Wednesday, 6 January 2016

BRAPA - Wuthering Heights in Bronte Country

"Out on the winding, windy moors, we roll and fall in green" I'm singing the Alan Partridge version rather than Kate Bush as I write this, but I'll spare you the karaoke session.

Determined to crack on with BRAPA in the new year (probably a reaction to all this dry January nonsense), I found myself squashed like a sardine on the notorious Leeds-Skipton commuter train after work, where I was after my penultimate West Yorkshire pub tick.

Standing to Keighley and then walking to the bus station was not good for the recovering ankle (which I'm not mentioning) but the whole evening was fraught with risk, as buses to and from Stanbury stop running before 6pm, leaving me potentially stranded, but this adds to the adventure!

This was my first visit to Keighley bus station and with muzak even more serene than the Huddersfield equivalent, I soon found myself dozing off in a berth at Stop L, only to be woken by the bus engine starting up ready to blast off into Bronte country.

The bus was quite busy but once we'd negotiated Haworth (nice to see it tourist free in the dark for a change!), I was the only passenger left and pressed a bell before the driver terminated me first!  The pub was luckily just across the road.

776.  Wuthering Heights Inn, Stanbury

 If I'd had my pre-emptive crystal ball with me on Yorkshire Day 2014, I'd have visited this at the same time as the solid Friendly and the now de-guided anti-climactical Old Silent Inn.  The pub name seemed to playing on the Bronte thang, so I was expecting some below average food orientated tourist hole,  How glad I was then to walk in and see two old locals, a dog and a bored looking landlord in a small cosy low beamed lounge with a wood burner in the corner.  The dog, George, made the biggest impression as he drank water very loudly from a bowl on the hearth which must have been a lot warmer than my excellently kept Blonde Witch, served happily in the appropriate Moorhouses glass.  However, I only had to glance to the right to remember not all was proper old locals pub as a laptop had been hastily set up so visitors could watch a 'Samuel Goldwyn Wuthering Heights' presentation.  The locals were quietly friendly but the landlord looked suspiciously at me, especially when I eyed up his smiley blonde daughter who'd come to work behind the bar and bent down to stroke George.  I couldn't relax fully ala Kirk Smeaton as I had no phone signal or bus back, so as I went outside to phone for a taxi, I conducted a social experiment and left my GBG and BRAPA paraphernalia on the table for all to see, so when I came back in, they could engage me in conversation.  It didn't happen!  Even more unlikely, the taxi chap hadn't even heard of the Wuthering Heights but when I said it was on the same street as the Friendly, he knew exactly what I meant.  15 minutes later, he'd arrived and I said my thanks and farewell, handed my glass to mine miserable host, and left for good.

Great pint, wood burner, docile dog (just out of shot) - what more do you need? 

Despite not being a 'pub man' the taxi driver was a great chap and I definitely recommend Oxford Cars if you are stranded in the area.  I was back in York (via Leeds) for 8:30pm which I could've only dreamed of when I was envisaging wild, windy walks to Haworth and beyond in the dark!  

Only one West Yorkshire pub left then, hopefully next Tuesday/Wednesday, can hardly wait.  I was in this position last August but Wetherby's Muse and the 2015 GBG was cruelly snatched away from me on that occasion! 

Stanley here we come! 
And whilst we are on the subject of midweek BRAPA, I've identified 3 North Yorkshire trips I can do on evenings before we crack on with South Yorkshire in February.

See you soon, Si



  1. Nice pic.

    I had pretty much the same experience as you Simon - unexpectedly proper pub, OK beer, not as the friendly as the (sorry) Friendly. Slight diff was I went on that weird heatwave 1 November and got a good walk out of it.

    Is it just me disappointed Wetherby is GBG-less again. Some proper pubs there and good chips.

    1. You know I've never ever done Wetherby in any shape of form and considering it's proximity to Leeds and York, that's criminal! Here's to a GBG entry before 2042.

  2. The notorious Leeds-Skipton is the 17:16, on which the guard reputedly can't leave his panel after giving the right away, such are the crowds. The other good one is the 16:49 Morecambe, used to be booked 2 car pacer, maybe still is.

    Is George an early contender for 2016 pub pet of the year? I don't think there's been one yet, so he's clearly in the lead, but do you consider it plausible to hang on.

    My approval or otherwise of the 'Samuel Goldwyn Wuthering Heights' presentation depends on who the intended audience was. If it was a community group or similar, then it helps keep the pubs the lifeblood of the village. If it was some tourist event, then I approve much less. I would say though that such community events are much better suited to multi roomed pubs so as to not disturb the atmosphere. The Sloop in Barton works well for this.

    The landlord was quite right that you shouldn't have been looking at the barmaid. You have Rachel, and unless there is a reorganising of categories, a blonde barmaid doesn't qualify for the brunette competition, mores the pity.

    Martin, I like chips.

    1. I was earlier but it still felt notorious to me!

      George is in the lead, implausible he'll hang on though he did display good character traits.

      Surely was aimed at the tourists, not sure what value to could serve the community unless for doing 'homework' so they all become Bronte experts so they can impress tourists with bar chat.

      Right, time we knock this Rachel Emily stuff on the head, I'm a free pub traveller!

    2. Not as much fun as the 308s were. There will be capacity enhancements in the next few years, if any new pubs crop up for you to benefit.

      Fair cop on Rachel and Emily, I have been referring to them a bit much. I'm sure Rachel wants you to have your freedom - she is a supporter of BRAPA.

  3. I've been wondering, woulkd it be worthwhile doing some of the South Yorkshire pubs whilst this newspaper £10 offer is on, save a bit of expense. Though I admit that you would have to return via Leeds. I suppose some of the NorthYorkshire midweek could come under that category too, depending on where they are.

  4. I should have put last night, for Stanley I advise a Leeds Plusbus day ticket for £3.00. Obviously if you get the bus from Wakey rather than the 444 from Leeds you could get a Wakefield Plus Bus instead, it's essentially the same ticket. It could eb wise to have ready on your device or even print off at work the Plus Bus website stating the ticket is valid throughout West Yorkshire, in case of an argumentative driver

    1. Thanks Tom, that's a good heads up for when working out my plans tmw.