yorkshire ridings magazine
How a famous Lancashire entertainer is packing them in at an unusual Yorkshire pub. Words and Images - Roy Hampson ‘This place will be the last to close’, yells ‘Tetley’ Dave Parker the owner of Castleford’s oldest pub to his customers standing around the bar. He’s clutching a newspaper and reading with horror about the number of licensed premises shutting down in Yorkshire and throughout Britain every week. A quick glance at what David is NOT actually offering his regulars would be enough to send those ‘expert’ business consultants reeling. They would certainly say the odds are stacked against the pub keeping open much longer, what with the smoking ban and dodgy economic climate. Anyway Dave would reply by saying ‘experts know nowt!’ he’s probably right, the rising popularity of the pub is really a remarkable achievement especially when perusing the list of things that aren’t on offer to its customers. Dave’s pub, The Shoulder of Mutton, doesn’t provide a pool table or television set, no bar meals are served, neither are alcohol pops. You certainly won’t find a jukebox, a one-armed bandit or a beer garden on his premises. Mixing drinks isn’t allowed and you can’t book a 18th or 21st birthday party. However, ‘Tetley’ Dave does offer a good well-kept pint of beer and a warm friendly atmosphere in his pub. Complete strangers entering the door are made to feel especially welcome by both himself and his regulars. Really it’s just an old fashioned drinking house where folk can come for a pint and a bit of conversation. He frequently deserts his duties from behind the bar just to have a cosy chat with any newcomers. He’s a remarkable character who finds time to run upstairs during the chaos in the pub’s lounge and re-emerge dressed as James Bond or togged up in robes as a prominent Arab leader (a gift from a generous customer who visited Saudi Arabia). Or perhaps putting on a flat cap, bursting in to an impromptu rendition of a George Formby classic ditty, accompanied by his own expert handling of the ukulele. He’s a keen devotee of Formby the cheeky buck-toothed comedian from Lancashire. The pub itself is host to monthly George Formby meetings and is one of fifteen registered societies across the world. Tetley Dave became in charge of the ‘Shoulder’ ten years ago when he told the previous owner that “he could run the place with one eye shut”. Quite a statement considering Dave has a glass eye, inherited from a childhood accident. As they say in Yorkshire: ‘He’s always up to summett’ and now Tetley Dave, has launched an exclusive new beer that’s got George Formby fans hurrying down to the get-togethers for a quick tipple. ‘Turned Out Nice Again’ is named after the late, great comedian’s famous catch phrase. Each month the pub is launching a new Formby themed beer named after one of the films or cheeky songs. The next one is ‘Auntie Maggies Remedy.’ The beers came about after Tetley Dave was invited to a new brewery in Great Heck. It soon became apparent that the owners, husband and wife Denzel and Lisa Vallance, were also devoted Formby followers. So a range of Formby themed beers seemed a natural follow-up to the visit. The last Wednesday in each month is the Formby evening when would-be impersonators arrive from all parts of Yorkshire, often clutching several ukuleles. It’s no accident that a Castleford public house should have strong links with the famous comic from Lancashire. Formby had a deep affection for the town and once told the Blackpool Gazette: ‘I’ve a sort of romantic attachment for Castleford because its there that I first met a charming lady, - my Beryl.’ George was making reference to his first encounter with ‘Beryl’ in 1923 when she was part of a clog-dancing act from Accrington appearing on the same variety bill at the town’s Theatre Royal. She was pretty, blonde and feisty, and quick to tell George ‘that if she had a bag of rotten tomatoes handy I’d have thrown them at him as he’d blacked his face and spouted endless parrot jokes.’ Tetley Dave would like to believe that Formby was a regular at the ‘Shoulder’. ‘He’s been here. I have no proof, but I can feel it,’ he insisted in another of his familiar outbursts across the bar to any customers willing to listen. Although it’s only a hunch he’s probably not that far wrong. The theatre was only a short stroll from the pub and Formby always found digs during his regular appearances there in a street of terraced houses only 200 yards away. The Shoulder of Mutton was granted a beer license in 1859 and surely must have inherited a few ghosts since then. During a recent Formby evening Tetley Dave was busy behind the bar and suddenly turned a ghostly white when he spotted none other than George himself standing in the pubs lounge complete with brown trilby hat and carrying a ukulele. ‘Blimey, its Formby himself back from the dead’, he yelled across the room. It turned out to