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Showing posts from October, 2018

The Tale of The Town Mouse and The Mean-Eyed Cat....

A couple of great finds in Newcastle, a wonderful brew-pub in County Durham, and, at last, a Wetherspoons worth writing home about....

It was sunny when I set off on my latest trip to the North East last week. Having enjoyed Rolling Blackouts the previous night at Leeds Stylus, I naturally stuck 'Hope Downs' on the CD player, and as their ringing guitars and catchy hooks filled the car, I made good progress as I made my way along the M62. All was good in the world...all, that is, apart from the fact that I'd woken up with a streaming cold!
So as I sneezed and streamed my way up North, I decided I needed to make a stop. I had hit County Durham in good time and headed off the A1 to Spennymoor. I needed some fuel, and from the petrol station it was only a couple of miles to the Frog and Ferret which, despite having a name like a Spoon's or one of David Bruce's former Firkin chain, is a "friendly, traditional family-run free house" on Coulson Street. The satn…

Stories from the Arcade.....

It was the first-ever Halifax Festival Of Words last weekend...and what a wonderful occasion it was. Here's a look back at some of the events that took place....

Plenty of places up and down the country have festivals based around books and writing. Cheltenham Literature Festival is the grandaddy of them all, going all the way back to 1949. And then there is the annual Hay Festival, which since its humble beginnings in 1988 in the small Powys second-hand book shop town of Hay-on-Wye, has grown to become a massive international event and is dubbed the 'Glastonbury of Book Festivals'. And if crime stories are more to your liking, then head to Harrogate, where every July for the past 14 years the Crime Writing Festival has been held at the Old Swan, the hotel where Agatha Christie stayed under an assumed name when she disappeared from the bright lights of London for a short time. All of them have their own different angle. And so, when the idea of a Halifax Festival was first…

Striding Edges It in Hebden Bridge....

It was the local CAMRA beer festival in Hebden Bridge last weekend, so naturally I went along to check it out along with a number of other special beer-related events that were taking place in the town....

I had a frustrating start last Friday. For one reason or another, I got myself behind schedule. Then I discovered that somehow the settings on my phone's camera had gone all weird, so I was faffing about trying to sort them out(which I eventually did). Then I stood watching as I mistakenly thought the incoming train at Halifax station was Huddersfield-bound rather than going through Hebden Bridge (which it was), resulting in a wasted half hour hanging around on the platform till the next train came along. Still, I was able to take advantage of the the sun beating down, belying the fact we were in the dying days of September.

I finally arrived at Hebden Bridge, where I decided to have a quick pint at Vocation and Co. The board behind the bar was dominated by Northern Monk, and it…