Today we start #PrayForSi week, as BRAPA ventures into Cornwall with only a Good Beer Guide and the sure and certain knowledge that Newquay is a very bad base for tackling the county.

To cheer him up, I found a programme (above) of a Hull Tigers match that, by my reckoning, he might well have been conceived at. Don’t ask how.  My own “Benjamin Button” theory of Simon has him as a wizened old man at that match in 1978, and probably listening to the sort of music they listen to in the Barlick Tap Ale House, if their collection of 78s is indicative of east Lancashire taste.


On the one hand this is a formulaic micro, down to the painfully precise 4pm opening; on the other it’s quite quaint, homely, almost twee.



I was first in (of course), kept company by an elderly couple who had mistaken the place for the Temperance Bar in Rawenstall, and were shamelessly ordering a Dandelion and Burdock.

The fact the Barlick serves that, and some excellent beer for under £3 a pint (Magpie Silver, NBSS 3.5), and played “Rock the Casbah” followed by “The First Picture of You“, puts it in my good books. That 1983 music fixation again.

Full marks for the “busiest” loo of the week. Unless it really was the cellar  ;-(


Elsewhere, the town seems to have (finally) left ’83, and while you wouldn’t call it posh, it is by turns shabby and chic(y), a bit of a mini-Halifax, if you like.

Take Hutchinson’s Pie Shop, for instance;


Barnoldswick is one of my favourite little Pendle towns, certainly among those which begin with a “B”, which is nearly all of them. I wouldn’t want to drive there though, especially in Winter.


Back down the hill in Barrowford, you get an immediate sense of Prosecco Poshness with the spanking new Booth’s, where I enjoyed a lengthy queue for an overpriced coffee. Better value in the Banker’s Draft .


This has the advantage of architecture to distinguish it from the crowd, but feels more traditionally “micro“, except for the dreaded “beer flights” that the first couple in were on.


The landlady was cheery and charming, as were the “ale tasters”, the setting characterful and with a good view to the other Guide entry over on the cobbles.


The beer (Bingley) was vigorously pulled through before serving, always a good sign. I’d have preferred a Theakston or Bass, of course, but that’s me.

I guess, inevitably, micros are taking over the world (or at least the Beer Guide) up here in low rent market towns with enough residual affection for cask to make them work.  Surely Foulridge is next ?






      1. I wasn’t sure if buses would be considered a better option in Cornwall. The train route seems really limited to that part of England.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Interesting that the record sleeve says “Barnoldwick” without the “s”. Is that an old spelling, or just an error?

    Did you know that Barnoldswick is one of the longest place names in the UK without a repeated letter?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember spending a lunchtime there at some point in the mid 80s when on a canal trip and Barlick was the local pronunciation of the time – reminiscent of somewhere like Happisburgh.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. On the subject of Cornwall and twee micropubs, the new Padstow Brewery taproom is quite an experience: scented candles and sheepskin rugs – it feels like a branch of the White Company.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do not have the faintest idea what a beer flight is,please let me know what i am missing.
    Micro pubs may well be taking over the world,another new one in Ilkeston for you to do next year Martin and it is called how we say it The Ilson.
    The micro pub march will never reach Stapleford,if it does i will eat my Forest bobble hat that i wear wherever i am if in winter or when it is raining.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A beer flight is an offering of four or five beers in smaller glasses. Designed to be a sample of the beer range on offer. Just in case you really didn’t know.


      1. To be honest flights are called different things around the world. Wetherspoons used to do them for beer festivals, 3 x 1/3rds for price of a pint. Thirds don’t work for !


      2. Tasters are the embodiment of evil, an attempt to take free beer from hard-working publicans.

        Samplers are the things you help yourself to from the jam jars on the bar.


      3. Dave,
        You really do not trust what me and Martin say on this blog.
        I honestly did not know what a beer flight was,now i know i know i will never use one,if i hit a pub with the wife while on a session and stay in it,if the pub has 8 real ales on the bar,if the first one is to our taste,we will stay on the same beer for the session,regardless of what else is on the bar.


