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Otley scores a first with historic ale trail launch
Otley’s MP has hailed the launch of a leaflet packed with information about the town’s pubs, past and present.
“This is something that hasn’t really been done before,” said Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West).
Otley Pub Club hopes its Historic Otley Ale Trail, based on an idea proposed by the MP, will give the town’s licensed trade a shot in the arm.
Mr Mulholland, the club’s president, also believes the trail, which includes a map and details about Otley’s 18 current inns and those “lost” over time, will give tourism in general a boost.
He said: “To have an ale trail that also includes all the details about the pubs the town has lost is a bit of a first and I’m sure it will attract a lot of interest.
“It should be excellent for promoting the town and boosting tourism and it will be great to see it in pubs and tourist information offices.”
Pub Club chairman Peter Jackson, town mayor Councillor Mary Vickers and consort Councillor James Spencer, Otley Town Council leader Councillor John Eveleigh and ward Councilors Ryk Downes and Sandy Lay were among those who turned out for the leaflet’s launch.
Also present were local historian Elise Brumfitt, who provided much of the detail on the “lost” pubs, Yew Tree landlord Barry Tomlinson and Martin Kellaway of Pool-in-Wharfedale- based WharfeBank Brewery.
Coun Vickers said: “It’s nice to see the old and the new coming together. This isn’t just a pubs trail but a document about the history of pubs in Otley and it’s good to see people coming together to make it happen, particularly in this economic climate.”
Coun Eveleigh said: “The town council was really pleased to support this. It’s another initiative which will hopefully aid tourism in the town and also a really interesting feature for local residents, with all the information on all the pubs we used to have.”
Coun Spencer added: “It’s a brilliant idea, all about getting more footfall in the town and the more we can attract tourists the better.
“We’re rightfully famous for our pubs and we’ve also got a substantial brewery just outside town now, so these things will hopefully, cumulatively, have a positive effect.”
A post-launch reception and buffet was held in the newly refurbished Whitakers pub in Kirkgate.