An immaculately preserved, lovely little Victorian pub with a theatrical past and present - the Old English Gentleman is a rather dapper chappie.
Opposite the central fire station and near The New Theatre, the Old English Gentleman dates back to the early 19th century when it was a flower shop and part of a Georgian terrace.
With its green and cream exterior and plant pots and benches outside, father and son team Paul and Danny Cotson have evidently put a lot of care into this place. The bar on the right with brass rails is painted black and there are lovely flower arrangements in copper vases on the windowsills.
There are dark maroon banquettes and dark red plush velvet-topped wooden chairs to sit on and the ledges long the top of the wood-panelled walls display china and brass plates.
Bronze and wooden fans whirr away on the cream ceiling and there’s an elegant tiled fireplace with a dark wood mantelpiece, and copper pans and bellows hang from its sides. There's also an upright piano.
The most notable thing here is the collection, begun in the 1960s, of more than 130 photos, signed and otherwise, of some of the actors who have both graced the stage at the nearby theatres or had a drink here. There’s a little altar to Laurel and Hardy who came here in 1947 — with pictures and a couple of bowler hats on display.
Lionel Blair, Rick Mayall, Colin Tarrant, Bobby Ball, John Alderton, Mark Little from Neighbours, Mick and Michelle from Allo! Allo!, and “him off The Bill” have all drunk here, as well as that girl who taught the world to sing - Lyn Paul.
Although theatre-goers flood here, at other times it’s frequented by an older crowd. You’ve got over-55 evenings here on Tuesdays and Tamla Motown on Saturdays. Sunday evening is sing-along time with Yorkshire’s finest keyboard player.
The Food and Drink
On draught you’ve got Guinness, Stella, Woodpecker, Stowell’s, Marston’s Bitter Fosters and Hopback’s Spring Zing and Freeminer Bitter.
In bottles there’s Sagres, Beck’s, Salitos, Budweiser, Corona, Sol and Holsten Pils. It’s £10 for a bottle of wine, or £3 for a large glass.
Meals include curry for £4.90, chilli con for £4.90 or a cheese-filled jacket potato for £3.50. They do excellent sandwiches made freshly every day at £2.50 each.
The Last Word
Beautifully maintained, dignified and dapper, the Old English Gentleman has a glorious part and a bright future. Pay him a visit.