Spotlight on Oakworth - Spring 2019

In our spring issue, we highlight three popular cask ale outlets set in a traditional West Yorkshire village which is designated as a conservation area. Varied in style, one is a traditional pub, one a sports and music venue and the third a social club.

The Golden Fleece, OakworthFirst mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, Oakworth is a small settlement in the Worth Valley, which from Saxon times grew up alongside the old Keighley to Colne road. Its name probably derived from “enclosure of oaks” and from early agriculture to the coming of the industrial revolution, the village retained its green open fields around a central core of buildings. Many of the listed buildings date from the 17th century. The village benefited greatly from an influx of tourists with the opening of the Worth Valley railway in 1867, and it still does now with the preservation of the line as the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway of Railway Children fame.

Situated at the west end of the village, the Golden Fleece dates from the early 19th century and is the most traditional in style of the three. Originally the Fleece and although unlisted, it was mentioned in the 1837 Trade Gazetteer as a “notable” building having been built in the local vernacular style. Low-beamed and conservatively decorated, there are three separate drinking areas with the central bar serving LocAle beers Saltaire Blonde and Timothy Taylor Golden Best. Occasional guest beers are also stocked.

Walker-, dog- and family-friendly, the Fleece offers home-cooked food daily and its warming fires will cheer you in the worst weather that Yorkshire has to offer. Traditional games such as pool and darts are played, live sporting events are shown, bingo is played on Tuesdays and quiz nights are held on Thursdays. There‘s a large car park and sunny patio at the rear of the building. Very much a community pub, visitors to the local area also frequent this friendly and traditional Yorkshire public house.

The Golden Fleece, 126-128 Lane Ends, Oakworth, BD22 7PR, telephone 01535 645930. Open: Monday to Thursday 16.00-23.00; Friday and Saturday 12.00 to midnight; Sunday 12.00 to 23.00. Web: http://www.goldenfleeceoakworth.co.uk. WhatPub: https://whatpub.com/pubs/SKI/OAKW-1-GOLD

The Snooty Fox, OakworthHeading back towards the middle of the village, on the Colne Road is the Snooty Fox. Built on the site of the former National School around 1900, it is a long and impressive single story building. The interior is spacious with one bar servicing the large main room as well as the smaller public bar. The LocAle beer is Goose Eye Spring Wells.Tetley Bitter is also available, as is a changing guest beer. The Snooty is popular for watching sporting events on large screen TVs as well as enjoying live bands on a purpose-built stage. There’s a pool table in the small bar and music legends adorn the walls in the main bar. At the back is a pleasant sun-trap of a patio beer garden. Walkers, dogs and children are most welcome in this vibrant community pub.

The Snooty Fox, Colne Road, Oakworth, BD22 7PB, telephone 01535 642689. Open: Monday to Thursday 13.00-23.00; Friday and Saturday 12.00-midnight; Sunday 12.00-23.00. WhatPub: https://whatpub.com/pubs/SKI/OAKW-1-SNOO

Initially opened in 1899 as a Liberal Club, the Oakworth Social Club is situated near the famous Holden Park, donated to the village people by the family of Sir Isaac Holden. An imposing building and built in the Italianate style favoured by Victorians, it remains impressive today.

Oakworth Social ClubThe club is modern and the front lounge is tastefully decorated with a central bar serving LocAle beers Saltaire Blonde and Timothy Taylor Golden Best. A changing guest beer, sourced mostly from local breweries such as Goose Eye, Naylor‘s or Wishbone is also on offer. The public bar shows live sports and has a pool table. Very well-supported by its members, the club also welcomes non-members wishing to pop in for a drink. Live music events are extremely well attended as are quiz and bingo nights. An upstairs function room is available for hire and can cater for up to 60 people. The current local CAMRA Club of the Year and Yorkshire Club of the Year Runner-up, it‘s a great example of a well-run members club that supports cask-conditioned beers.

The Oakworth Social Club, Chapel Lane, Oakworth, BD22 7HY, telephone 01535 643931. Open: Monday to Thursday 12-23.30; Friday and Saturday 11.00-midnight; Sunday 11.00-23.30. WhatPub: https://whatpub.com/pubs/SKI/30

Oakworth enjoys a regular bus service (K7) from both Keighley and Haworth and there is a station below the town on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.

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