One of Britain's greatest pubs
Dave is a former Tetley drayman. After a number of run-ins with Enterprise Inns, owners of the Shoulder -- who at one point tried to evict him with 24 hours' notice -- Dave now owns the pub and is his own master. As well as selling vast amounts of Tetley Dark Mild and Bitter, he has beers from many Yorkshire micros. When I arrived in the pub, I was confronted by a pump clip bearing my image. The beer is called Jolly Roger and is brewed by the Great Heck Brewing Co. It's porter-style beer, creamy and luscious,just like me.
The pub,based in a wasteland of former coal mines and potteries,is a great, no-nonsense old boozer. The George Formby Society performs there every Wednesday -- how I would have loved to see them -- but Dave was persuaded to get out hus ukelele and play a few old Formby numbers.
In the course of a few riotous hours I met local TV celebrity Ian Clayton, a local historian, retired miners, workers from Thomas Fawcett's maltings and brewers from Coors of Tadcaster and Sam Smith's. The Coors man told me that Tadcaster alone brews 1.4 million barrels of Carling a year. I've never drunk it -- perhaps I'm missing something (but I suspect not). I also met a woman known as the Beer Monster who claims to have sampled 1,500 beers -- or was it 15,000? -- and Viv Nicholson, the woman who famously won a fortune on the Pools in 1961 -- worth £3 million in today's money -- and blew the lot. She lives in Castleford and drops into the Shoulder on a regular basis where everyone is happy to buy her a gin.
An amazing pub with amazing beer and people and masses of old Tetley memorabilia. If you're ever in the area, don't miss it.