Greetings from Burslem, where I’ve taken a break from a colossal write-up of Carlisle to bring you my reflections on tonight’s events at Old Trafford, which isn’t something you’ll hear me say very often.

I was actually in the newish Bursley Ale House when Robbie Williams started “Angels” tonight, enjoying a decent Falstaff Mild while all the sensible Potters stuck to Oakham.



I’m a miserable old git as you’ll know, but in his home town Robbie’s bit of gush struck a chord with me, and I had to pop up the stairs to get something out of my eye. It really did feel like a rare collective “moment”, the spell only broken by the old bloke saying

Eee, ee’s put on some weight, Duck

Not my sort of music at all, a bit too nostalgic,but there’s something genuinely touching about the uncynical response of the teenage crowd, and in the words of The Knack…

Image result for the knack little girls

The only way to follow such an emotional event (and avoid Coldplay) was to pop across to the Bull’s Head and enjoy the most wonderful pint of Plum Porter I’ve ever had (top).

And Burslem looked magnificent.



      1. Funnily enough, a few weeks ago I had exactly that conversation with a leading CAMRA-ite. I’ve had pints recently that seemed drier and more stouty than normal. Maybe it was just a duff gyle, but it’s something to watch out for.

        Apparently Cappucino outsells Plum Porter when it’s on at a local Titanic pub, but it’s not really my thing.


      2. In general I put those differences down to conditioning and quality control at the pub; it was certainly Plum Porter as I remember it at the Boar (a touch sweet) ! Haven’t seen it quite as much of late to be honest.


  1. This brought a tear to my eye. I was born nearby, and performed in a panto at Burslem Town Hall when I was a lad. Most of my relatives there have passed away, and it’s a long time since somebody referred to me as “duck”. I often feel the desire to return, but then again, I don’t have to walk that far here in Cambridge for some Oakham!

    (If only Robbie had some spare cash he could send to Port Vale to waste)


    1. They still talk about that panto in the Boars Head !

      I seem to get called m’duck quite regularly up there, like it more than being ignored in London.

      I think Robbie had wasted a fair amount of cash at Vale Park 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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