‘Shear’ joy for The Fleece and Birch Hall Inn

pub of the year, birch hall inn, beck hole with Glenys Crampton
pub of the year, birch hall inn, beck hole with Glenys Crampton
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The Whitby Gazette town and rural pubs of the year for 2015 can finally be revealed.

After careful consideration from our team of experts, we are awarding the town’s best pub title to The Fleece.

whitby gazette pub of the year, The Fleece with Carla Smith & Joanne White

whitby gazette pub of the year, The Fleece with Carla Smith & Joanne White

Carla Smith and Lee Marchment only took over at the Church Street pub a year gone April and are delighted their hard work had paid off.

Carla said: “When we took over, we posted on Facebook that we might not be the best in Whitby, but we were making a lot of changes for the better.”

The couple aimed to make the pub more family-friendly, started doing food and bar snacks, including muffins, and they serve until closing time.

We were impressed by the quality of their Whitby Brewery ales, Golden Sheep and in particular, Saltwick Nab, a malty, full-bodied pint which slipped down nicely.

We do need that five months of chaos in the middle

Glenys Crampton, landlady, Birch Hall Inn

“The award means a lot to us,” Carla added.

Other finalists in the town category were the Black Horse – last year’s champions – and The Buck.

Picking up the rural pubs shield for the first time was the Birch Hall Inn at Beck Hole, fending off close competition from The Forge at Aislaby and another previous winner, the Fox and Hounds at Dalehouse, near Staithes.

Glenys Crampton, landlady at the Birch Hall Inn, is thrilled with the accolade.

“I think it’s the fact it’s had only two landlords in the past 86 years and neither of us have changed it at all,” she said.

The quirky inn sells pies, butties, sweets and fudge as well as bottles of 4.0% Beckwatter, Beck Hole’s own organic beer.

Only a short distance from Heartbeat country, the Birch Hall Inn is as reliant on tourism as anywhere else.

“We do need that five months of chaos in the middle to pay for the rest of the year and we enjoy both halves,” said Glenys, who runs the pub with her husband Neil.