Bloke writes book on pub

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An ale aficionado has given the inside track on writing a book about a Castleford pub.

David Litten is well known in beer circles as The Bloke from Hull.

David Litten with his his book about The Junction pub in Castleford.'Picture: Peter Broomfield.

David Litten with his his book about The Junction pub in Castleford.'Picture: Peter Broomfield.

His calling cards, which feature his profile, can be found in ale houses across the north, particularly at The Junction in Carlton Street.

But last month he turned from being a blogger and beer magazine contributor to the ranks of published author.

He launched from Junk to Junction about the meteoric rise of pub. It is nationally renowned for selling beers from wooden casks.

He said: “In March of this year I decided that, having previously written many articles for CAMRA magazines, I would attempt to write something rather longer which turned out to be a book about my favourite pub. With the blessing of landlords Maureen Shaw and Neil Midgley I began to think about how to write it.

He got help from freelance journalist and beer expert Sophie Atherton who suggested using plenty of quotes from people to give it the personal touch.

He said: “I visited the pub many times during the next few months (as if I needed any excuse) to talk to as many locals as I could. I also interviewed master cooper, Alastair Simms and several of the brewers who provide the beer.”

Broadcaster and writer Ian Clayton not only provided important advice but also supplied a foreword and details of the beer scene in Castleford prior to The Junction reopening in 2010,

Mr Litten also obtained contributions from the chairman of the Wakefield branch of CAMRA, Albert Bradbury, and representatives of the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood,

He added: “Not happy with that I asked renowned beer writer and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, Roger Protz to write a foreword for me knowing that he had visited the pub on a couple of notable occasions. He agreed and by this point I had a vast amount of information.

“However, by early September I still had no idea how I was going to bring everything together. The only thing was to start writing. Suddenly the light went on and all the chapters began to fall into place. With the project now reaching the reality level the next step was to decide how to find a printer, refine the content, and gather funding. Friends Chris Peat and Rich Jones together with Neil joined me as advisers and the plot thickened!”

Funding became an issue. But Mr Litten said: “Maureen and Neil had selected the Alzheimer’s Society as their chosen charity. Generous friends, breweries and businesses all chipped in and the result was that these contributions almost fully covered the cost of printing enabling most of the sales to go straight to our charity.”

The book was launched at the pub on November 26. Pub regulars, friends, brewers and supporters from all over Yorkshire came to celebrate with a pint of Elland Codex, which was made especially for the event.

Mr Litten added: “I would like to thank Maureen and Neil for trusting me to write about them. The Junction is a unique pub for special beer. Locals have described it as a pub with soul. A real pub for real people’.”

Books are still available from the pub at £7.50 or £10 by mail. Contact the author via email on littendavid@littendavid.karoo.co.uk for more information on how to get your hands on a copy.