“Always jump on a bandwagon” is the best advice I can give any aspiring young pub blogger, and so it is that I find that the Mark E Smith mural I stumbled across looking for a Prestwich pub is big news.
Complete coincidence, Mappiman. There’s no sign to alert you to this masterwork-in- progress; it’s tucked away in the, er, bucolic back streets off the A56.
I was heading for the Church Inn, a very rare Prestwich new GBG entry in Mark’s hometown, best known in Guide terms for robust Holt pubs in the finest Salford tradition.
The Proper Pubs round here have fallen out of GBG favour of late, giving way to shop conversions called Malty Dog or Brunning & Price.
But the Church Inn, after which the building behind it is named, promises much with its John Smiths livery and Bombardier as the house beer.
The light, it was on, but no-one, no-one was home (MES, Hex Enduction Hour, 1982, probably), with no opening hours displayed as is the trendy way.
I phoned the number. I’d obviously been spotted loitering with intent to buy beer as the message that “We’re closed Mondays now” came back instantaneously. My first Opening Hours Fail of GBG19, but hopefully not the last as I know you love them.
Still, there was always the modern cafe bar to visit preemptively.
All the Shapes is very Monton, but also has a touch of Chiverton Tap to it, which is high praise. Mrs RM would have loved it, particularly the crafty keg/cake matching.
I’m impressed with two on cask, Track Sonoma (NBSS 3) and Squawk, but resist the calories.
Mark E Smith would, perhaps, have been less charitable.
Back soon for the Church, by which time that mural should be done.