 (NC2) – that would amend the government’s Small Business Bill and enshrine in law the right for the tenants of the large companies to opt for a market rent-only option – which would stop the scandal of rip-off beer prices and excessive rents charged by pubcos.

New Clause 2 will allow pub tenants tied to the large pub companies (more than 500 pubs) to opt for a rent only deal, allowing them to buy beer on the open market rather than being forced to buy through their pubco at prices often around 70% more than the brewery price. The pubco tied business model has caused many pubs to fail and close locally and nationally and Greg Mulholland and the Save the Pub Group have been leading the campaign for much needed reform to address this. The Fair Deal for Your Local campaign has already been backed by 212 MPs, and NC2 has already been signed by 25 MPs, but needs more support if it is to save the pub industry [and incidentally lower the price of your pint!] So please email your own local MP this weekend, asking them to do three things:

1. Put their name to an amendment to the Bill introducing a market rent only option

2. Attend the Parliamentary debate on Tuesday 18th November

3. Vote for the amendment

CAMRA have already drafted an email for their own members, which you can use if you wish by simply following this LINK, entering your details and submitting it.

If you would rather send an email direct, but you’re not sure who your local MP is, you can find out at and you can find out more about New Clause 2 on Greg Mulholland’s own website. More on the Fair Deal For Your Local campaign is also on their own website.

Thank you in advance for your support for this important issue for the future of the pub trade in the UK!


This very Friday and Saturday (14/15 Nov.) sees the 14th OBF return to Otley Rugby Club on Pool Road. Entrance [pay on the door only – no advance tickets] is £5, for which you get a programme; non-refundable commemorative glass; and £2:50 drink tokens. It’s open from midday until 11:00pm both days. The Beer Festival has grown steadily each year ever since the first one back in 1997 and this year’s will be even better! It is a fantastic opportunity for you to support the local community (£65,400 raised for the Parish Church and local charities since 2002), to sample a few beers and generally to have a great time. There are 62 beers from 33 different breweries [mainly in Yorkshire], as well as 10 ciders and perries [and another 5 in reserve]. As ever – do remember to drink alcohol responsibly! For more, see the OBF website.


One of the liveliest days of the year in Otley, as well as one of the most colourful and enjoyable. The organising committee have worked hard since 2010 to change the nature of the Fayre, moving it from a Friday afternoon and evening event that had become characterised by silly string and balloons, to a Sunday daytime market that attracts people of all ages from far and wide. Attractions range from street entertainers, Morris dancers, organs and bell ringers to fairground rides, donkey rides and even Santa’s reindeer. There’s plenty of local freshly-cooked food on offer, and quality hand-crafted products to buy for those all-important Christmas presents. On top of all this [well I would say that, wouldn’t I?] comes the traditional dressing up of Otley’s pubs and their staff in Victorian style, for a chance to win OPC’s Otley Victorian Fayre pub award. All the pubs will be open all day, waiting to welcome you [and if you feel like it, why not really join in with the spirit of things, and come along in Victorian dress yourself? More details are on the Otley Victorian Fayre and Street Market website.

– – / / – – / / – – / / – –



Don’t forget, if you are a CAMRA member and like Nicholson’s pubs, download their Hop Circle app [details on the Nicholson’s website] and you’ll find a special offer, just for members, of a tasting stick (three thirds) of unique beers from Purity, Brains and Adnams for you to enjoy at the Nicholson’s beer festival (finishes 16th Nov) for just £1! There are lots more benefits to be gained from the app after this weekend as well, and although there are no Nicholson’s pubs in Otley, I realise that many of you reading this might visit pubs elsewhere from time to time [and there are 3 in Leeds . . . !]


New research by Carlsberg UK has found that more people choose to visit the pub than to go shopping, go to a café or restaurant, or visit the cinema. The research showed that pub and bar visits are now growing again after a bit of a slump during the recent recession. For more details – including the age group in which pub visits are surprisingly falling, see the Morning Advertiser article.


Last month I gave you the good news that some pubs around the country are still managing to be saved. This month I’m pointing you in the direction of one close to home that’s about to be lost. [Again, apologies for moving outside OPC’s sphere of interest into a neighbouring town – this time Knaresborough – but as Homer (the Greek, not the fat yellow guy) said “There is Strength in Unity”. If people power can save one traditional pub, that experience will make it easier to save others. If you’d like to see how your name on a petition could help save The Yorkshire Lass from being demolished, and housing built in her place, just go to Rachel’s petition on the 38Degrees website.


What do you think of this idea? I couldn’t decide whether it was good for business, or control gone mad! I know that lots of pubs with car parks in popular areas – whether in town centres close to the shops, or in rural villages popular with walkers – have notices asking you only to park there if you are using the pub. Most will let you be a bit flexible about it – so if you are coming back to the pub for a meal after you’ve been up Pen-y-Ghent, or you’re doing your weekly shopping before coming back for a drink and a bit of relaxation, they’ll let you leave your car with them. But one pub in London has gone a step further, and introduced a key pad inside the pub for you to check your car registration in when you arrive, and out when you leave. The car park has automatic number plate recognition cameras installed to make sure it can’t be used by anyone else! The full story is here.



The return of the advent calendar in December. Each day a different beer will be offered at a reduced price, with a bottle being given away every day!

