Calling time on institution famed before film

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From: Don Booker MBE, Hall Place, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.

YOUR article ‘Landmark pub featured in Kes set to be razed’ (Yorkshire Post, October 23) brought back memories because it was famous before the film-makers crossed the pub’s threshold at Cudworth, near Barnsley.

Before the name ‘Dard’s’ appeared on its frontage, it was known as Cudworth Hotel and in the 1960s was famous for its nightly live entertainment, like so many public houses and working men’s clubs.

I remember being invited to the pub to see a dark-haired young lady with a pretty face and trim figure, a pantomime idol and a heavy drinker.

I thought I was in for an interestng time until I discovered it was Dixie, a New Forest pony with neat legs, glossy coat, bright flirtatious eyes and a thirst for beer.

She was owned by Carl Dane and performed tricks in the concert room, ending by going to the bar and enjoying three pints of beer and a Guinness, all from a glass.

Carl was equally famous, for he was the man who struck the gong at the beginning of J Arthur Rank films, taking over the job from the famous boxer Bombardier Billy Wells

On the ‘Next Week’ board was ‘Sally an exotic dancer brought up in a convent’, such was the excitement in the South Yorkshire coalfield when a pint of beer also had added attractions.

It was a period when there was excitement away from the television set and armchair 
in most towns and villages
and the disappearance of such places as the ‘Dard’s’ leaves a gap in the social structure of our society.

It was the place where Sir Michael Parkinson enjoyed some of his early glasses of beer, because he was born in the village.