There’s been an interesting discussion on Twitter, sparked by Pub Curmudgeon’s blog, about the worth of the Beer Guide in attracting extra business.  That issue might get lost among the fish bladders though.

Inclusion in the Guide feels more like a badge of honour than a licence to print money, and I guess there won’t be too many folk making the attractive walk from central Manchester to Higher Broughton, though I can think of at least one.

It’s mostly a walk through wasteland and abandoned beer cans to be fair, but of course you get great views back to the finest urban skyline in England. This is the only street art I found, and that was as the entrance to a shopping centre.

Street art

Higher Broughton is not the greatest suburb in Salford’s armoury, but the Duke of York is a gem, and not just architecturally.

An increasingly rare all-day opener, it was lively enough by 11.30am in the morning with folks who probably wouldn’t shift loyalty to a Spoons if one opened here (it won’t). The regulars all looked older than me, though they probably weren’t.

There are several reasons I love Holt pubs, and the fact they’re often the last real ale pub in a large area is just one of them.  It’s a mile to the next decent pub (the Star).

Like Sam Smiths, it is very easy to find a cosy place to sit and hide, or to chat, or to watch Owen Smith on TV.  That’s something increasingly rare in modern pubs.

The locals were amused by the sticky foliage my shirt had acquired on the way, which they called stickybacks. I thought stickybacks were fish.

QUIZ TIME – What are those sticky things called ? 

The Duke of York isn’t one of their better known pubs, and won’t be featuring on many Eccles-style pub crawls any time soon, but is still very beautiful.

Never played billiards

Most importantly, you get a choice of Bitter or an excellent Mild (NBSS 3.5, £1.90). The Mild tastes well above it’s 3.2%.  None of those silly guest beers, though I see Holts were advertising London Pride as a guest in some of their houses. I’d be interested to see if they serve it cooler than they do in that London place.


  1. Pure trivia for you. There was an early type of photo in Manchester that used adhesive on the photos. They were called “stickyback”. Your quiz really leads me down some obscure roads. I have not found the connection to your plant though.


      1. Okay, be gentle here. You said you would explain things I did not understand. Below you comment positively on the color observation. Here I get “wow”. What does wow mean in this context? I come up with several options: why would this idiot share this info? Why would someone think this trivia worth sharing? Man, there’s something I can use someday in the pub! Does this man have no life? This gent really has it going on! I am curious what wow means and I have very thick skin.


      2. I’ll be gentle. Wow means I’m very impressed with your research into Manchester. Always take my comments at face value Dave, unless there’s a clear instruction to the contrary. 🙂


      1. I have been digging around on the mild front since our previous blog exchange. Far more of them out there in the Holt and Banks range than I would have known. Sadly I have drank some without making the connection.


      2. We are looking forward to the Manchester area pubs and beers. Your original presentation was to be at 10 AM on New Year’s Eve at the Hungry Horse. That would be better for us than New Year’s Day. We arrive on the 27th of December and fly out, always a sad day, on the 2nd of January. Flying out is sad, not January 2nd. We head to London on the 1st to position ourselves for the trip to LHR. But we are as flexible as can be.

        Interesting note on the Hungry Horse. While looking it up in earth view on Google Maps, as I do with all pubs mentioned, it showed up as an empty lot. When I street viewed I breathed a sigh of relief as a structure did appear. Adding to my confusion is that it seems to be called Flying Horse owned(?) by Hungry Horse.


      3. For the avoidance of doubt…

        I would NEVER send visitors to Stockport (which will include me) to Wythenshawe. I didn’t even know it had a Hungry Horse.

        Given your busy schedule, it would be great to say hello to you in Stockport/Manchester sometime on New Year’s Day. If that’s not possible, I’ll try and make New Year’s Eve.


      4. You gave me another good laugh. I thought that was an odd choice of location, not being one to add to your count(unless it made the 2017 guide, which I doubt). My book should arrive next week. So I am working in the dark, as usual.

        Dave handles the itinerary, and I think he will make New Year’s Day work. Dave?


  2. My guess for the sticky backs is arctium lappa(also called Greater Burdock) or Galium aparine. I would imagine we may hear from someone who lives in the area.


    1. The two of us are visiting Stockport and Manchester together. We also hope to claim the elusive quiz trophy on New Year’s Day. Thanks for the clarification!


  3. I’ve got Burrs down as a similar but much larger type of thing to cleaver or goose grass (BTW that was me posting anon on another device). Suspect Cleavers as they thrive anywhere, often in urban/semi-urban habitats. I thought this was a beer and pubs blogsite?


  4. I think it is the finest advert for early retirement I have ever seen.

    What is early retirement age in England, assuming that one has worked toward it and is not independently wealthy?


    1. The official age where you can start to draw pensions is currently 56, although, without wishing to pry, I suspect RM’s arrangements may be somewhat different.


      1. We would love to meet up if that works for you. (We can be there until rather late on the 1st. Possibly leaving on the 2nd based on train times.) We would love to pay back the bloggers for all the information shared. Great stuff and very useful to us. Our hope is to meet Pubcurmudgeon that week as well. Nothing confirmed as of yet.


  5. I did The Duke of York on the 7th December 1988 and is one of three Joseph Holts tied houses i have not got a photo of due to it getting to dark,ive now done 115 of their tied houses.
    What the hell are you doing Martin in a rough area like that,i have always considered the North Manchester and Salford border to be the roughest areas of Greater Manchester i have visited,it even tops North Nottingham for roughness and that is saying something.


    1. I knew you’d been there Alan. While I was walking back to central Manchester from the Duke of York I saw the Dover, a pub not featured at all on WhatPub.

      Looking on Google, the first reference was to a recent knifing there, the second was your review on Pubs Galore 21 years ago !


      1. Yes i have done almost all pubs in Salford and North Manchester,the one proper pub that i have not done is the Star a Robinsons tied house,the pub was open and full when i tried to do it,but they would not let me in as i must have looked to rough for the pub!


    2. The Duke of York looks and sounds like a pub Dave and I should visit. Being in the Stockport/Manchester area, should we be asking about which neighborhoods to avoid? Or when to use a taxi? Not that I am concerned…


      1. Don’t listen to ANYTHING someone called Cooking Lager tells you. Other than that, you’ll be fine. It’s not Maidenhead you know.

        I never use taxis on principle. I’d recommend trains and metros around most of Manchester but a taxi to the Duke of York would save you half an hour of nothing.


      2. Yes, the burbs have made me wimpy. Dave and I do most of our moving on foot, within reason. We only have a week to see pubs, so 2-3 miles we walk.


      3. I sent the itinerary. It is a Word document. As I stated in the email, the 1st of January will be revised. We are looking forward to the presentation.


  6. Actually aimed at my brother. Two rough and tumble lads from the streets of Sheffield shouldn’t be intimidated by Manchester. He is asking questions like a man who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago!


  7. Martin,

    Sorry for late reply about the Star,it was a Robinsons tied house on back hope street which also had another pub on it which did let me in,this was the Horseshoe a bass tied house with two real ales on.

    Liked by 1 person

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