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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

The Cricketers Arms, Keighley

The Cricketers Arms signTucked between two former mill buildings on Coney Lane, just off East Parade, you will find one of Keighley's best kept secrets and our Pub of the Season for Autumn 2006.

The presentationFor most of the week, the Cricketers Arms, run by John Mitchell with the help of daughter Vicky, son James and bar staff Rachel, Clare and Melanie, is a warm and friendly one-roomed local and a great place to pop into for a pint and a chat.  Worthy of an award purely on that basis, what makes the place extra special is that on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (and occasionally Fridays) it transforms itself into one of Bradford's, if not Yorkshire's best free live music venues.  Starting earlier this year John took the brave decision to try to attract new customers to what had become the quieter part of town with live acts performing a variety of music styles.  Tuesday evenings usually feature a blues or rock band, sometimes acoustic and sometimes a bit louder, whilst Thursdays are more a mixture, from contemporary folk through to indie bands to more blues, rock or even reggae or ska.  Friday has occasional folk or Irish nights.  The acts are mostly Yorkshire-based and have included some good up-and-coming young local bands, such as the Sounds of Swami and 100 Dollar Cigar.  Other acts have come from further afield.  We particularly enjoyed 'the Good' who allegedly came all the way from Australia just to play the Cricketers (...well, and maybe a few other venues around the country).

PresentationIt's great to be able to watch and listen to excellent bands but even better to be able to do so while enjoying something worth drinking: the pub serves five cask ales (Moorhouses Premier plus 4 ever-changing guests) alongside a range of foreign bottled beers and Westons Organic cider, all at very reasonable prices.

For those balmy summer nights, there is a small outside drinking area at the rear of the pub, ask at the bar if you want to use it as it's not always open.  (If you've visited the Cricketers before and are wondering where those wonderful tram-seats have gone, then this is the place to head for.)  And for a couple of days a year over the May Day bank holiday, you can even drink in the cellar.  This is when the Cricketers hosts the 'Upstairs Downstairs Beer Festival', with around 35 beers available, mainly on a temporary bar underground.

So, if you like a good beer, the Cricketers is well worth a visit.  If you like live music but are not bothered about good beer (and, we have been told, there are such people), then look out for John's latest gig guide.  And if you like good music AND good beer, where have you been for the last 6 months?  What are you waiting for?  See you there next Tuesday!

The Cricketers is open 11.30 to 11 Mon to Sat and 12 to 11 Sunday, with pie and peas usually available 11.30 to 3.30.

For a full calendar of music at the Cricketers, pick up a flyer from the pub or look on the web at:

Richard & Tamsin Candeland


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