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Showing posts from September, 2016

The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game....

Well, I've seen it all now. Sam Allardyce - or 'Big Sam' as he has always been affectionately called by the press - has left his post as England manager after 67 days and 1 match in charge after being caught in a sting offering his services to some dodgy 'businessmen' which went well against football rules. OK, you could say the set-up by reporters from the 'Daily Telegraph' was not your usual exposure by the tabloid press. The 'Telegraph', or 'Torygraph' as it is known as in some circles, is seen as a pillar of society, so the fact it felt the need to entice Allardyce in what some would call entrapment shows the strength of the belief that behind the seemingly friendly bluster of Big Sam lay something rotten. There had been rumours apparently going back years involving shady deals and bungs, as well as a case a few years ago where an allegation was dismissed. But the smoke of suspicion continued to linger, and the fact that Allardyce

A Drink? in Hebden and other Places

The festival season is back with us again. Otherwise known as autumn, it is that stretch of a few weeks when around these parts when there seems to be a beer festival wherever you look. Last week we called in at the Rastrick Beer Festival at St John's Chuch, this weekend there is the Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA event, as well as Todmorden, next week it is Huddersfield, followed by the Festivale at Bailiffe Bridge on the 7th and 8th October, about which more next time. Yesterday we visited the Calderdale Beer and Cider Festival. Back at Hebden Bridge Town Hall for the second year running, I thought it was excellent. It had been brought forward from later in the Autumn, which meant it clashed with Todmorden, but with the two being only a few miles apart, it was felt it would benefit both events with a lot of people visiting both. Whilst the light and airy hall is a reasonable size, the fact that it was a nice sunny day meant that many people chose to take their drinks outside to t

Are Spoons in Need of a Stir?

Last week pub group JD Wetherspoon posted their results for the 52 weeks to July 24th. Revenue was up 5.4% to £1,595m, profits before tax were up 12.5% to £66m, and earnings per share were up 18.3% to 43.4p. Commenting on the results, Tim Martin, the Chairman of J D Wetherspoon plc, said: “I am pleased to report a year of progress for the company, with record sales, profit and earnings per share before exceptional items." So, on the face of it a cause for celebration and applause. The first Wetherspoons opened in Muswell Hill in London in 1979, and they stayed around London for the first few years before expanding to well over 900 pubs across the country. Many of the original pubs featured the word 'Moon' in their name, such as Wembley's JJ Moon, and to this day, several up and down the country include the word, such as Manchester's Moon Under Water, and the Regal Moon in Rochdale. Incidentally, the 'JD Wetherspoon' brand takes its name from one of Tim M

The Alexandra Beer House and Other Stories....

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, a new bar opened in Halifax yesterday, incredibly the 3rd in 4 months! The latest to open is the Alexandra Beer House on, not surprisingly, Alexandra Street, down the side of the Halifax's Commercial Street branch, and was formerly the Three Lanterns restaurant. The plan had been to pay a long overdue visit to The Grayston Unity and then pop down to The Pumproom, but a guy I was talking to in the Grayston mentioned a new place had just opened up near where he worked, and so, me being me, I decided a visit was in order. I'd had a good chat with both Michael and Martin, the Danish guy from behind the bar, before I left. As ever this is a good relaxing place for a chat and a beer. I headed across town through rainy streets and found The Alexandra Beer and Bottle House. It has a small footprint, with a small bar and seating alongside the window front. There are shelves stacked with bottles and cans from the likes of Marble, Magic R