New landlady at Great Northern pub at Keighley

Val Blakely is back behind the bar at the Great Northern pub for the third time

Val Blakely is back behind the bar at the Great Northern pub for the third time

First published in

Once, twice, three times a landlady.

Val Blakely is now welcoming drinkers at the Great Northern pub, Ingrow, for the third time during a 30-year love affair with the popular watering hole.

Following the recent departure of TV soap actor Mickey Thompson, Val has again returned to the detached stone-built pub, and explained her fondness for the place.

“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 from Dewsbury, but who first walked through its doors in 1984.

“I had it from then until 2005 when I sold on the lease. Then I came back to run it from 2008 to 2012,” said grandmother Val, who this time 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.”

Val said her only plans are to make its good aspects even better.

She added: “We’ve got two pool teams and we’re getting darts and doms going again.

“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’s always has been – an honest, Yorkshire pub, where what you see is what you get.”

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