NB – Our usual three-pub social meeting this month will NOT take place on the first Thursday of the month for once. This is because of all the activities that are taking place in Otley in the week leading up to the Grand Départ – we’re all too busy already! So the OPC meeting will be on Thursday July 10.

And it’s all about bikes this week!


“I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like”


Town centre bike races on the 2nd, and the TdF on the 5th. Wow!


Beginning at 8-o-clock on July 10th in THE OTLEY TAVERN, which has become the music and entertainment centre of the Otley pub scene.  Go down Newmarket, directly opposite the entrance to Sainsbury’s car park, and it’s about 10 metres down on the left. As usual, the committee will attempt to deal with all our official business in one hour before that, and then we’ll greet members for a social drink at 8 before we all move on to the next pub at about 8:45. This week it’s back towards Sainsbury’s, but turn left on Bondgate to the next left [Crossgate]; turn left, and THE OLD COCK is about 20 metres down on the right hand side. Finally, at about 9:30 go left out of the pub, back to Bondgate, and right to THE BOWLING GREEN. Again – a brief description of the 3 pubs follows, for info and future reference.

THE OTLEY TAVERN [which used to be called the Ring o’ Bells] is a lively sports and entertainment bar. With a couple of screens for showing all the sports channels, and a regular line-up of live music and open mic nights, you’re sure of a good time. Couple that with the choice of real ales and low-priced beers and lagers and you’ve got a perfect town centre pub.

THE OLD COCK is relatively new to the Otley pub scene, but has won numerous awards since it opened a few years ago. Not the biggest pub in Otley by any means, but probably offers the biggest range of real ales in town. Lovely stone building with cosy rooms upstairs and down, and directly opposite the bus station for those who want to sneak in an extra drink on the way home!

Finally, THE BOWLING GREEN has possibly changed a lot of people’s minds about Wetherspoon’s pubs. From the skilful refurbishment of the old pub into a large bright and airy space, to the well-kept range of drinks for all tastes, and the food available from early morning til late in the evening, this really is a pub that has something for everyone [except sports and music]. Loads of outside tables – including a non-smoking area, and you can park in Sainsbury’s over the road.


You might have already seen evidence of the Pub Club’s contribution to the celebrations for the Tour de France coming through town. With the help of a financial contribution from the Otley BID team, we’ve been able to provide a banner for every single Otley pub, showing their name in French! Thanks to sterling work from our new PR man, Andrew McKeon, media coverage for the project has been tremendous – both locally and nationally. Andrew was interviewed by BBC Radio Leeds for their evening drivetime programme; it’s been highlighted on Look North’s Tour diary; and The Guardian has an article on its website here There are still a couple of pubs who haven’t put their banners up yet, so if your regular is one of them please pester the landlord on our behalf, to make sure they’re all up before the weekend!

“I’ve got a bike, you can ride it if you like – it’s got a basket, a bell that rings and things that make it look good”


Sharp-eyed readers will have noticed the absence of any news about Whitakers in the June newsletter. It was all down to an unfortunate mistake in email addresses, so here’s a Whitakers’ ‘special’ –

04/07. Disco and karaoke

05/07. Open from 8am for breakfast, live music from Gerry McNeice Band

11/07. Disco from DJ George

12/07. Charity day music fest in the garden featuring: The Velveteens, Mallory Green, Peculiar Blue, The Sinners, The Names, Red Levels. Headline act indoors at 9pm the Memphis Cruisers

This year the charity day (from 11 til late) is in aid of a local Autism Awareness group, including a sponsored exercise bike ride from Leeds to London in thirteen hours (volunteers for a stint more than welcome). Celebrity guest appearances throughout the day, kids entertainment, games, competitions, face painting etc.


The first day started with a [Wharfebank] brewery walk led by our OPC Chair, Andy FitzGerald. (I was there.) The last day ended with the draw for raffle prizes – many of them donated by Otley pubs in response to requests from Andy – in the sunny beer garden of The Manor House. (I was there too!) Lots of other walks started or ended or called in at pubs, and I think we can rightly claim that the pubs and OPC contributed to making the festival a success!

“Through the darkness we still speed, my white bicycle and me.”



I’ve been liaising closely with Enterprise Inns’ Regional Manager, to monitor the progress of the refurbishment of The Black Horse Hotel. It seems they were only at the stage on Monday [30th] that they had hoped to be on Friday [27th]. They are still planning to have the doors open on Wednesday evening for the bike races, and to be fully operational by Saturday the 5th for the Tour. I’ll try to send out a [very] brief note before the end of this week [if I remember during all the excitement] confirming what’s happening.

Bob Brook

OPC Membership Secretary

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