An attempt to visit three plain pubs in an hour and then squeeze in the days glamour National League fixture (AFC Fylde v Dover) fell apart at stage one, when it transpired that Salwick Station doesn’t actually exist.

I bet Matthew Lawrenson could have told me that, and no doubt BRAPA wrote about it, but at least the walk from Kirkham & Wesham station was flat and dull. And dry.


You could visualise the Hand & Dagger from a mile away; unbranded canal side dining pub that’s not quite destination level.

Unscarred by garish signs

Not exactly bustling, but it was 3pm and by law you’re required to be outside if the temperature exceeds 15 degrees in Lancashire.

Spoonsish carpets


Just two beers, and (coincidentally) loads of pints being poured, mostly White Witch.  When staff and regulars refer to a beer by a nickname (Witch, Doom, Speckly Hen) you know you’re in luck.

Nice beer, shame about the pump clips

The outside drinking area is unusually quiet; I guess you’re hardly going to be passing through Salwick on the way to somewhere else.  That gave it a pleasantly relaxed feel.


Whether a creamy half of the Witch (NBSS 3.5, mind) justified the two hour slog will only be clear when we see if it kept its place in GBG19.  The GBG19 which has been delayed for an indeterminate time, I hear today.  Don’t get me started.


Back in Kirkham, or was it Wesham, they’re indistinguishable, and the smart looking Stables, home to yet more middle-aged year old blokes staring at phones.  They stared at me as I approached, scaring me out of an exterior shot, so you’ll have to look on the BRAPA site.

Inside, serious drinkers watching the results come in on eight TVs.  Perhaps they couldn’t get tickets for Fylde v Dover, though to be fair they all seemed to be Everton fans, hence the glumness.

Enter a caption

Some BRAPA style punk to drown out the vidiprinter, some good beer again (Blonde Witch was very sherberty, NBSS 3.5), and a real sense of a male local.

“A doo da duck”

Don’t doo da me

Too many, or just enough

Five minutes round the corner, and to be fair Wesham did look like Prenton to Kirkham‘s Oxton, if you know what I mean.

The Stanley Arms looked very Old School.

Proper Pub

Another blokes pub” I note, but in a neutral colour on my phone. More TVs, rugby this time, men of all ages drinking Bud from the bottle (how else ?), and a very real sense you’ve returned to 1994 just as Fylde wants to get to 2014.

Ignore the Mosaic and you’ve got a proper range of BBBs there.

Butcombe far from home

Anyway, I found a nice proper table and enjoyed another nice malty drop of Butcombe (NBSS 3.5 again).  Alan Winfield would have loved these pubs, although I doubt there would have been enough for him.

Well done Fylde CAMRA.  Bet the micro craft bar comes along and spoils it all though.




  1. I’ve not been that way for twelve years but thought Salwick station had two-hourly trains in each direction between Preston and Blackpool. Maybe the current timetabling problems are to blame.
    I would have thought Hand and Dagger to be a name more appropriate for an alleyway pub in a South Midlands county town.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. But if there hadn’t been the Mosaic OTB there wouldn’t have been any element of choice for the customer, other than brand. I may not like what other people like but I will stand up for their right to choose what they like and for there to be a choice for everyone, regardless of their preference. Mind you I went into a free house in Bridport the other day, only to be confronted by a choice of five different bitters. Plumped for Otter but it was that flat it must have been run over. Obvs I haven’t been back.


  3. I think you are safe to assume that the new Kirkham micropub will not be in the 2019 Good Beer Guide. I believe that Blackpool Fylde & Wyre branch made their GBG 2019 selections at the end of 2017 and the micropub officially only opened in February 2018.


  4. The timetable shows three trains a day to Salwick in the week but early-ish in the morning and in late afternoon, so I assume they link in to shift patterns at the large Nuclear Fuels plant there, which jars a bit with the rural image. They did try a more frequent service but seem to have gone back to what I remember from a few years ago – I get to the area regularly as I have relatives there.

    The CAMRA website gives 12 September as the publication date for the GBG which seems late, especially as I have seen references to direct debit payers already having had the money taken. It makes me wonder whether the printers wanted money upfront, although if the GBBF went well then CAMRA should be flush with cash.


    1. So-called privilege GBG buyers paid their tenner in mid-August. We get the Guide a couple of weeks early, though embargoed (Aug 27 last year). Am fed up as no idea if there are any copies in existence yet.


      1. I don’t think it’s any secret that there’s been an announcement “about the Good Beer Guide 2019 …… Just to clarify no copies have been distributed. CAMRA engages one of the UK’s leading book publishing specialists to produce our flagship publication the Good Beer Guide 2019. Unfortunately, we have been informed that there have been some production difficulties affecting the printing and delivery of the Guide, through no fault of CAMRA. We are doing everything possible to achieve the launch date of 13 September and the majority of Privilege Club members should receive their copy on or before this date. The remaining copies will be received by branches and individuals from w/c 17 September”.


  5. “and no doubt BRAPA wrote about it,”

    He did, but in Part 3, not Part 2. And even he didn’t realise it has very limited service. Tom Irvin did that in the comments. 🙂

    “Nice beer, shame about the pump clips”

    They are a bit blurred. Was that to save us from seeing something rude? 😉


    And younguns at that. You can tell because they’re not wearing knee-length socks with their shorts. 🙂

    “Don’t get me started.”

    Si’s going off on that news as well. I can understand the frustration that most of you are feeling.

    “Enter a caption”


    ‘hmm; should I have another or face the real Blonde Witch at home’. 🙂

    “if you know what I mean.”

    I’ll just nod my head as if I do. 😉

    “(how else ?)”

    Well, you certainly wouldn’t want to see what it looks like by pouring it into a glass!

    “although I doubt there would have been enough for him.”

    Do you mean enough pubs, or enough beer in said pubs? 🙂



  6. Prenton to Oxton not a common analogy but it certainly works!

    Stations like Salwick are only likely to get more services with strong backing from elsewhere. You might want to form the GBG Rail users group for trips to Pilning and Tees-Side Airport.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just think of it as MOSH the acronym for Morlands Old Speckled Hen – although I should point out that it’s no longer brewed at the old Morlands brewery in Abingdon as Greene King have been brewing it for a while now.

      Liked by 1 person

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