    2. To Alan: it’s also a cultural “across the pond thingy” I think. A flight over on this side of the pond is basically a sampler you pay for. Heck, in Brooklyn right now there is a beer ATM!


      Note that you can pour either a 1oz or 12oz beer… but you still pay for the 1oz taster!
      (on the plus side, I guess you don’t have to tip at the end of the night since you did it all yourself; because tipping over here is pretty standard in any bar or restaurant).


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting stuff.

        In Glossop there’s a tremendous bottle shop place where you can help yourself to wine in sizes 10ml to 500ml, goes thru price range. Uses prepaid card. Not a wine man, but enjoyed the concept. Blogged about it Dec 15.


      2. That Glossop thing is pretty interesting as well RM, thanks for that.

        Soon it will be nothing but robots* dispensing and having to use your phone to pay. 🙂


        * and maybe a robot to act as a landlord/bartender surrogate that you can chat with – heh


  4. I have heard of a beer paddle,but never used one.
    The pubs i frequent would never have machines that dispense beer by using bank cards,though i would love to try and fiddle the system and get free beer.
    Regarding robots running pubs,would they also be in my local which is a minute walk from our house and has live groups on every Saturday,going down tonight to listen to covers from James,Oasis,Happy Mondays and the like,i am sure a robot could not do that.

    Many thanks for all of your helpful comments about beer flights and paddles.


      1. It is The Midland,an ex Shipstones tied house that is just down the hill from our house on the corner of Brookhill Street and Derby Road.
        It has had recent refurbishment and now has loads of TVs showing sports but it is one the main live music venues in the area and has been for many years.
        It does real ales but it can be a bit hit and miss,last three visits saw Harvest Pale and then Doom Bar then no real ale,we will have to see what is on tonight after going to Wetherspoons for a meal and pre night out drink.

        What is your reason for a pub crawl round Stabbo,is there a new GBG entry that you have not yet done,if so i will let you know what is is like.


    1. “Many thanks for all of your helpful comments about beer flights and paddles.”

      No worries Alan. All of the good blogs these days are a kind of cultural exchange. We sometimes take for granted that what goes on in our neck of the woods is the same elsewhere. 🙂

      Some “craft” breweries around here taking “flights” (or “samplers”) to a whole new level (i.e. home sampling). When I get a chance (and can figure out how) I’ll post a photo of a sampler contraption I purchased to used at home (haven’t used it yet alas). 🙂



      1. “Hi Russtovich. Tell us a bit about yourself. I assumed you were from Mansfield.”

        Hmm, let’s see.

        First generation Canadian of British stock. Mom and Dad (Kent and London respectively) emigrated in ’52 right after they were married. Got my love of British pubs from my Dad (of course). Have a couple of Pete Brown’s books, as well as two “coffee table” types from THE Michael Jackson (the Beer Hunter, not that singer) as well as a luverly hand me down book from my Dad (now deceased) called “English Country Pubs” by Derry Brabbs.


        (every time I look at Brabb’s book and see a pub I like it’s usually in the Lake District) 🙂

        Currently semi-retired (heading towards 61) and living on Vancouver Island with my beautiful half native wife who served me my first meal at my first military posting (after training) and fell in love with her on she spot.

        I have a part time contractual job that takes me to various parts of Vancouver Island about once a week so I can indulge somewhat in hitting fake pubs and craft beer places and the like.

        I have a hope of one day doing a pub crawl (drive?) in the Lake District, or maybe a crawl by canal, but that will not be in the near future.

        Found your blog thru Mudgie, and enjoy reading about the great British pub ticks by you, BRAPA and others.



  5. I knew you had had me as soon as i typed it,my wife is rushing about getting ready to go out and i have also been in and out of the room,one up for you Martin
    I doubt that Stabbo will ever get a new GBG entry in the years to come,but if by chance it does and you visit the town again,try Larrys which is next to the cross roads just down from the Horse and Jockey,Larrys would be a very scary place for you to visit at any time of the day,i know most who drink in there,they would put Wetherspoons professional drinkers to shame and it does open at 9am with people waiting to go in,the women are as bad as the men,i took my wife in once and she refused to go in again,i do if close by and wanting a quick drink.


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