As good as it looks 

Some very short posts for you as I have to check out of Halifax’s Wool Merchants hotel soon so we can get soaked finding the Piece Hall.

By last Friday James had decided the internet at Taylor Towers was insufficient for his purposes, and I took him back to Sheffield Uni ahead of exams this week.  We were sad to see him go, but the 57% improvement in our own computing speed was a minor cause for celebration.

With a couple of days in South Yorkshire, I targeted completion of a tricky GBG chapter.  Starting with two tricky ticks in what I think of as Posh Barnsley, cause folk dress up a bit on Friday nights.  Come in to the GBG fold, Darton and Mapplewell.


Ten minutes on the train to Darton and then a walk uphill to Mapplewell (or is it Staincross ?) for a rare early Friday opener, according to the GBG and WhatPub;


Those look like very specific times, don’t they ? Of course, 3 months into GBG19 they’re already wrong, and I was suddenly faced with a two hour wait with no obvious free entertainment.

So I fell back on the usual standbys.

A giant burger in the Wentworth Arms washed down with a decent (NBSS 3+) drop of Acorn.

Craft credentials

Alarm set in when I saw a GBG sticker on the window. I’d never been here, and it isn’t in the Guide. But the Wentworth’s sister pub over the road is.  Is there a new rule that says you get in the GBG if you’re part of the same group ?  That would save me from a lot of Brewhouses & Kitchens.

The Wentworth was empty, its sister pub was heaving at 3.30.

Even more solid

No obvious reason, just a bit cosier and full of Friday drinkers.  By 9pm it’ll all be pashminas and Prosecco based on my earlier visit. A great black coffee and a smile was £2 (£2 without the smile).

Oh, and then I had a haircut.  Number 2 at the sides, straight back is the actual name for it. Saved £2 on Cambridge prices but I did get asked if I’d had a nice day, which is a shame.

Would the Old Bakery be worth the wait ?





  1. “But I did get asked if I’d had a nice day, which is a shame” – as you were expecting “something for the weekend ?” ?


  2. Bloody hell,this has turned into a lifestyle blog.
    You’ll be telling us which skincare products you use next.
    ( Wright’s Coal Tar Soap since you ask )

    Liked by 2 people

  3. As an accountant do you track how much you save by ticking? Making cheaper purchases in just the right part of England? I sense a new guidebook. Cheaper Living with Regional Purchasing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. From local knowledge I’d say that Mapplewell is far from being Posh Barnsley, and to be fair I don’t think the locals would thank you for saying that neither. Okay, it’s not like Athersley North or South, but it’s proper Barnsley. Mind you, over the years Barnsley has suffered the butt end of many inconsidered and unfounded jokey stereotypes. Yes, we may be loud, blunt, and say what we mean, whatever the consequences, but above all there’s an honesty you won’t find anywhere else. And. Yes, there is a pride in getting dressed up to go out, one that endures, it’s reflected in peoples homes too.

    There used to be a Butchers in Mapplewell that made the finest Pork Pies ever. Far better than Albert Hirsts and, although different in style, on a par with Hector Ellis of West Bretton. Can’t remember the name, might have been Burkinshaws? I’m afraid it’s one of them, I’ll ring me Dad moments, he’ll remember … but I can’t.


      1. Decent Barnsley folk have always taken a pride in their appearance. Think the only genuinely posh place Barnsley is Cawthorne – Spencer’s Arms, always been a Free, food led pub since I can remember, the sort of place people ‘drove’ out to at the weekend.


  5. “Of course, 3 months into GBG19 they’re already wrong” –Is this unpredictability of opening times a relatively new phenomenon? I’d imagine a pub back in the 70s or 80s set its hours and stuck to them for years at a stretch, but maybe I’m wrong about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mark,
      Yes, before 1988 and ‘all day opening’ three hours open at lunchtime and five in the evening was easy enough for most publicans.
      Go back further, to statutory hours rather than permitted hours, and I don’t think they had a choice.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Yes, opening hours used to be reliable. Part of the problem is that new (micro) pubs get in the Beer Guide within a year or so of opening and are still working out which hours are viable for them. Nearly all the changes seem to involve closing earlier in the week or delaying opening till teatime; shame they didn’t tell the local branch though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly the same here, Mark. Unfortunately, the absence of a lunchtime session raises the risk of bumping into that Everitt fellow as he starts his pubbing later. And we know what happens then…


  6. “As good as it looks ”

    Agreed. Bars look so much better without any padding.

    “but the 57% improvement in our own computing speed was a minor cause for celebration.”

    The short posts would’ve made more sense when he was home. 😉

    “and then a walk uphill to Mapplewell (or is it Staincross ?) ”

    Here’s me not mentioned it’s awfully close to Swallow Hill. 🙂
    (but I will note all the places that look resolved; i.e. Hugset would and Thorpe will etc.)


    Crikey. The buildings are level but now the road is slanted. Are you lot doing that on purpose?


    I fail to see anyone in dressed in 18th century garb.

    “Number 2 at the sides, straight back is the actual name for it.”

    Off the ears, square in the back and brushed slightly to the right with no discernible part for me. 🙂



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