“I LIKE that the pub has a bit of history to it.”

Neil Dunkin is proud to be at the helm in one of Bradford’s oldest surviving pubs.

The Corn Dolly in Bolton Road dates back around 185 years. “The building was sold in 1837 and has been a pub since just after that,” said Neil. “In its early years it was a John Smith’s pub.”

The pub was previously called the Wharf Hotel, due to its proximity to the Bradford Canal, a branch of the Leeds and Liverpool from Shipley, which once flowed into the centre of Bradford.

Neil, who took over The Corn Dolly in 1989, runs the pub with his son Anthony

The pub is renowned for its selection of real ales and has to date won 17 CAMRA -the Campaign for Real Ale - awards. Last year the inn received the Bradford CAMRA Pub of the Year runner-up award and a Special Award for Excellence for appearing in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide for more than 30 years.

“We have got 30 years of excellence in the Good Beer Guide - it is very rare to get that many,” said Neil.

Adds Anthony: “We have eight real ales at present, three real ciders and seven other pumps. People come from quite far away to try them.

Their real ales include Timothy Taylors, Moorhouses and Abbeydale.

“We promote new beers when breweries produce them,” said Anthony. “One of my favourites is Moonshine from Abbeydale Brewery in Sheffield. It’s a lovely drink that goes down perfectly.”

The pub has a large outdoor seating area. “People have been enjoying the sunshine,” said Anthony.” We have a lot of regulars who have been coming for years, and some who have started coming more recently.”

Between 12 noon and 2pm the pub sells food including steak pie and mash or chips, Yorkshire puddings with beef or chilli, toasties and sandwiches.

Father and son work well together. “Working with my dad is the best thing I ever did,” said Anthony. “I worked in Tesco for five years and felt like I a change. I had always been interested in the business and used to help out when I could. Dad was keen for me to something else before I decided. We have worked together for four years - it’s like going to work every day with your best friend.”

Laughs Neil: “We don’t argue - we rarely work in the bar at the same time.”

With its beams and pump clips on the walls, Neil describes the pub as “very traditional - like a country pub on the edge of town.” On winter evenings there’s an open fire.

Pre-pandemic, the pub hosted live music once a month.

The Corn Dolly was not always a pub. In the early 19th century, before Bolton Road was constructed, it was a private house, home for almost 20 years of the Reverend Edward Baldwyn, headmaster of Bradford Grammar School.

The pub once housed a large chamber which could accommodate a friendly society of 135 members’ which commonly met at pubs across the district.

*The Corn Dolly, 110 Bolton Road, Bradford BD1 4DE Tel: 01274 720219