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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

For only the second time since the awards began in 1985 - but also the second time this year - the voting for Pub of the Season, Winter 2007/8 resulted in a tie. As the two top contenders are two very different types of pub - small-town local and remote rural inn - it was decided to give an award to both, thus saving the chairman the ordeal of making a casting vote.

The King‘s Arms, Silsden

Report by Fred Baker.

Perhaps an area not visited as much as it should be is the village of Silsden, on the main road from Steeton in Airedale to Addingham in Wharfedale. The village has 5 pubs and the Grouse, which is these days more of a restaurant with a bar. It is refreshing then to report that one of the hostelries here has been elected joint winner of the Winter ‘Pub Of The Season’ award from Keighley & Craven CAMRA. It is the King’s Arms, northernmost of the Silsden pubs, at the foot of the road heading uphill towards Wharfedale. Francis Huggins (a CAMRA member) and Lisa Keeley have been here for 4 years come Christmas 2007 and have made the pub a vibrant centre for village activities. As this is their first pub this is no mean feat (previously Francis was in pharmaceuticals and Lisa in Customer Services). Regular evening events include a folk session on Tuesdays, a quiz on Wednesdays and live music on Thursdays. A selection of games includes darts, dominoes, cards and cribbage. John Smith’s Cask is a permanent beer here and there are usually two other cask-conditioned beers from the Punch Finest Cask list. There has been quite a variety of these going by the number of pump clips all around the bar. The King’s has a number of different areas. The usual entrance from the main road leads into the main bar area, to the left of which is a room usually used by the folkies on Tuesdays. To the right of the main bar room is another room with interesting photographs of Silsden in past times. There is also a patio area out back for when the weather’s good enough. Apparently the building was originally three cottages and was also a hotel at some stage. The King’s Arms is open from 12 noon to 12ish at night. Lunch is served from 12 to 3 P.M., excluding Mondays and Saturdays. Dogs and well-behaved children are allowed. Another fairly unusual feature of the bar is the selection of Gales fruit wines, which your editor remembers well from trips to pubs on the Surrey/Hampshire border many years ago. Further information can be found on the pub’s website at: Silsden can be reached by train, from Steeton & Silsden station, one mile away. It is on the main 762/765 bus route from Keighley to Ilkley (every 30 minutes during Monday to Saturday most of the day, though hourly in the evenings and all day Sundays)

The George Inn, Hubberholme

Report by Colleen Holiday.

The George at Hubberholme is...

· A 350-year-old Dales Inn with flagged stone floors, thick stone walls, mullioned windows and a welcoming fire.

· The only pub in the Langstrothdale area of upper Wharfedale as well as being in the glorious Yorkshire Dales National Park.

· A hostelry that once belonged to the 13th Century church next door, sitting snugly alongside the picturesque river.

· Situated in a hamlet named after an invading Viking chief, Hubba the Berserker.

· The one-time “favourite watering hole” of author JB Priestley, whose ashes are scattered nearby as mentioned in the 2008 Good Beer Guide.

History, character, great location: what more could you wish for in a public house? How about well-kept real ales, good conversation and a friendly atmosphere where you can while away the hours? For the last four years landlord Barry Roberts along with his wife Julie, son Tim and chef Ben have endeavoured to run a good pub and also to maintain local tradition. A yearly “candle auction” is held in the George, to allocate the grazing rights to the church’s “poor pasture”. Whoever has their bid on the table when the candle dies out is the winner. This tradition is maintained in the pub throughout the year by a lighted candle on the bar during opening hours. Make sure you get your order in before the candle goes out! The George is a “locals” pub, with Dales farmers drinking alongside visitors from around the world. The beers on offer come from Yorkshire breweries Copper Dragon of Skipton and Black Sheep of Masham. The home-cooked food is locally sourced and accommodation is available if you’re weary from your travels. Local CAMRA members will present the Pub of the Season award on Wednesday 19th December at 8.30pm. Why not join us to celebrate the great history and continued success of this genuine Dales Inn?

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