Staff will be dressing up and getting into the spirit of the Victorian Fayre on Dec 7.

New ‘Winter Warmers’ menu will be introduced from mid-November.

The freshly made loose-leaf chai latte has proven to be a big hit [‘cos it’s delicious!]


DJ Karaoke Sunday afternoons; DJ and/or live bands Saturday evenings – check A-boards outside pub for updates.

Real fires, and real ales as well. Timothy Taylor’s beers on the bar from this week.

Hot sandwiches available all day on Victorian Fayre day.


The ODD [Otley Development Disgrace] campaign are holding an awareness-raising event on the 6th, with 2 bands in the upstairs function room.

The courtyard will once again accommodate craft market stalls on Victorian Fayre day.


With immediate effect, the pub will be operating under the same management team that took over the running of The Black Horse in July, with the existing pub manager George still being in charge of the pub on a day-to-day basis. The downstairs rooms are being decorated with the assistance of Enterprise Inns, and the toilets will undergo a major refurbishment in the New Year.

The emphasis will be on retaining the atmosphere of a traditional town centre pub, with 4 new TVs installed downstairs to screen Sky & BT sports channels and Racing UK in response to regular customers’ requests. There is already a pool team up and running, and a dominoes and darts night is on its way. Plans for the upstairs function room will be announced soon.


Live music every Friday and Saturday night, with many of the artistes being finalists from The Voice, X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent! Notable dates coming up:

Tom Milner [from BBC’s ‘Waterloo Road’], this Saturday 15/11;

Popular Irish band Blimey O’Reilly on Friday 21/11;

Saul on 26/12;

Keep checking the pub’s facebook page for updates


Christmas menu starts next week [and there is already a Christmas tree up in the pub!]

Beers coming up include a selection from Daleside in Harrogate and Springhead near Newark as well as Everards ‘Low Blow’ from Leicester, brewed specially for Wetherspoons.

Staff will be entering into the spirit of Victorian Fayre day by dressing up for the day [although I think some are still to be ‘persuaded’!]

Main course Christmas meal, including a drink, is only £8:49!! Add a starter and/or a dessert for only £2:25 each. Children’s roast turkey or lentil roast Christmas meal with a drink is only £3:99 – including a bag of fresh fruit!


Quality home-made food every day.

The Tuesday night quiz continues at 9:30pm every week.

Cocktail pitchers now available on Friday and Saturday nights, at £8 each.


Continues its programme of music right up to Christmas, with live bands every Tuesday and some Saturdays, and a DJ every Sunday. Check A-boards outside the pub for updated details.

Quiz every Wednesday evening.


Christmas market outside in the car park on Saturday December 6, from midday til 9pm. All stalls have now been taken, so go along and grab some local bargains for Christmas.


Refurbishment is now underway, and the pub is hoping to re-open under the new Landlord David and his family at the end of November. Official grand re-opening will be Saturday 06 December, just in time for the Victorian Fayre, and I’ll be trying to persuade them to dress up for that event as well!


‘The Names’ will be playing live on the evening of Saturday 22/11.

‘Glen Folk’ will be performing in the afternoon and evening of Victorian Fayre day, 16:00 – 20:00, Sunday 07/12.

Quiz every Wednesday evening.

Real ale £2:50 a pint every Wednesday.


Acoustic Irish band playing throughout the day on Saturday 29/11.

Pork pie, cheese and pickles every day, just £2:95.

Hobgoblin Gold now on the bar, and coming up is KRUSOVICE – the winner of best Pilsner at the recent world beer awards, beating 29 German and 16 other Czech pilsners to the title!


Jam night [music, not food!] Sunday 14/12.

Now taking bookings for Christmas menu, 3 courses for £19:95, and New Year’s Eve menu, 6 courses for £29:95.

The upstairs room will be open throughout the Victorian Fayre on 07/12 to provide extra seating, so if everywhere looks full, check up there!


Otley Choir concert on the evening of Thursday 18/12, plus Otley Brass Band concert on a date still to be confirmed.

Festive menu will start on Tuesday 02/12 and run til 24/12, alongside the regular menu. Lunch £12/£15 for 2/3 courses; Evening £15/£18. Deposit £10 per head and pre-order required. (For advance info – the pub will also be open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day – serving food both days. More details next month.

Prize for the Wednesday quiz at 9pm is now a £25 meal voucher for the restaurant.

(Good to see The Roebuck continuing the tradition of pub bonfires last week, by the way – and of course it was a huge success.)


‘Rock Steady’ performing live in the evening, Sat 22/11.

Main meals and pizzas now 2 for a tenner every day (except Monday) from midday til 7pm.

A different new real ale on the bar every week!

Loyalty card – buy any drink whatsoever 9 times, and get the 10th one free, all day Monday to Thursday. [No expiry date, so you don’t have to drink them all in 1 day, or 1 week!]

All Sky Sports channels now available.

– – / / – – / / – – / / – –

That’s all for now – with usual apologies to those I’ve missed out [usually because of my own shortage of time to re-visit pubs, rather than them not having anything to advertise!] or misrepresented, and thanks once more to everyone for giving me their time and information.

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! 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, just send me an email and I’ll put you back on the mailing list. Thanks!

Bob Brook

OPC Secretary

13 November 2014

written by

The author didn‘t add any Information to his profile yet.

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!