Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2017

A Manchester Beer Week....

This week is Manchester Beer Week, the second year the city has been home to a celebration of the pubs and breweries that help make the place what it is. Across the city and the area beyond there are numerous events taking place in pubs, bars, and restaurants, ranging from tap takeovers to food/beer pairings to themed pub crawls.

Although the festival didn't officially open until last Friday, I decided I would join in a couple of days earlier. I was staying overnight in the city as I had booked a ticket to see the Mark Lanegan Band at The Ritz. So after an excellent pizza at Rudy's in Ancoats I made my way across town. I decided to stop off at one of little pubs on Portland Street, the Grey Horse. This traditional Hydes' pub is tiny, with one room with a wooden screen acting as a divider. This and its similarly diminutive neighbour, the Circus Tavern, date back to a time long before anyone had come up with the idea of a micro pub! A very friendly locals pub. My next port o…

Furrow and Square....

Square Chapel in Halifax is an unusual and distinctive building that sits close by the town's railway station. Unusual, because it is built out of red brick rather than the millstone grit which is the norm for this part of West Yorkshire. Distinctive, because of its beautiful solid-looking Georgian facade which dominates this part of the town and being one of the few square chapels ever built in this country.

And now, behind the frontage, there is a big extension designed to bring the Grade II-listed Square into the heart of the town's life and provide a place to visit every day for a wide variety of people. The original building dates from way back in 1772, from when it was a place of worship for years, situated by the town's historic Piece Hall, currently going under a restoration of its own. It held its last service as a chapel in 1857, then became an assembly hall, was requisitioned by the army in 1939 for a few years as part of the war effort, and limped on, becoming …

To Hull and Beck....

The 12.13 from Huddersfield pulled into Paragon station. It was a glorious sunny day, and I had decided to visit Hull, the UK's City of Culture for 2017, for the first time in many a year.

"City of Culture? Hull?!" I hear you say. Well, yes, the big city by the mighty River Humber has a lot going for it. History - anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce was once an MP in the city - fascinating old buildings, art galleries and museums, its maritime heritage, and plenty of creative souls, from poet Philip Larkin (who has a micro pub in the city named after him) to musicians like the Housemartins/Beautiful South and guitarist Mick Ronson. And more recent attractions are the Deep marine life museum and the Princes Quay shopping complex. With its relative isolation the city has long taken on the mantle of a regional capital and walking the streets you get a sense of importance and civic pride.

But it is the river that dominates the city. Or, more correctly, rivers. The ci…