Blue Bell is the toast of the season

Jim and Julie Dainty of the Blue Bell, Harthill, have won the pub of the season award from CAMRA (w110929-1a)
Jim and Julie Dainty of the Blue Bell, Harthill, have won the pub of the season award from CAMRA (w110929-1a)

Regulars at a Harthill pub raised their glasses in celebration as the pub was presented with a prestigious award.

The Blue Bell pub has been named Pub of the Season by the Campaign For Real Ale.

The pub, which is run by Jim and Julie Dainty and sells two real ales, is not the only one in the village to receive an accolade from CAMRA. The Beehive was crowned Pub of the Year several months ago.

Landlady Julie, who has run the pub along with her husband for five years, was over the moon with the accolade.

They were presented recently with a certificate by Jim Crowe, president of Rotherham CAMRA, which now takes pride of place in the bar.

“It is brilliant, we are just over the moon,” she said.

“They just came around. We had no idea that they were in the pub so it was a total surprise when they called us to say that we had won.”

“They came in a couple of times and really enjoyed the beer and the atmosphere.”

There is a football team, called Sporting Blue Bell, and a golf society based at the pub.

Jim and Julie also support Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, most recently the pub helped host a fundraising event which featured a five-a-side football match and barbecue.

Although the couple have only run the pub for five years, Julie has worked there a lot longer.

“I have been in the pub for about 12 years. The customers make it. We have really, really nice customers,” added Julie.

“The downside is the trade at the moment, with the supermarkets and the cheap alcohol.”

Rotherham CAMRA gives out four Pub of the Season and one Pub of the Year awards each year.

A spokesman for the branch said: “The summer Pub of the Season was awarded to the Blue Bell at Harthill which coincides with The Beehive being Pub of the Year. It’s not unique but certainly unusual for two local village pubs to have such accolades.”

The main criteria CAMRA judges look for is the real ale on offer – is it well-kept, good choice etc – and then at the pub and its amenities.

Anyone wishing to join Rotherham CAMRA can do so by emailing geoff.thebroons@blueyonder.co.uk