Landlady Val returns to Ingrow's Great Northern pub for third time

Val Blakely is back for a third stint behind the bar as landlady at the Great Northern, Ingrow

Val Blakely is back for a third stint behind the bar as landlady at the Great Northern, Ingrow Buy this photo

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Once, twice, three times, landlady Val Blakely has welcomed drinkers at the Great Northern pub at Ingrow, Keighley, during a 30-year love affair with the popular watering hole.

Following the recent departure of TV soap actor Mickey Thompson, Val has returned to the pub for the third time in her career.

“The Great Northern’s been at the centre of my life for 30 years and I couldn’t bear to let it close down.

“Once pubs shut, they never come back,” said Val, originally of Dewsbury, who first walked through the pub’s doors in 1984.

“I had it from them until 2005 when I sold on the lease. Then I came back to run it from 2008 to 2012.

Val, a grandmother, is sharing the workload with business partner Shaun Miller.

“I’ve got such excellent memories of this pub – my three sons Ian, Robert and Jamie were all brought here and it’s always had a great family feel to it.”

The Great Northern is a traditional pub with classic Guinness cartoons on the walls and framed photos of Keighley scenes, and Val said her plans were to make its good aspects even better.

“We’ve got two pool teams and we’re getting darts and doms going again,” she said.

“I already know most of the regulars from having been here before, so it’s like meeting up with old friends.

“When we’re nicely settled back in I’ll also start doing food, but that can wait a little bit.

“But the Great Northern will stay as it always has been – an honest, Yorkshire pub where what you see is what you get.”

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