There really is only one place to start a new year, and that’s Tyldesley, not least among Wigan‘s beautiful necklace of towns.  It helps if you were tucked up with cocoa by 9pm on New Year’s Eve.

Elliot Street was beautifully embellished with the remnants of a New Years Eve clearly celebrated with Holts and kebabs, judging by the polystyrene count and the sound of furious domestic arguments in Wareing Street. The latter rather disturbed my appreciation of The Railway’s green tiling.  Mmmm. By the way, do Mayfair Taverns have a Mayfair branch ?


There’s a good range of architecture in town, including the inevitable stately Conservative Club, one of a string of old-school pubs and clubs. Tyldesley is famed for having two (possibly three) Beer Guide entries that just sold Holts Bitter a decade ago, which was clearly A GOOD THING.


Neither the Half Moon or the Mort Arms have survived to this years Guide. But we do have a new gem. Passing the obligatory New Year heron spotter, I found a proper pub atmosphere in the Union Arms.

Faded Thwaites livery, but Allgates owned and therefore low-priced. To be contrary, I went for the Wainwrights (£2.30 a pint), and splendid it was (NBSS 3.5).  Now I come to think of it, I can’t actually remember an Allgates beer on the bar.

Note bloke giving in to Dryanuary

Wigan Borough do this sort of pub better than anywhere.  Cheap and cheerful, multi-roomed, proper seating, burger and chips for a fiver.  The couples whispering to each other may have reflected a late night; hopefully speaking volumes will be increased by the time Simon gets there.

Tyldesley is a fine town, but Leigh has the canal, the Rugby League heritage (top), the art gallery and the frisson of danger that you want on the first day of 2017.  So I walked there along the Long Causeway. Bing said 58 minutes, it took me 47.  Still got the legs.

That frisson came not from St Helens Road, but a chain Greene King pub by the waterside. Called the Waterside.


Where the Union was buzzing, the Waterside was clearly recovering from a night of throbbing electro and Kylie into the small hours.  Just a few mums and children having arguments about fruitshoots. Why weren’t they discussing Cloudwater ?

The interesting beer from Sadlers was off, the GK IPA was OK and £2.80 a pint.  But the highlight was seeing toddlers dancing to Fleet Floxes.  If you can guess what they were dancing to I’ll buy you a pint of IPA in a Hungry Horse of your choice.

Thwaites and Greene King to start the year. Just as it should be.

7 thoughts on “UP TO BONGS, DOWN TO LEIGH

  1. Your reply intrigues me further Martin ;-). Come to think of it, I haven`t seen any of their beers for ages (I don`t particularly head for them anyway), even though I have been in their Union Arms, Jolly Nailor, and Hare and Hounds very recently. I know that they did run their annual beer festival (“The Road to Wigan Beer”) in October just gone. Interesting…..


  2. The problem with too many breweries making too many beers is I couldn’t tell you if I’d had the same beers twice from AllGates. I have good recollections of their beer from the Anvil and Crooke Hall, but easy to get mixed up with Prospect.


  3. What are “Fine Tyves” btw?

    Never much of a fan of Allgates – all their beers come across to me as a bit thin and harsh.


  4. You realise you got a bit mixed up after your foreign trip – it’s not Dryanuary, it’s Drie Januar; enjoying three (cheap) German beers per day all month.


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