AN URMSTON UTOPIA

 

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While everyone else bleats on about Huddersfield and Wigan and Thanet, the real pub action is going on in Nuneaton and Dulwich and Carlisle.

And Urmston.

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A third trip to the outer reaches of Trafford (definitely not Salford, oh no) in a year, after successful forays into Flixton and Cadishead (which is in Salford). With all those complex geographies it’s no wonder United supporters forget they don’t play in Manchester.

As I always say, following the Guide takes you to places no-one else would go.  Though never to Wythenshawe, obviously.

The journey from Huddersfield goes via Stalybridge, where unfortunately I couldn’t make a stop due to an incident with a swordsman on the station platform

#PubMan

We’re allowed off at Urmston though, which looks rather charming with its station pub lit up.

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Steamhouse, Urmston

The lively and enterprising Steamhouse was in the Guide recently and surely only the strength of the local pub scene keeps it out this year.

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Train life

I need chips, urgently, but with trains running late I needed to get the new tick in the bag, and turned right left to head down Flixton Road to the Prairie Schooner.

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Urmston clock ticking
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Holts to the West, Cons Club to the East, Prairie in the middle
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Busy name, busy pub

Possibly the most common type of new entry in the Guide this year, the micro/bottle shop can feel a little claustrophobic. The Prairie is bustling at the bar, but has plenty of space at the back for apprentice curmudgeons like me to hide away.

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The Prairie

Though the cushion content is a bit high.

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Cushion alert

I was reminded of the similarly youthful but unpretentious Firkin in Newton-le-Willows in the heart of woollyback land.

Even with the shoddy camerawork below you’ll see some good beers here, and eagle-eyed readers (i.e. Russ) will notice the prominent sign giving CAMRA discounts.

And it accepts those irritating unused Spoons vouchers about to expire as the once-a-year pubbers take precedence in Timbo’s empire. Under £3 for a top pint of cask, again.

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NEVER drink a beer with marmalade in it is a useful rule in my beer drinking, so quite why I picked the Brass Castle with marmalade and ginger is a mystery as eternal as Romelu Lukaku. But it worked, the beer was cool and full-bodied, an NBSS 3.5/4.

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Proper Northern head on the Brass Castle

The Prairie is competing well with a lot of new pubs along Flixton Road, including an impressive Spoons, bottle shop and wine bar.

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Spoons
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Bottle Shop

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It all felt a bit like Middlesbrough, without the parmos. Chorlton who ?

You may know Urmston as the birthplace of one of our most idiosyncratic singers, but luckily Charlie’s Fish & Chips knows how to honour Trafford’s real musical heroes (top).  As I’m feeling very seasonal after Sunday’s result, here’s Frank;

Never mind the MEN awards on the door, always pick a chippy with a queue, and order what the last person had.

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Paddington Bear a good marker of a top chippy

That turned out to be the right decision. £3.70* bought a classic Steak and Kidney pudding, chips and curry sauce.

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Proper food
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Proper prices
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Proper glop

It was wonderful.  And probably good for you, in an alternative universe.

Go to Urmston now. Before the Yorkshire crafterati beat you to it.

 

*The only place in Urmston they didn’t take my Spoons vouchers, but give them time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “AN URMSTON UTOPIA

    1. Only just seen this harrumphing ! Are you denying that Wigan is the true prince among micropub obsessed market towns ? Not that that’s necessarily a good thing, prefer Weston Point grumpy mens pubs meself.

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  1. “Even with the shoddy camerawork below you’ll see some good beers here, and eagle-eyed readers (i.e. Russ) will notice the prominent sign giving CAMRA discounts.”

    Nope, missed that. I was too busy looking for a prairie schooner hanging from the ceiling.*

    Cheers

    * – I mean, if the Pelt Trader can have a canoe hanging from their ceiling, surely the Prairie Schooner should have a prairie schooner hanging from theirs? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You say that no one else would go to Urmston. That is not true. I went without the aid of the Guide. Indeed due to overcrowding caused by the ghastly beast that is the Manchester Newtonmas Market, I ended up staying longer than originally planned and had Caramac cake from the local market. For some reason I recognise the chippy.

    Isn’t Romelu Lukaku that crap centre forward Everton had on loan from Chelsea a few years ago. I presume he’s playing for Marine or some similar Lacastrian lower league shite now.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Tom – sorry, but it’s the sudden death penalty. 9.00am on Sunday morning, Kew end, Haig Avenue, Southport. They are “…Lacastrian lower league shite…” !

        Liked by 1 person

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