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Showing posts from October, 2020

Beverley Ales Hop....

I was in Beverley in East Yorkshire last week, and discovered that there were several really good pubs to visit in the busy little market town with its stunning Minster which lies a few miles north of Hull.... The last time I had been anywhere near to Beverley was when I was passing through on my way from Hull to York probably about 20 years ago, whilst the only time I had ever stopped was for a pint many years before that, though as to why I was there I have absolutely no idea! So a visit was well overdue, and with a couple of days holiday and the discovery that there was a decent offer on accommodation at the Premier Inn it seemed like a good opportunity to make up for lost time and maintain what has become something of a ''rediscover Yorkshire''  theme to my trips this year. And what about Beverley, you may ask? Well, it was founded by an English bishop, Saint John of Beverley, around 700 AD when the area was part of the kingdom of Northumbria, and developed as a pla

That Special Kind Of Place....

  The temporary closure of one of Halifax's best-loved bars got me thinking about what it is that makes a pub a special kind of place.... Last week, The Grayston Unity in Halifax announced that it had been successful in its bid to obtain Arts Council funding due to the ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19. The bar, home to the UK's smallest licenced music venue with an indoor capacity of just 18, was one of several in the area like the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge and the Brudenell in Leeds who had been successful. However, they also announced that they would, bar the odd pop-up opening, be closing until 2021, although their sister bar across town, the Meandering Bear will remain open as long as it is practical given the current uncertainty. They announced that the final shift would take place last Tuesday and when I popped in for a quick pint early evening, the bar was as full as it could be in these days of social distancing and reduced capacities. The fact that I knew virtu

From Shoreditch to The Ditch?

Current government-imposed restrictions and the ongoing failure to deal with the impact of Covid-19 pose an existential threat to the way of life of huge swarthes of the country. Here's some thoughts.... A few years ago, someone used the phrase 'Shoreditch of the North' to describe Halifax. This was a recognition that the down-to-earth, no-nonsense former mill town nestling amidst the Pennine moors had re-invented itself as a centre of culture and cool, with trendy bars, a lively arts scene, and the re-birth of the town's astonishing 18th century former cloth hall, the Piece Hall, all set in a town with some stunning buildings and an award-winning Victorian market. Newspapers such as The Guardian and Telegraph despatched reporters to the town to see what the fuss was about, for some no doubt an exercise in bandwagon-jumping, and the town was suddenly the place that everyone wanted to be. Halifax was cool. My town was cool . The Halifax Festival of Words was launched in

A Whitby Whistle Stop....

  A couple of days at a favourite spot on the Yorkshire coast, with some excellent weather, dramatic views, fascinating harbour, and some wonderful beer and pubs. Welcome to Whitby.... In the crazy year that has been 2020, chances to get away and get out have been disrupted and limited, so when I got the chance to go off for a couple of days the other week, I decided to head over to a place I hadn't visited in ages, Whitby. One of the jewels of the long Yorkshire coastline, it is famous for its Dracula and gothic connections, its Abbey, hosting numerous festivals and events, its busy working harbour, plus all the usual paraphernalia you would associate with a popular seaside resort and tourist destination. Keeping up the jewel theme it even has its own gemstone, the intensely black Whitby Jet, derived from the fossilised remains of ancient trees, found in deposits all along the coast in these parts, and which is fashioned into pieces of jewellery. There is even a Jet Museum in the