The Royal Oak in Linthwaite, Huddersfield, has been crowned Britain’s most extraordinary pub, according to a nationwide competition. The pub received a £5,000 prize presented by top comedian, Paddy McGuinness, after John Smith’s, the nation’s favourite ale, teamed up with Trinity Mirror, the largest national and regional news publisher in the UK, to campaign to champion and celebrate pubs that are, like the beer, ‘Only Ordinary By Name.’
Readers from across the country sent in hundreds of nominations for pubs which, although seemingly ordinary at first glance, have an extraordinary story to tell. Thousands of nominations were whittled down by public vote to regional winners, and then a panel of judges chose The Royal Oak as the worthy national winner.
Landlady, Jeanne Brennan has been running The Royal Oak, a traditional pub in the Yorkshire village of Linthwaite for 14 years. As well as running pub quizzes, regular seasonal events, charity fundraisers and live music nights, the pub has raised over £36,000 for good causes since Jeanne took over. The local community regard Jeanne as the pub’s unique charm and it is her driving force that ensures the pub goes out of its way to tirelessly help people in the local area. Jeanne said meeting Paddy McGuiness was an unforgettable experience. She plans to use the prize money to help establish a ‘Home Alone Club,’ ensuring those who live on their own have events to look forward to in the local community.
Ifeoma Dozie, Beer Brand Director at HEINEKEN, owner of John Smith’s, says: “We are a nation of pub lovers and the energy and excitement behind this campaign has cemented this. The range of nominations we received was quite extraordinary and is testament to the hard work of licensees up and down the country.
“This campaign shows without a doubt, that pubs in the UK are so much more than a place to enjoy a pint – they are at the heart of their local community.”
The multi-channel campaign spanned national and regional media, local radio and digital. John Smith’s introduced its’ Ordinary Only By Name’ marketing campaign last Spring and maintains its position as the no.1 ale brand in the UK with a current total value share of 45.3% of keg ale sales in the On-Trade.
Watch Paddy surprise the winner with a £5,000 cheque
 CGA Strategy MAT P04 2017