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Pickles Pubs - Summer 2014

This issue shines upon two lively community pubs in the Pickles Pub Company portfolio. This family run business was established in 2006 with an eye to making customers feel welcome and supporting local suppliers for both food and drink. Their pubs are based in both the Aire and Wharfe valleys.

The Bay Horse, Cowling

We travel three miles west of Cross Hills on the Keighley to Colne road to the village of Cowling. Saxon in origin and recorded in the Domesday Book as “Collinge” meaning Coll‘s people or tribe, it began life as three separate hamlets and scattered agricultural settlements. Once the main road was built in the early 1800s, mills began to appear as well as terraced houses which attracted people to what now is the middle of the village.

The Bay Horse Hotel appeared on this main road but started its trading life as the New Inn in 1818. By 1822 it was known as the Bay Horse and over the next 180+ years, enjoyed good trade and was the heart of the community. In recent years however the pub saw little investment and endured a succession of managers until it closed in June 2013.

The Pickles Pub Company took the lease in late 2013 and, after a major refurbishment, the Bay Horse is now open and thriving again. The single bar interior is bright and welcoming but not too “modern”, offering a pleasant atmosphere and comfortable enough for young and old.

Cosy separate dining areas are off the main bar area and open fires greet you on cold Yorkshire days. LocAle beers are numerous with many local breweries supported. Timothy Taylor Landlord 4.3% is on permanently and recently Moorhouses Black Cat 3.4% and Abbeydale Doctors Morton‘s Aftersave 4.1% were on offer. Other local breweries such as Roosters and Saltaire have featured. Follow the Bay Horse on Twitter to find out what local beers are on next. Tetley Bitter is also available.

Managed by Jimmi, the Bay Horse aims to offer something for everyone, Tuesday is quiz night and there are poker nights and live music events. Major sporting events are shown live on tv. Themed food evenings are held and the regular food service is Wednesday-Friday 5pm-9pm, Saturday 12 noon-9pm and Sunday 12 noon-8pm. This is a family- and dog-friendly pub and it offers free newspapers to read and wifi for those wishing to connect to the outside world. A warm welcome awaits and if you‘ve never visited the Bay Horse before, you should do so soon!

Mainline bus 25 goes by right by the door. Open: Monday-Thursday 4pm-11pm, Friday 3pm-late, Saturday 12 noon till late, Sunday 12 noon-10.30pm.

Bay Horse, 161 Keighley Road, Cowling, North Yorkshire BD22 0AH. Tel: 01535 633895. View the Bay Horse on WhatPub.

The Old White Bear, Cross Hills

We then head back to Cross Hills, a village surrounded by the hills of the Eastern Pennines. Split by the Airedale railway line, the southern part is residential and supports many shops and amenities. The northern section is mostly light industry and commercial ventures, well-known chocolatier Whitakers started life in Cross Hills.

On Keighley Road you‘ll find the Old White Bear. Built in 1735, it is a multi-roomed white-washed roadside inn, that in previous incarnations saw service as a hotel, brothel, council meeting place and a dance hall. Today it is the heart of the community with a friendly efficient staff and a lively mix of clientele. The Old White Bear has in the past been home to Goose Eye, Old Bear and Naylor‘s Breweries.

LocAle beers are from Naylor‘s which is now located a short distance away at Midlands Mills off Station Road. Yorkshire Ale 4%, Blonde 4.3%, Magnum 3.8% and Velvet 4% are regular with Naylor‘s seasonal beers also on offer.

The pub hosts quiz and poker nights and the freshly prepared food is popular with daily specials and themed evenings. Sporting events are shown, the pub hosts a successful darts team and the very rare Ring the Bull game is played. There‘s a good-sized car park and a cosy sun-trap yard and garden at the back.

A recipient of many local CAMRA awards throughout the past two decades including Pub of the Year, popular with locals and visitors from far afield, the Old White Bear is a convivial place for a beer and chat - a must visit. Keighley Bus 66/66A goes through Cross Hills while Mainline Bus 25 passes the door - Check timetables for both here. Open: 11am-11pm daily. Food service: Monday-Saturday 11am-2.30pm and 5pm-9pm; Sunday 12noon-8pm.

The Old White Bear, 6 Keighley Road, Cross Hills BD20 7RN. Tel: 01535 632115. View the Old White Bear on WhatPub.

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