Never hold grudges. There’s no money in it. In March 2008 I really fell out with Farsley for complex reasons involving teenagers, spit and a Cambridge United defeat to a team of part-timers with an axe to grind in their sole season in National League football.
In more than 40 years of watching football, this was the most intimidating atmosphere I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve been to the Gay Meadow.
The club went bankrupt, allowing a successor to find their proper level, playing Glossop this Saturday (3pm kick-off, £7. Go on, you deserve a treat).
Despite staying in the Innkeepers Lodge at Calverley a few times, somehow I’d avoided the charms of Farsley itself until this week. I’ll wager 99% of folk couldn’t place the town on the map. Here it is in the centre, obscured by the A6120 marking.
99% of people will have heard of Pudsey, but probably expect something a bit cuddlier from the collection of towns and villages on the west of Leeds. Calverley has the sandstone houses, Horsforth the posh shops, and Newlay the great pub.
Farsley has the tower block.
It also had thick fog for a while, but that cleared to reveal street after street of neat terraced housing, and an impressive mill redevelopment.
The parish church has some of the largest tombstones I’ve seen outside the Falls Road too. This one was taller than the church.
More importantly, Farsley has finally got a place in the Beer Guide too, even if nasty Leeds CAMRA have cruelly stuck it in under “L” for Leeds.
The Fleece is a worthy entry, as good as its namesake down the road in Pudsey.
A fine beer choice too, though we know what a double-edged sword choice is. Tetley round the back called me, but I was first in ( a trend emerging) so couldn’t gauge turnover.
I asked the jolly barman what he’d have. “Gotta be Abbeydale, hasn’t it ? “. He was right, of course (NBSS 3.5 for the Moonshine). Some folk like barpersons to keep conversation to the formalities, I like advice, unless it’s a Sam Smiths pub when no decisions are necessary.
A proper pub, perhaps a bit modern for the purist, but clearly with a decent lunchtime drinking trade (all Tetley incidentally). And no spitting.