As pubs in many of Huddersfield’s districts close or struggle to maintain the interest of their customers, at least one pub is bucking the trend. The secret of its success is one of the pub basics – providing good beer. The ale at the White Cross Inn at Bradley is so good it has won a top award for the third time. JOANNE DOUGLAS reports
THE secret to a good pub is selling only the finest beer.
That’s the tip from an award-winning pub landlord in Huddersfield.
John Sutcliffe is the landlord of the White Cross, Bradley, which has just been named pub of the season by his peers.
The award by the Campaign for Real Ale group (CAMRA) is the third Mr Sutcliffe and his wife Sharon have won.
Since they took over at the White Cross pub at Bradley nine years ago, they have bagged a host of awards.
Landlord Mr Sutcliffe, 56, said: “We are delighted to win this award, it means a lot to us.
“I think the secret to a good pub is selling the best beer, I won’t sell anything less than the finest pint.
“If it isn’t good enough to go over the bar then it doesn’t get sold.
“Also people want good quality fresh food and friendly staff and we have that here.
“It’s a lovely pub with very friendly people.
“The customers are more like friends, that’s what makes it the job it is.”
With the pub industry currently suffering a decline, Mr Sutcliffe believes experience can bring a U-turn and bring success again.
He added: “The ind-ustry is going downhill rapidly.
“Years ago it was beer and bingo, nowadays people have more things to spend their money on.
“We need more landlords with experience, the price of beer has gone up and people have more things to spend their money on.
“The smoking ban hasn’t helped either.”
Mr Sutcliffe started working in pubs in the 1970s to earn some extra cash. He met his wife Sharon and they took over at the Travellers Rest.
The couple also previously ran the Yorkshire Victoria at Lockwood before moving to the White Cross Inn at Bradley Road.
They won the Camra pub of the season award once before in 2002 and the Huddersfield Camra pub of the year in 2005.
Mr Sutcliffe says his punters have become good friends, adding: “It’s very sociable, we enjoy it and we’ve made some great friends here.
“We’ll carry on as long as we can, I’ve got years left in me yet.”