And so to my penultimate North Yorkshire tick for GBG22, in peculiar Pickering.

The final one, God willing, will be the Slaters Arms in Bradley near Skipton. Fire up the welcoming committee with the Barry Manilow soundtrack.

The Black Swan is a quality pub with good beer, but I’m afraid it’s also a little case study in how difficult it is to pin down opening times in 2022.

This is what 1) the Good Beer Guide App and also 2) What Pub tells you;

Sounds promising, but we don’t believe that, do we. Let’s check 3) Facebook, generally the most reliable of a pub’s social meia.

OK, can live with that. Just don’t turn up Thursday or before.

So I turned up at 14:45, pennies in hand, and saw 4) the sign pinned Martin Luther-like to the door.

Another hour ! That scuppered all my plans. Just to be sure, I checked the 5) Website.

Well, they’re not quite the same as the note on the door, either, with a later start on Saturday.

Who knows. I’d have to leave before opening, anyway. In misery, I popped in NOSH for a cheese and pickle sandwich and crisps (NC&PS&CSS 3.5), which can lift the heart of any ticker.

And then, just as I was heading for home, I noticed a 6) Blackboard had been put outside the Black Swan, announcing a 3pm opening.

Late redemption !

Quirky, friendly, light lounge jazz (whatever that is) and with a quality bit of home brew (3.5). Though EVERYONE else was after the Praha, of course.

On the way out, a lady across the street saw me taking a photo of the opening times for my fellow pub goers and shouted “Can I help you ?”. Yes, by having consistent opening times information, I nearly said.


  1. Bane of my fecking life, when writing Away Guides for my football club. Used to discrepancies between pub claims and WhatPub? claims – but when pubs themselves have three different sets of times on their OWN website/Facebook/Twitter presence (and have come across a few of those) have been known to occasionally lose it in the write up about their establishment.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So if you’d checked the pub’s website, you’d have known it opened at 4, is the actual story. Yes, they have control over their Facebook page, so should update it, but surely the pub’s website is the best place to look, always?


    1. No. Henry, it was the pub’s website that was wrong ! The website (and that sign) had the wrong times on; they said it opened at 4 and and it opened at 3. So actually I got lucky in the end, but I was just about to give up as I had to leave town before 4.

      Yes, if I was trying to find out information on a piece of Hi-Fi, or a band’s concerts, I’d start with their website.


  3. To attempt to be fair, the chopping and changing of hours might be caused by unforeseen staff shortages. But it’s still very poor business practice.


    1. But the changing of the hours isn’t the problem, as I always say ? It’s the fact that there were 3, possibly 4, different times to go on. And if you were a local, rather than a visiting ticker, you’d have seen the wrong times on the sheet on the door.


      1. As I said in another place, it’s surely not too difficult to have, for example, a list of all the places where your opening times are posted, just so that you don’t forget to update them. It might be something like this:

        1) A-board
        2) Front door
        3) Back window
        4) WhatPub
        5) Website
        6) Facetwat
        7) Tweeter

        If that’s too much bother every time you decide to change your hours, just make sure there is no information at all on the ones you can’t be bothered to keep on changing. No info is better than wrong info. (Probably best not to leave WhatPub out of it though, because some helpful person is likely to send in a photo of the old piece of paper that you taped to the back window five years ago and forgot about.)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A village pub that I often use does similar.

    When you ask why they aren’t too bothered about accurately publicising their times, availability of food etc., they say “Everybody knows”.

    Some of us aren’t a part of “everybody”, apparently.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. On a different note, if you are visiting Bradley soon and you have your own transport then I would suggest taking in the Hermit Pub in Burley in Wharfedale (as a pre-emptive you understand). Its only about 10 miles away and definitely worth a visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good tip; community pubs are virtual GBG certs and the Ilkley/Burley area has been short of Guide entries of late, so…

      I’ll probably take the train to Skipton and walk to Bradley when weather improves.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A problem familiar to us all. I find pub websites tend to be the least likely to be accurate as they are frequently set up then never maintained. More problematic when you go to the likes of Stornaway but typically less variation in hours in Scotland. And you got the tick!

    Liked by 1 person

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