Archive News


Application to De-Licence the Spotted Cow, Holbrook

In support of the the site occupied by the pub not being sold for development, the view below has been submitted to the Amber Valley Council Planning Department.

To :- Amber Valley Council Planning Department
From :- Amber Valley CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale)

Proposal to De-Licence the Spotted Cow Public House, Holbrook.
We have followed developments regarding the Spotted Cow with growing concern. For those of us with long memories back in the 1970’s the Spotted Cow was a thriving community pub. It has been a pub ever since then, with an emphasis on food, well supported principally by members of the local community. The proposed de-licencing of the Spotted Cow would represent a serious loss of amenity for that community, an action group, the Holbrook Community Society (HCS) has been formed and the pub is now protected by ACV registration. We accept that in the long term a pub cannot remain open if it is not financially viable. We emphatically do not accept that this is the case with the Spotted Cow. A very well supported local campaign has raised the necessary funds to buy the pub and run it as a Community Hub. It would have added amenity as a post office, as well as some accommodation. We do not accept that the owner of a pub should be allowed to de-licence it just because the land could be profitably sold for development. The argument that there are other pubs in Holbrook, and therefore that there is no need to retain the Spotted Cow is weak. Holbrook is a long, spread out village; there will be more than enough trade at that end of the village.

Rejecting the application for change of use would pave the way for the pub to be bought by the local community with very considerable benefits for the village of Holbrook. Just look at the George & Dragon at Hudswell, North Yorkshire. This pub was threatened with closure, bought by the local community and is now CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year. We urge you to reject the application to de-licence the Spotted Cow.

Good Beer Guide Selection Meeting

The Good Beer Guide 2018 selection meeting will be held in February at a venue to be confirmed shortly.  The final date for inputting beer scores which will contribute to the selection process on the night is 31st January so please make sure that you add any outstanding scores via beforehand and as many as you can during January.   

East Midlands Pub of the Year

Following on from their recent award of Derbyshire South Pub Of The Year, we are delighted to announce that our Pub of the Year, the Old Oak at Horsley Woodhouse, has now won East Midlands Pub Of The Year.  They now progress to the next round of judging, competing for one of the four super-regional crowns.  Congratulations to Tracey and her team for winning another award and being the first Amber Valley pub to get past the County and Regional judging stages. We wish them the best of luck in the next round.

Beer Scoring & The Good Beer Guide Selection Meeting
We held our Good Beer Guide 2017 selection meeting in February 2016.  It’s always difficult to choose ten entries in an area where we are fortunate to have so many pubs selling an excellent selection of real ales and ciders.  The basis for discussion at the meeting is always the statistics taken from the beer scores input by CAMRA members via What Pub throughout the year.  This year we had over 3,500 scores for 95 different pubs and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter scores.  Any scores input from 1st February will now contribute towards next year’s selection process.  This year’s entries will be revealed when the next edition of the Good Beer Guide is published in September.

Sad News From The Holly Bush

The branch is very sad to hear the news that John Bilbie, long-time owner of the Holly Bush at Makeney, has passed away at the age of 84.    Here's a link below to the Derby Telegraph article where Chris Wilbraham (current licensee) fondly details John's history with the pub:

Derby Telegraph article

In 2013 the branch awarded John a long service award for his long-standing ownership of the pub and his support of real ale over the years.  He is pictured below (left) along with Branch Chairman Chris Rogers.

Holly Bush Long Service