Crooked Billet is ‘Burnley’s Best Bar’

Alison Leigh and Paul Miller from the Crooked Billet celebrate being voted the best bar in Burnley.
Alison Leigh and Paul Miller from the Crooked Billet celebrate being voted the best bar in Burnley.

A village pub that is at the heart of the community has been voted “Burnley’s Best Bar”.

The Crooked Billet in Worsthorne beat off competition from 15 other top hostelries in the town to take the title after a reader vote.

And landlady Alison Leigh said she was absolutely delighted when we broke the news to her. “That’s brilliant, we have such a lot of support in the village and people come here from all over.”

Alison (46) who bought the pub with her husband Paul Miller (55)three years ago, has lived in Worsthorne since she was a teenager and has seen many licensees come and go. She has helped out behind the bar since she was 17 .

“Even when I worked away I always came back and helped out at Christmas. You couldn’t keep me away, and then we decided to buy the pub which is a free house.”

“To win this award is amazing and I think it’s because we are such a part of the commnity.”

Not only do they hold lots of fund-raisers for the local St John’s Church and Pendleside Hospice, but they have something going on most nights for the community – even a Monday night Spanish class. On Tuesday the regulars play dominoes and a mountain bike club meets; Wednesday is quiz night and Thursday is a men’s get together. While her DJ husband Paul lays on karaoke, music and soul nights at weekends.

To cater for football fans they lay on pie and peas and sandwiches and a free mini bus to the Turf on match days.

“All ages come in here and it’s a real part of the community, people like to meet up for a chat and a drink,” said Alison, who is mum to seven-year-old Alex and Louka (4).

“We work very hard, but we love what we are doing. It’s a meeting place for the village, a real community pub. Women can come in on their own for a drink or a coffee and feel comfortable. It’s just like pubs used to be.”

The Billet beat off competition from four other shortlisted pubs in the East Lancashire Newspapers’ competition - the Beer Shack, Burnley Miners’ Club, Ighten Leigh Social Club and The Talbot, from an original line-up of 15.

They will receive a certificate and trophy.