Skip to main content

Raising a Glass to The Grayston....

It doesn't seem it, but this weekend the Grayston Unity in Halifax has been celebrating its first anniversary. And over the past year, the little two-roomed bar beside the Town Hall has become a must-visit venue for both locals and visitors to the town.

I went in the Grayston for the first time last year on the Sunday following Town's win in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley. It had opened during the week but in all the euphoria following Town's victory, I hadn't realised it had opened until the weekend. It was around lunchtime when I visited, Neil Young was playing which was a good sign. Michael, the boss, and owner of Doghouse Promotions, poured me a pint of Goose Eye Chinook, and we had a good natter about music and such. I liked the place, I liked the vibe.

Over the past 12 months, I have been a regular visitor. Sometimes before football, sometimes after. Sometimes with friends, sometimes with family, sometimes on my own. The welcome has always been the same from Michael or any of the friendly team who work with him, the musical soundtrack - which often varies depending on who is working -  always interesting, several times prompting a search on Soundhound! Good conversation is always there to be had. The quirky decor somehow manages to be retro, timeless, and of the moment, all at the same time.

And many of those early inquisitive visitors have turned into regulars. The Grayston, and now with the Pump Room and the Alexandra, the new micro-pubs that opened in the town in the months following, meant that, along with the Victorian Craft Beer Cafe, there was a reason for people like me who liked decent beer to come into Halifax town centre again. And the beer has got much better both in terms of quality and choice since it opened. Chinook is still the regular beer, but with 5 pumps in total plus 4 taps there are always a few alternatives including cider, if that doesn't take your fancy. And if you fancy something a little stronger, there is a good range of spirits too. If you haven't been yet, you should if you get chance.

Despite space being restricted, it hasn't stopped Michael calling on his promotional skills and organising gigs, talks, and other events. Some have taken place in the room beyond the bar which is reminiscent of what your auntie's sitting room may have looked like in the sixties, but some have taken place in the yard behind the pub which serves as a beer garden. Last weekend, for example, 'An American Werewolf in London' was shown on a large screen, and I noticed when I popped in to join in the celebrations on Thursday evening, a number of events were lined up for the weekend.

So, whether you managed to get there this weekend or not, let's raise a glass to offer The Grayston Unity congratulations on their first anniversary, and hope there will be many more after this one....

The Grayston Unity, 1-3 Wesley Court, Halifax, HX1 1UH.

The Grayston Unity, Halifax




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Calder Valley Ale Trail - UPDATE June 2022

T he definitive guide to the pubs and bars that line the railways in the towns and villages of the beautiful Calder Valley in West Yorkshire. After a break in updates with all the disruption of lockdowns over the  last couple of years, here's the latest, updated version.... The original Rail Ale Trail heads through the Pennines from Dewsbury through Huddersfield to Stalybridge, or vice versa, depending on your standpoint. Made famous by Oz Clarke and James May on a TV drinking trip around Britain several years ago, it reached saturation point on weekends to such an extent that lager and shorts were banned by some pubs and plastic glasses introduced to the hordes of stag dos, hen parties, and fancy-dressed revellers that invaded the trans-Pennine towns and villages. There are some great pubs en route but you ventured to them on a summer Saturday at your peril. However, only a few miles away to the north, there is another trail possible which takes in some great pubs and travels thr

No More Crows The Rooster....

Another much-loved pub which has played a big part in so many people's lives over the years has recently closed its doors.... News broke the other week that The Red Rooster, at Brookfoot, near Brighouse, was to close at the beginning of March. With the rent being increased by an incredible £935 a week , landlord Eddie Geater decided that it was simply not viable to keep the popular free house open. And it is sad news, as the Rooster has been at the forefront of the area's pubs for most of the last 30-odd years. And it is a big deal. Before it opened as the Rooster there were hardly any free houses in the area as we know them today where there was a truly wide and unrestricted choice of beers. Prior to being the Rooster, the pub had been a Webster's tied house, The Wharf, which had been built in the early 20th century to cater for workers from the nearby wharf from where local coal was transported via the canal network. And to this day, three former wharfmen's cot

The Town That Thinks It's A Village....

My time has been a bit limited recently for venturing too far afield, so last weekend I made the short journey to Elland to check out a few of the town's pubs and bars. Here's what I found.... Elland is a small market town in West Yorkshire, located between Halifax and Huddersfield beside the River Calder. It goes back a bit, being recorded as Elant in the Domesday Book of 1086, and over the centuries the town grew as a result of the woollen industry, with the town becoming home to several large mills. The coming of the Aire and Calder Navigation and the railways further helped the growth of the town. The subsequent decline of the woollen industry in the town meant that there were a number of empty mills left standing, and those that didn't burn down were put to other use, such as the home of Gannex, the now-defunct textile company whose raincoats were worn by the rich and famous, including former Prime Minister Harold Wilson. More recently, several mills have been converte