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Showing posts from March, 2017

Flying High in the Sunshine....

A week with some great live music, a beer festival, and a few award-winning pubs....

Spring finally landed at the back end of last week, coinciding with a planned trip to watch Town play at FC United of Manchester. Unfortunately, this also happened to be a weekend where Network Rail had decided to do a load of work on the line between Halifax and Todmorden meaning that the train options to get to Moston, where FCUM are now based, were seriously limited.

We had therefore resort to alternative methods. The X58 bus from Halifax to Rochdale takes 58 minutes, but at £3.20 it was amazingly good value. It was a beautiful day with some surprisingly warm sunshine, and the ride over the Pennines took in some fantastic scenery. Arriving in Rochdale, we made a beeline for the Flying Horse, situated across the square from the town's amazing Grade 1-listed Gothic-style town hall. Now the Flying Horse has just been named pub of 2016 by the local CAMRA branch, and it is easy to see why. There are a…

Reasons To Be Cheerful....

A quick return to Bradford and some good news for a number of local pubs....

My trip to Bradford last weekend was done in the name of football, as Town were making the short journey to play Bradford Park Avenue at the Horsfall Stadium in Buttershaw.

We arranged to meet at the Travellers in Hipperholme, an Ossett tied house, which, whilst only being a half hour walk from home, I hadn't visited in ages. It is a comfortable, rambling old building with several rooms, popular with walkers and locals alike. The beer was pleasant enough, but I do think Ossett beers are nowadays pretty bland compared to many around these days, with their new-look pump clips similarly so, and not really helping their cause. That said, they do provide some more interesting beers through their sister breweries, particularly Fernandes and Rat.

We went to the game, and whilst Town won 3-1, the quality of the football was very poor. After the game we headed into Bradford, where the first port of call was Jacobs. Y…

The Lights Go On In Ancoats....

I visit Manchester regularly, and normally if I am stopping over I stay at the Travelodge in Ancoats.

It is reasonably priced, close to both main rail stations, and handy for decent pubs, shops, and more often than not for gigs, with the Band on the Wall just a few minutes walk away. Normally, however, any visit has not really involved lingering in the immediate vicinity as there has been nothing to compete with the attractions of the nearby Northern Quarter, and the city as a whole.

However, that is now changing as Ancoats is rapidly becoming a fashionable location with loft apartments and creative spaces springing up in the old mills, warehouses, and buildings that make up this once-neglected inner city suburb. It was recently named as one of the most trendy places in the UK by Travel Supermarket. So, with that in mind, I turned right from the hotel, and then turned left up Blossom Street. It didn't look promising when I came across the boarded up premises of the former Edinburgh …

Beer in Saltaire...but Don't Tell Titus....

Last week along with some friends I visited the Bradford Beer Festival, held at the beautiful Victoria Hall in the village of Saltaire. 

Saltaire was created by Victorian industrialist Titus Salt to house the workers and their families whom he employed in the enormous Salts textile mill he built next to the River Aire, just north of Shipley. As well as the Victoria Hall, he built a school, but there was no pub in the village. Back in those days, Saltaire was a strictly teetotal place in line with its creator's Methodist beliefs, so there is a certain irony in the fact that Bradford CAMRA have been hosting the beer festival here for the last 20 years. If the old man knew he would no doubt be spinning in his grave!

The festival is always well-attended and this time was no exception, the train I caught from Bradford containing a good number of people whose destination was the festival. And as ever, it was an enjoyable event.There were 3 bars featuring over 130 beers, with another selli…