be Paul Caspar from Sheffield who just happens to look exactly like George complete with buckteeth and cheeky grin. He thought he’d call in and give the regulars a song or two. Paul was born and bred in Barnsley and has been playing musical instruments since he was 12. He has a degree in music, plays a guitar and has worked as a stage soundman with tribute acts touring the country. It was during these gigs that people pointed out his uncanny likeness to George Formby. He taught himself the ukulele and a handful of Formby numbers and soon was invited on stage to sing a couple of typical Formby songs in between each tribute act. They went down a storm. ‘There were occasions when the audience declined the act they’d come to see and chanted we want George instead,’ he said. Paul now has a new career performing at special 1940’s weekends all over Yorkshire together with his friend Janet Pilkington who performs Vera Lynn numbers. Why the name “Tetley Dave”? I asked Mr Parker how he came by the name ‘Tetley Dave’. ‘When I was working for the brewery in Leeds I used to call in a pub down the road on the way home. A bloke always used to say as I walked in the door “here comes Tetley Dave”.’ These words and images are reproduced with the kind permission of Yorkshire Ridings Magazine
Turned out nice again
"Tetley" Dave was a legendary figure in West Yorkshire and particularly in the Castleford area where he and his wife Margaret ran the Shoulder of Mutton pub and where for many years the Castleford branch of The GFS has flourished. Dave was a real character in a world were characters are few and far between. He loved his pub and the fact that he had created the Castleford branch and in its own unique way, the branch is one of the best nights in the Formby calender. Dave helped to create a unique atmosphere at all the Castleford meetings and he will be sadly missed. Whenever "Out In The Middle East" was played Dave would make the fastest costume change imaginable to emerge before the end of the first verse in Middle Eastern costume. He loved to play the bones and the spoons and although the meetings will definitely continue at this flourishing venue, Dave will be very much missed. Dave joined the GFS in 1997 and was also a member of the Yorkshire Ukulele Circle. On behalf of all those who attend the Castleford branch both now and in the past, I would like to extend sincere condolences to Margaret and the family.
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How a famous Lancashire entertainer is packing them in at an unusual Yorkshire pub. Words and Images - Roy Hampson ‘This place will be the last to close’, yells ‘Tetley’ Dave Parker the owner of Castleford’s oldest pub to his customers standing around the bar. He’s clutching a newspaper and reading with horror about the number of licensed premises shutting down in Yorkshire and throughout Britain every week. A quick glance at what David is NOT actually offering his regulars would be enough to send those ‘expert’ business consultants reeling. They would certainly say the odds are stacked against the pub keeping open much longer, what with the smoking ban and dodgy economic climate. Anyway Dave would reply by saying ‘experts know nowt!’ he’s probably right, the rising popularity of the pub is really a remarkable achievement especially when perusing the list of things that aren’t on offer to its customers. Dave’s pub, The Shoulder of Mutton, doesn’t provide a pool table or television set, no bar meals are served, neither are alcohol pops. You certainly won’t find a jukebox, a one-armed bandit or a beer garden on his premises. Mixing drinks isn’t allowed and you can’t book a 18th or 21st birthday party. However, ‘Tetley’ Dave does offer a good well-kept pint of beer and a warm friendly atmosphere in his pub. Complete strangers entering the door are made to feel especially welcome by both himself and his regulars. Really it’s just an old fashioned drinking house where folk can come for a pint and a bit of conversation. He frequently deserts his duties from behind the bar just to have a cosy chat with any newcomers. He’s a remarkable character who finds time to run upstairs during the chaos in the pub’s lounge and re-emerge dressed as James Bond or togged up in robes as a prominent Arab leader (a gift from a generous customer who visited Saudi Arabia). Or perhaps putting on a flat cap, bursting in to an impromptu rendition of a George Formby classic ditty, accompanied by his own expert handling of the ukulele. He’s a keen devotee of Formby the cheeky buck-toothed comedian from Lancashire. The pub itself is host to monthly George Formby meetings and is one of fifteen registered societies across the world. Tetley Dave became in charge of the ‘Shoulder’ ten years ago when he told the previous owner that “he could run the place with one eye shut”. Quite a statement considering Dave has a glass eye, inherited from a childhood accident. As they say in Yorkshire: ‘He’s always up to summett’ and now Tetley Dave, has launched an exclusive new beer that’s got George Formby fans hurrying down to the get- togethers for a quick tipple. ‘Turned Out Nice Again’ is named after the late, great comedian’s famous catch phrase. Each month the pub is launching a new Formby themed beer named after one of the films or cheeky songs. The next one is ‘Auntie Maggies Remedy.’ The beers came about after Tetley Dave was invited to a new brewery in Great Heck. It soon became apparent that the owners, husband and wife Denzel and Lisa Vallance, were also devoted Formby followers. So a range of Formby themed beers seemed a natural follow-up to the visit. The last Wednesday in each month is the Formby evening when would- be impersonators arrive from all parts of Yorkshire, often clutching several ukuleles. It’s no accident that a Castleford public house should have strong links with the famous comic from Lancashire. Formby had a deep affection for the town and once told the Blackpool Gazette: ‘I’ve a sort of romantic attachment for Castleford because its there that I first met a charming lady, - my Beryl.’ George was making reference to his first encounter with ‘Beryl’ in 1923 when she was part of a clog-dancing act from Accrington appearing on the same variety bill at the town’s Theatre Royal. She was pretty, blonde and feisty, and quick to tell George ‘that if she had a bag of rotten tomatoes handy I’d have thrown them at him as he’d blacked his face and spouted endless parrot jokes.’ Tetley Dave would like to believe that Formby was a regular at the ‘Shoulder’. ‘He’s been here. I have no proof, but I can feel it,’ he insisted in another of his familiar outbursts across the bar to any customers willing to listen. Although it’s only a hunch he’s probably not that far wrong. The theatre was only a short stroll from the pub and Formby always found digs during his regular appearances there in a street of terraced houses only 200 yards away. The Shoulder of Mutton was granted a beer license in 1859 and surely must have inherited a few ghosts since then. During a recent Formby evening Tetley Dave was busy behind the bar and suddenly turned a ghostly white when he spotted none other than George himself standing in the pubs lounge complete with brown trilby hat and carrying a ukulele. ‘Blimey, its Formby himself back from the dead’, he yelled across the room. It turned out to be Paul Caspar from Sheffield who just happens to look exactly like George complete with buckteeth and cheeky grin. He thought he’d call in and give the regulars a song or two. Paul was born and bred in Barnsley and has been playing musical instruments since he was 12. He has a degree in music, plays a guitar and has worked as a stage soundman with tribute acts touring the country. It was during these gigs that people pointed out his uncanny likeness to George Formby. He taught himself the ukulele and a handful of Formby numbers and soon was invited on stage to sing a couple of typical Formby songs in between each tribute act. They went down a storm. ‘There were occasions when the audience declined the act they’d come to see and chanted we want George instead,’ he said. Paul now has a new career performing at special 1940’s weekends all over Yorkshire together with his friend Janet Pilkington who performs Vera Lynn numbers. Why the name “Tetley Dave”? I asked Mr Parker how he came by the name ‘Tetley Dave’. ‘When I was working for the brewery in Leeds I used to call in a pub down the road on the way home. A bloke always used to say as I walked in the door “here comes Tetley Dave”.’ These words and images are reproduced with the kind permission of Yorkshire Ridings Magazine
Turned out nice again
"Tetley" Dave was a legendary figure in West Yorkshire and particularly in the Castleford area where he and his wife Margaret ran the Shoulder of Mutton pub and where for many years the Castleford branch of The GFS has flourished. Dave was a real character in a world were characters are few and far between. He loved his pub and the fact that he had created the Castleford branch and in its own unique way, the branch is one of the best nights in the Formby calender. Dave helped to create a unique atmosphere at all the Castleford meetings and he will be sadly missed. Whenever "Out In The Middle East" was played Dave would make the fastest costume change imaginable to emerge before the end of the first verse in Middle Eastern costume. He loved to play the bones and the spoons and although the meetings will definitely continue at this flourishing venue, Dave will be very much missed. Dave joined the GFS in 1997 and was also a member of the Yorkshire Ukulele Circle. On behalf of all those who attend the Castleford branch both now and in the past, I would like to extend sincere condolences to Margaret and the family.
OBITUARY
Yorkshire ridings magazine