You may have noticed that I get my easts and wests mixed up a bit, something to do with my incompetence in science no doubt (Grade 4 CSE).

But I always reckon I can tell you where any place in England is, and so it’s slightly embarrassing I continue to get my Montons and Mostons mixed up.  The casual observer would just lump them into “dull Northern Manchester suburbs without much merit” and leave it at that.  But don’t make that mistake.

Head south in Moston, and you end up at FC United of Manchester (FCUM).  Head south from Monton’s main drag and you end up in Eccles.

To be honest I actually thought FCUM, the Rushden & Diamonds of the North, actually played in Monton at the flashy ground below Eccles cemetery, but that appears to be a Rugby team.

My new GBG pub, being a micro, was closed, so I had an hour to re-evaluate Eccles. It’s very hard to do that without using the words “Victorian splendour” and “Holts“, but there’s more to it than that.IMG_20170101_142922.jpg

If nothing else, it’s home to what has recently been the highest regarded General Hospital in the whole NHS, though I was grateful not to be needing it in the first week of January.

The central area is dominated by transport infrastructure and superstores, but St Mary’s provides a peaceful area to eat my Greggs steak bake, a distress purchase as the appealing little Café Vintage was closed.

I’d obviously neglected the town on my trips to the Lamb, Albert Edward and Royal Oak, as the cobbled area round here is Stockportesque.

For better or worse, the pubs make Eccles.  It’s out of date, but take a look at the Council ale trail leaflet here.  If only for the one of the great staged photos in the Albert Edward.

I got some odd looks from locals while taking photos of street art,


but locals must be used to old blokes snapping the Lamb by now surely ?  I’ll revisit that one again soon.

The walk back to Monton took me past what I’d call gated communities if they were in Radlett.  I guess this is where the young doctors and NHS bureaucrats who can’t afford Boothstown live, as Monton Road has the essentials for young professionals – champagne bar, nail bar, Turkish bistro, micro pub.

It also has its own Holts, though The Park is from a different planet to the Lamb. My trusty GBG spreadsheet records a good visit there this decade, when it looked like a pub.  It was heaving though.

It’s very hard not to look shady when you’re walking up and down a street waiting for a micro to open, but I wasn’t alone. The Malt Dog clearly has a community of regulars, all greeted by name by the very cheery owner.

Variation on jam jars in the Malt Dog

I loved this place.  Some of the most enthusiastic salesmanship ever (“try the Milk Stout. I love the Milk Stout !”   “I will !”),  relentlessly upbeat ’90s indiepop (Space and James), and inspirational John Peel quotes.


It was £400 for a portrait of Peel, not the quote, by the way.

I doubt this complies with the Herne/Butchers Arms micropub rules, and hurrah for that. It’s a small, enterprising community pub with top quality beer (NBSS 3.5).  Not that that stopped everyone ordering Paulaner, but that’s pubs for you.

46 thoughts on “MALTY MICROS IN MONTON

  1. I think you’ve got your Mostons and Montons mixed up in Para. 3.

    Moston is a bit of a real ale desert nowadays.

    Is the clientele of the Park still a bit estate boozer even if the branding isn’t?


    1. To be honest you could have expected that given the preamble, thought that one was just fat finger !

      Moston presumably still has the Blue Bell if nothing else. I’d describe Park clientele as mixed, no bad thing.


  2. Looking at Moston on WhatPub, most of the pubs on Moston Lane seem to have gone entirely rather than just gone keg. Oddly, it doesn’t show the Whitegates under Moston, although it is on the site.


      1. I lodged in Eccles for a couple of terms, during my student days. There was also a rather basic Boddingtons pub nearby, the name of which escapes me, but being students – and rather adverse to physical exercise, we mainly drank in a modern and very non-descript Robinsons pub (White Horse?), which was closer to our digs.


  3. I think you are trying to throw me off track. “The walk back to Moston…” to get to the Malt Dog? I did remember paragraph 2.


      1. Why are the e-mail notifications of comments coming through with the header “OMALTY MICROS IN MONTON”?


      2. You are hilarious. I shall now hack the post and rename it “OMALTY MICROS IN MONTON.”


      3. Good luck in South London. On New Year’s Day in Southwark/Borough, the first two pubs we went to were closed. That was preceded by a taxi driver who could not find the first. We asked to be dropped off, and we found it on foot. One of RM’s 20 reasons not to use a taxi?


