As Good Times celebrates 800 editions, we look at the changes to the pub, club and social scene in the Echo readership area.
The Rowley brothers, Karl and Michael of Rastrick, took over the Shepherds Arms at Cowcliffe just over the hill some three years ago and the pub has now become an epi-centre for the small village with its top notch grub and superb range of ales, wines and other delightful beverages.
Moving a mile down the road and Rick and Maggie Starkey achieved their dream, and after teething problems with the refurbishment they opened what was once known as the Clough House, and aptly named it The Four Sons after having four sons themselves.
The pub was unrecognisable when opened and with good food, ale and service, and the pub is packed week in, week out. Of course a stone’s throw away the couple also have the popular Roundhill which Rick and Maggie have also just completed a renovation of what was the old barn attached to create some new facilities within the pub.
Rastrick Cricket Club, round the back, is a popular venue 12 months round. Along with the cricket season they have the snooker team, the function room is busy with private and social club organised events and of course the Big Local holds its popular family annual events at the club.
Then on to the revitalised Sun Inn, owner Mandy Gorman has trusty Lance DeBlock managing the now popular food venue as well as a quality drinking hole.
Higher up the hill in Rastrick is The Rock Tavern as owner Maxine Maragh heads for almost a decade at the popular public house which has real ales, quizzes and karaoke weekly.
Lower down Rastrick it’s sad to see the Greyhound closed and metal grids on the windows. However the tidy little Grove keeps on encouraging clientele while the Royal Oak on Lower Edge Road is now a private house following a stunning conversion.
The Top Club, under steward Harry Redman for many years, continues to remain an all-male venue with its many arranged jolly boy outings and holidays plus events at the club and of course its snooker teams.
The Junction has seen them come and go but the main thing is it remains open.
Just up Toothill Bank the Rastrick Bowling and Social Club remains a stalwart of the village. A popular go to for its large function room and good choice in live entertainment,
Lower down and on to Rastrick Common the Globe under the Sild family for over a decade continues to get commentated on for its fine food and good service.
The former White Horse is now flats after a long time in the coming after the pub shut and at the end of Gooder Lane we have the consistent Commercial and Railway Inn with its popular Sunday afternoon music sessions and the consistency the Greenwood family brought to the pub.
The Star at Bridge End has shut twice since my last celebration feature of 700 editions and right now there are massive To Let signs on the facia, despite rumours it was set for a refurb and to become a carvery pub/restaurant.
Up the back of the Star there is of course the Cliffe Hall Club which keeps on plodding away with its members’ love of snooker.
The former Black Swan is now the Millers Bar with restaurant 47 Grains above. It’s ever so popular for a drink and to eat, while the Bridge continues to enjoy a good clientele and it was good to see the Back Bull renovated and back into business when problems arose shortly after my last big feature.
Across the town the old Specsavers shop has become Villian bar which offers cocktails as well as food.
At the end of Commercial Street is of course The George which had a massive refurbishment and has become a popular venue for sports lovers with its many large screens around the pub.
Adjacent is the café bar Fratellis which has opened the top level as a gin and artisan ale bar. Up in Clifton there is the Holiday Inn which offers many a party night and around the corner the Black Horse which has started a new weekly quiz. At the top of Clifton Common we have the Armytage Arms, which continues to encourage clientele with its food offers.Then on the end of Wakefield Road there is what was the Cornmill now chef and brewer property the Old Mill.
Back down into Brighouse town centre and of course the Robin Hood, although closed for some time, is now no more as it made way for the new Lidl car park.
The Barge continues under Tracy Stokes-Brennan to put on live entertainment as well as social trips and charity events and across the way Jeremy’s at the Boathouse is a firm favourite within the town for its classy surrounds, good food, live music and variety of food on offer.
Across the Sainsbury’s car park there is Prego for its restaurant and Italian café bar and a few doors down The Calder remains a favourite for sports and of course its late night discos.
Then there is firm favourite the Richard Oastler, Wetherspoon’s property which holds its beer festivals and offers affordable plates of food.
Across the way is Meze who have extended their property since the 700th edition of Good Times which offers a large dinning and drinking area. Then there is the once butchers’ meat store in the middle of the Brighouse outdoor market that is a quaint real ale boozer by the name of the Market Tavern and across the road the Old Ship remains popular.
Social clubs within the town and of course the Blakeborough Sports and Social Club has officially gone despite a fight to revive it.
Of course the Thornhill Briggs remains as popular as ever with a good membership count and then there is the Brighouse Sports and Social Club which has its rugby, cricket and vastly popular function room. Further up the road there is the Wyke Lion, a vintage inn, known back in the day as Ruby’s and not forgetting the Beck Inn on Bradford road.
The Red Rooster at Brookfoot saw Eddie Geater return to the mother ship.
Former Rooster manager Phil Ward, also of the Junction, Rastrick, then took on the Shears at Hightown and is now at the Yew Tree, Northowram.
Have you been on Elland Road to see the Sam Smith’s revamped Colliers Arms? It’s an eye opener and the beer is spot on.
The Lane Head Hotel has had a refurb and has popular Greek restaurant nights and within the area let’s not forget the Crown and Prince Albert aka Pop Inn.
Rob Wilde continues to serve good food and drink at the Dusty Miller.
Around the corner is the Old Pond which continues to pack in the punters and is a popular call in for football fans heading to watch Brighouse Town.
The Hove Edge Bowling Club has its continued members’ support and as we head up the road there is the real ale “find” of 2017, the Cock Of The North, which saw a tremendous footfall on its establishment for its festive beer festival,
Head brewer Richard Bentley said that 40 unique ales saw the light of day on the bar top as hundreds came and quaffed their way through them from December 16 until New Year’s Day.
“It was shoulder to shoulder at one point on Mad Friday and the atmosphere was electric,” added Richard.
Heading to Hipperholme its great to see the Whitehall, Travellers and The Tannery all firmly established.
The Towngate Brasserie is having a current facelift but still remains open and then there is the Hare and Hounds whose picnic bench afternoon teas have sent customers into food heaven!
The Brown Horse at Coley is still a firm favourite for its food and drink and don’t forget in Lightcliffe the Sun Inn has now been taken over and due to re-open, plus there is the popular White Horse.
Hopefully by the time Good Times 900 rolls around all these pubs are still open and thriving.
And if you have been missed off the round-up, apologies but please do contact me and put your pub on the map.