ONE of Yorkshire's odddest old pub stories has just got even oddder.

The unusually-named Odddfellows Arms in Carlton near Selby, was closed, abandoned and apparently doomed but has bounced back from the brink.

Having looked certain to be lost, it has instead reopened and is now evidently thriving.

A little background is necessary first, and where better to start than with that odd name?

Unsurprisingly, that third D wasn't always there. It was inserted by a slapdash sign-maker in the 1980s, sparking some amused media interest at the time.

It could have easily been removed and the error corrected, but time passed, nobody got round to it, and then locals grew attached to the quirk.

York Press: The Odddfellows Arms in Carlton High Street, near Goole

How oddd: The pub as it looked in 2012

When the then owners Vaux Breweries eventually did try to correct it in 1994, they faced an unexpected backlash from locals and in the end it was allowed to stay, prompting a few double-takes from visitors over the years.

Before that, the pub had the more conventional name of The Oddfellows Arms since the 1850s. The building had been built sometime in the 1700s and was initially a private house, before becoming The Red Lion pub and then The Oddfellows.

Thereafter, typos aside, it carried on as village pubs do, catering for locals and passers-by alike year in year out.

But as has been the way in many villages in recent years, trade went into a bit of a slump. In 2012, its latest owners Punch Taverns declared it unviable and sought planning permission to turn it into housing.

Their first attempt was refused by Selby District Council, but they tried again two years later, and got the go-ahead, and that looked to be that; the death knell had seemingly sounded for the Odddfellows.

I had visited this place only once before, by chance about a month before the original closure plans were announced. Friends and I had been to the opening of the Yorkshire Ales shop in Snaith, and we decided to pop in our way back.

The welcome was friendly but the pub seemed tired and unloved, with furnishings and fittings that looked old but not quaintly so. We played a few games of darts and had a pint each of some big-brand beer, in the absence of anything more interesting.

We weren't reluctant to leave, but I am glad now that we went because it meant that when I returned two weeks ago, I was able to tell first-hand how radically it had been changed.

York Press:

Gavin Smith is the new licensee. He runs a building company with his parents, and it was only after they had bought the site that they decided to reopen The Odddfellows as a pub.

"There is a lot of history about the place," he says. "We started work in March and reopened a few weeks ago, at the start of November. We own a building company as well so we put our own team on to it.

"We had not planned to do much work but when we took the roof off to work on it we realised the walls were not properly bound together.

"Since we opened it has been busy. We have a chef who was at one of Jamie Oliver's restaurants, so have very good food, and it's going really well for us."

York Press:

The food is largely simple pub grub done well. I had an excellent pork sandwich with apple sauce and chips, from a long list of hot sandwich options, while the larger mains include fish and chips, steak and ale pie, lasagne, burgers, steaks, and belly pork. The specials board contains more innovative dishes and to complement all that, the beer range has been improved, now including Theakston's Best, Doom Bar and Hobgoblin on cask, alongside Amstel, Moretti, Heineken, Foster's, Guinness and Strongbow.

That mightn't draw beer enthusiasts from far and wide, but for those in or around Selby District, or who are passing through, this is a very safe oddds-on bet.

The pub is opposite the entrance to Carlton Towers and is served by the 401 Selby to Goole bus.