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Showing posts from October, 2022

Catching The Train To Stalybridge....

I re-visited a favourite haunt last week for the first time in over two years, and it brought home to me just how the best pubs and bars have that ability to become more than just a place for a pint .... After over two years, I finally made a return to the Buffet Bar at Stalybridge Railway Station. And it was a big deal, as f or over 14 years it was where I went for a pint after work, to chill out, let off steam, chat, laugh, and put the pressures of the working day behind me. A plac e of faces who I began to recognise when I first went in who became friends over the years. And then there were the familiar faces that I would see regularly, maybe exchange pleasantries, but never really got to know, and those that the US sociologist Mark Granovetter would call  the weak ties  that made up the frequent arrivals and departures, our routines often coinciding, influenced but not dictated by the happenings on the tracks outside. Stalybridge Buffet Bar is one of the few remaining Victorian rai

What A Weekend That Was!

The first-ever Town music festival has just ended in Halifax. It has been a fantastic weekend with some excellent music and events that will linger long in the memory for the hundreds that attended and no doubt for many of those that took part.... The Festival officially started on Thursday, but I suppose for me it started and ended at two different pubs both in the Calder Valley rather than Halifax. As I was due to be in conversation with several of our guests, I had reached out to them in advance to get an idea of how they would like to do it, any topics they would like to cover, etc. And so that was why, on a miserable, drizzly early evening last Wednesday I visited the Golden Lion in Todmorden to have a pre-festival chat with Richard Walker (who everyone calls Waka). Over an excellent pint of Big Trip - a new brewery from Ancoats - an expected 20 minutes conversation stretched to over an hour and a half, giving me plenty of ideas for our conversation on Saturday. Fast forward 24 ho

It's All Happening In Halifax....

The local festival season is in full swing with the Halifax and Calderdale Beer Festival taking place the other week, whilst upcoming this weekend is the first ever Town festival, a grassroots music festival curated by the Grayston Unity in Halifax which is taking place at several venues across the town.... The Halifax and Calderdale CAMRA Beer Festival was held at the back end of September in the Viaduct Theatre, which is situated in the huge former mill complex of Dean Clough in Halifax. Stretching across the narrow Hebble Valley, the buildings that once housed the biggest carpet factory in the world, Crossleys, is now home to insurance companies, offices, bars, and restaurants, as well as the theatre, and is a thriving part of Halifax, situated just a few minutes' walk from the town centre. It was the first beer festival that the branch had held since 2019, and over 60 cask ales were on offer, with 19 of them being served from a wooden cask which has become a regular and popular

Comebacks and Restarts....

Things are certainly not easy at the moment in the world of pubs and beers, but even amidst a difficult and uncertain backdrop, it is heartening to discover that there are still some good news stories.... We have become used to hearing about pubs and breweries closing down ( only in the past couple of days it has emerged that long-established Cornish brewers Skinners have called in the administrators ), but even in these difficult times there are still some good news stories about that lift the spirits and gladden the heart. In the last few days, news broke that a much-loved brewery that had closed earlier in the year has been bought and will start brewing again, whilst I have been along to a couple of pubs that for different reasons had closed, but have re-opened in recent months, reinvigorated and raring to go.   Shockwaves were felt across Sheffield and way beyond the South Yorkshire city when the closure of the much-loved Kelham Island Brewery due to financial pressures was announc