  4. What have Holts done to the Park,i did it back in the 90s when it was a proper pub,also done most pubs in Monton and did a good crawl down Moston Lane when all the pubs were open.

    Regarding the roll or bap it is neither,it is a cob where we come from and always will be.


      1. I don’t care whether it is a nice word, the trouble with cob, as with roll and bap, is that it is wrong. The phrase you are all looking for is ‘bread cake’.

        I visited Eccles once and was disappointed not to be able to buy a proper Eccles cake. The locals were able to direct me to a bakery but unfortunately the bloke was on holiday or some other nonsense excuse. I’ll stick to Chorley cakes from the bakery in Rammy for my confections from now on.

        Dick, even on a bank holiday, with its comprehensive transport network, there should never be a need to use rip offs like Hackney carriages, private hire vehicles or the Heathrow Express when in the county listed in the GBG as Greater London. There is always some form of public transport within walking distance.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Posing a theoretical dilemma. Suppose you have only six days and you are maximizing your time. If a taxi can save you 30 minutes over the Tube, thus gaining you an extra pint, is it reasonable to take the taxi in this situation? Agreed that the transport system is excellent and goes where one needs to go.


      3. No. But it’s still a free country(here, anyway).

        On my trip to Panama I was advised to take a taxi round Colon, but made do with a local youth on a bike with a gun for protection. Morally dubious,but better for the planet.


      4. Dave, I disagree that the car started the taxi’s troubles. Taxi is effectively a colloquial term for a Hackney Carriage. Hackney Carriages were originally horse drawn, the name I believe derives from the Hackney, the breed of horse used to draw the carriages. Whilst they did exist, private carriages were very much the exception in those days.

        For the record, I am currently learning to drive, though once passed out I have little ambition to ever actually drive a car in anger. It must be particularly terrifying for my fellow road users, particularly the bloke in the green coat who hopefully didn’t see me veering round a corner towards him.


      5. That’s a shame Tom. I was going to recommend Dick and Dave stayed in Grimsby next trip (as a base for Hull now all their hotels are full), but suspect Scunthorpe a safer option now.


      6. On hindsight, we could have taken the Northern Line to Waterloo(near the King’s Arms) and returned via Borough Station(near Royal Oak) to Euston. Too late for this past trip. Not that I won’t take a taxi ever again… We did manage to get one driver out of the carbon monoxide filled cave where the taxis wait.


  5. I will enter this debate by saying i have never drove a car and never will,my wife has never drove a car and i doubt she ever will,my Daughter has never drove a car and i also doubt she will,my Son does drive and has done so since he was 18,now 27.
    We hardly ever use taxis far too expensive,so it is either walking,use buses or for longer distances the train.
    Public transport in Nottingham and conurbation is very good,in morning peak we can get a bus into Nottingham every five minutes,this goes down to every 7-8 minutes during the day.
    On my visits to London i can not fault the public transport down there and when Cross Rail starts it will be even better.


    1. If I could have avoided driving I would Alan, for lots of reasons. My job took round the country and, or example, a trip to our Sandiacre office takes 4 hours by public transport, 90 minutes by car. If you lived in London or Manchester you’re in a much better position.


      1. Wow,i dont believe it you have been to Sandiacre,
        My Mam still lives in the middle of Sandiacre,i was brought up there on the wrong side of the border which straddles Sandiacre and Stapleford,i have now lived on the right side of the border for longer so pleased.
        I would be very interested where you went to in Sandiacre as i know it very well.
        I played for the Red Lion pool team,the White Lion table skittles team and snooker for the Alex club all in proper leagues and all in Sandiacre.


    1. Some places in England had bus services on Boxing Day and New Years Day. A full service ran on BR on New Years Day, with a slack handful of routes receiving a limited Boxing Day service. The London Underground, with the exception of those routes otherwise closed for engineering and those running on BR lines or signalled by BR, ran a skeleton service on Boxing Day and the vast bulk on New Years day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually there wasn’t a full service in the NE or Scotland on NYD, though this should change in the coming years, along with more trains across the board on Boxing Day


      2. I accept your point. Local services in the North East of England do not operate on New Years Day, defined as being those traditionally booked for Heaton units. I believe the majority of businesses also close in the area on that day. Scotland I think comprises of Anglo-Scotish trains only, with no services north of Edinburgh or Glasgow.


      3. We had an half hourly Sunday service on Boxing day and New Years day,most of the Nottingham conurbation had some sort of service on the high frequency routes run by Trent Barton and NCT buses.


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