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Branch chair Colleen presents the Pub of the Season Winter 2018/9 plaque to the staff at the Wuthering Heights, Stanbury, February 2019

Branch chair Colleen presents the Pub of the Season Winter 2018/9 plaque to Nicci and Darren at the Wuthering Heights, Stanbury, February 2019

Improved Pub Awards - 2012

Every now and then Keighley & Craven CAMRA present an “Improved Pub Award” to an establishment in the branch area which members consider merits special recognition for an increase in the range and quality of cask-conditioned ales on sale, or, in some cases, starting to sell such ales where previously there were none. In September 2012, one such award was presented to the Dickie Bird, Thwaites Brow, Keighley. At the end of October, the Talbot, Settle gained its award. The Talbot has since changed hands, so the Improved Pub article has been removed from this page. It is still a great place, so check out the Summer 2018 Pub of the Season article instead.The Turkey, Goose Eye received their plaque in November and in December it is the turn of the Castle in Skipton.

A Skiptonman‘s home is The Castle

The Castle, Skipton, Keighley and Craven CAMRA Improved Pub award December 2012With licensee Calvin Dow in charge, this deservedly popular Skipton hostelry is flourishing once again after a lean time in recent years. Situated on Mill Bridge, next door to the parish church, it‘s a great place for sitting outside to enjoy a drink or a meal when the sun is shining: well sheltered, it‘s a real sun trap. Inside its cosy interior comprises a central bar with bench seating and a snug to the left as you enter. Dating back to the early 1800s as a licensed premises, The Castle was one of many hostelries to refresh farming folk when the town centre bustled with its agricultural market held on the High Street. During the last war it was very popular with those men who weren‘t away on active service as it was the local HQ for the Women‘s Land Army. In the fifties it had its own jazz club, held upstairs, and even had its own band.

Calvin is an enthusiastic licensee with a good track record in the trade, and, since he took over the pub in June 2010, it now attracts a thriving clientele of all ages with a good mix of locals and visitors. It‘s good to see a pub with genuine atmosphere in these difficult times for the licensed trade.

Real Ale has always been present, though in recent years it had become restricted to just one beer. The choice has now been extended and up to six consistently kept ales are sold on handpump. Theakstons Best Bitter is accompanied on a permanent basis by their Lightfoot and the infamous Old Peculiar - the latter two are not widely available in the town on draught. Up to three guest ales also feature, usually from well-known breweries such as Caledonian, Thwaites and Shepherd Neame.

The Castle, Skipton: an older picture showing the pub in daylightAs well as the beer range, events at the pub and the provision of good value home-cooked food draw in the customers. Food is served from 11:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. until 9.00p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 12 noon until 4p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The menu features many traditional pub favourites and there is a two meals for a tenner deal. Regular events include a Poker Night every Wednesday, with cash prizes up to £100 and there‘s a free Quiz night every Sunday including Bingo and Strike It Lucky, with a free supper and a gallon of ale prize for the winner. Dominoes are popular and the pub has teams in both summer and winter leagues.

The Improved Pub award will be presented to Calvin and his staff on Tuesday December 11th at about 8:30p.m.

Talking Turkey

CAMRA Branch member, Mark Whiteley presents licensee Mark Shelley of the Turkey, Goose Eye with an Improved Pub award on 20th November 2012A pub which has been well known over the years was alarmingly closed for a while towards the end of 2011. Alarming since this was host to the first Goose Eye Brewery from 1978 to 1988, and it seemed to be a horrible thing to consider it shutting with no idea of its future considering its glory years in the past. Of course, we are talking of the Turkey Inn in Goose Eye hamlet, close to Laycock and Oakworth. Most fortunately, in stepped Mark and Heather Shelley at the end of November 2011 and they managed to get the pub up and running in time for Xmas that year. Mark previously worked in TV and Leisure Management.

The Turkey has been steadily improving throughout 2012. The pub is open from 12 noon to 11 P.M., or midnight Fridays and Saturdays. There are 8 handpumps on the bar, 4 or 5 of which usually sell Goose Eye Brewery beers (the brewery having relocated to Ingrow many moons ago). The other pumps sell guest beers. Goose Eye Bitter, Chinook Blonde and Pommies Revenge are permanently on sale. In mid November the other beers on when we visited were Timothy Taylor Golden Best and Landlord, Goose Eye Barm Pot, Roosters Yankee and Naylors Black & Tan. Prices varied between £2.60 and £3 per pint.

The Turkey, Goose Eye, pub signFood is served between 12 and 9 P.M. every day. Thursday is steak night and there are roast dinners on Sunday. There is a special pensioners‘ deal from 12 to 2 Monday to Thursday, a pre-ordering service for working lunches and a specials board every day. Ring 01535 681339 for more details. There are regular live music and theme nights and Wednesday hosts a quiz night.

There have been some minor changes to the interior. The kitchen is now where the short-lived Turkey Brewery used to be and the pool table has moved to the other end of the pub. The cosy seating areas near the open fires remain just as they were. At the front of the pub, across the road (look for traffic!), you will find the car park and two beer garden areas, the newest overlooking the beck.

There are day-time buses which terminate in Laycock, which means a short but steep downhill walk to the Turkey. There are also some buses running mainly evenings and weekends, which travel into the hamlet and stop just outside the pub.

Dickie is now better

Over the last few years the former Druid‘s Arms in Thwaites Brow, Keighley has had a number of different licensees sometimes selling Real Ale, sometimes not. Then, last November the pub was bought by Mood Pubs who, recognising the long association with the nearby Long Lee Cricket Club, decided to change the name to the Dickie Bird, in honour of the former Test umpire. The company were keen for the Dickie Bird to be run as a community pub and put a local couple, Colin and Bev, in charge. It was decided to serve Real Ale again, with Black Sheep on sale permanently, and one or two guest beers during busier parts of the week. So far guest beers have been from some of our local breweries such as Bridgehouse, Goose Eye, Naylors and Old Spot, but also from Clarks of Wakefield. Since then the pub has gone from strength to strength and is busy enough to sell a guest beer throughout the week. As a result Keighley and Craven CAMRA voted to present an improved pub award for increasing the range and quality of Real Ale in the area.

Some of the activities Colin and Bev have introduced to help attract people from the local community are bingo on Tuesday nights and a quiz on Wednesday nights. The normal opening hours from September 3rd 2012 are 4 to 11 P.M. Monday to Friday, noon to 11 P.M. on Saturday and 10 A.M. to noon (breakfast), then noon to 11 P.M. on Sunday. Over the summer the pub opened from noon every day. This was to enable parents to take their children to play in the new adventure playground, which was built behind the pub during the spring, while they watched from the new decking area, enjoying some refreshments. The Sunday breakfasts are proving popular. Fresh home-cooked, locally sourced food is available every day at a reasonable price. There is a no swearing policy and anyone contravening this may be asked to donate 50p to charity.

The presentation was made on Wednesday 19th September just before the weekly quiz commenced.

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