OAKWORTH Social Club has been voted one of the best social clubs in the county by real-ale enthusiasts.

CAMRA named the flourishing club on the main road through the village as runner-up for the Yorkshire Club of the Year 2017 award.

It was narrowly beaten by Wortley Men’s Club which was named top club for the fourth consecutive year.

Volunteers from CAMRA – the Campaign for Real Ale – made ‘mystery shopper’ visits to all the 14 shortlisted clubs to judge against strict criteria.

The criteria emphasised the quality of real ale and the temperature was served at, along with atmosphere, style/decor, service and welcome, and alignment with CAMRA’s principles.

CAMRA officials will revisit the club in October, this time officially, to present the steward and stewardess, Dale Walsh and Louise Shimmin, with a framed certificate.

The pair said they were “really chuffed” when they heard of the club’s success in the competition.

In its online pub and club guide CAMRA describes Oakworth Social Club as: “Friendly and welcoming, an imposing Victorian building on the main thoroughfare.

“Originally built as the Liberal Club in the late 19th century, it has a comfortable lounge style front bar, with another bar serving room at the back with traditional games and TV. There is a third upstairs bar and function room.”

The premises switched from Liberal Club to Social Club in the 1950s, and some of the many regular members have been going since at least then.

There are currently 1,250 members on the books.

Louise said: “There are a lot of long-standing members, and since we took over 12 months ago membership has gone up.

“We’ve invested in the club with new windows and new curtains and were improving the tap room. We’ve tried to make it more inviting. We have a lot more ladies in now.

“We have three real ales, Timothy Taylor Golden Best and Saltaire Blonde, and a changing guest ale which at the moment is from Wishbone Brewery. We try to use the local breweries.”

Louise said Sky and BT Sports was screen in one room, and there were also social activities most evenings like bingo, lottery and quiz, plus live entertainment on Saturday evenings. The club hosts pool, darts and dominoes league games.

Members pay an initial £15 followed by £5 a year, and other people can attend at the invitation of the member for £1 a night.

The club opens its doors to the general public on special days such as the Fairy Fest and Oakworth Gala.