Charles had never been to Halifax before.  I’m not saying that to embarrass him; I’ve never been to Bathgate.

halifax 1

He’d been through Halifax, on the way to Hebden Bridge. Apart from the three new GBG ticks, I was keen to show which Yorkshire town starting with “H” is the best. (Hull is a city, of course).

The Wool Merchant got us off to a flyer. £40 for clean rooms, working WiFi and a properly cooked buffet breakfast.

Mulcture !

And a free beer from the shiny underground bar.  I was going to assume it was Tets, but the enthusiastic bloke who checked us in was tortured by Charles’ jokes till he admitted it came from a small brewery in Yorkshire.

Me photobombing my on photo

You should go to the Three Pigeons”  said our host.  We should have, but didn’t.

Halifax has plentiful cheap hotels these days, loads of Premier Inns, Travelodges and Crown Hotels to accommodate the coachloads folk visiting the craft beer emporia flooding the town.

Not sure where Square Chapel fits into the trad/craft division. Alongside the other GBG theatre bars in Newcastle, Washington, North Shields and Ealing, I guess.

Unprepossessing award

Dusk was falling, so we explored the Piece Hall first.


One of the treasures of the North, if you ask me, particularly when they have events on in the square.  We were stopped by the Piece Hall Admin lady as we explored the three levels, full of ambitiously niche shops. Folk travel here from rundown places like Harrogate, apparently.

It’s gorgeous, isn’t it !”  Yes, it is. Space for loads of micro pubs.

You could be in Europe

We seemed to stumble into the back entrance of the Chapel, which was just about to show a matinee performance of The Favourite to two dozen Pashmina Paulines and ponytailed Peters.

Top ceiling
Deceptively plain

No, it’s not the Big 6, but it was cosier than you’d fear. I bet Simon hated it.

Charles was taken by the Life & Death, an ideal strength beer to start an evening.

Evil cask
Evil more evil keg

In Cambridge the arts cinemas has two beers from local breweries and Punk IPA; the range in Halifax would impress in Ancoats.

We refused the tasters, politely, and I’m sure our beers were therefore improved.  NBSS 3.5 for the Eagle’s Crag, a 4 for the Life & Death. Both perfectly matched the apricot crumble which kept us going till we got to some proper pub food.

Keira Knightly eyes up my apricot crumble



    1. “Mulcture Hall, on Mill Lane (now Mulcture Hall Lane), Halifax was built about 1631 (carved on the keystone above the doorway) and is likely to have stood near the manorial corn mill on the Hebble Brook. ‘Mulcture’, or measure, refers to the portion of flour or corn that was due to the lords of the manor as a tax or tithe. Before this hall was built, there stood a timber building on this site belonging to the Prior of Lewes, under whose authority were the Halifax Parish Church and much local property.” – Calderdale Heritage.

      So there you have it, amigos.

      I know Halifax far better than – if I were to have my life over again – I would choose now, incidentally.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Mrs. E and I once went to the Square Chapel, to see a jazz combo from Scandinavia. Unfortunately she was suffering from an injured back, and found waiting in the slow-moving queue tiresome, as well as being daunted by the prospect of the stairs up to the theatre.

    An attendant said that they had a lift, and that she could jump what remained of the queue. She was relieved, but slightly embarrassed, when it turned out that the “lift” was in fact a Stannah stair lift, going up the grand spiral staircase – fortunately not with the other concert-goers.

    She found the experience hilarious, and couldn’t resist shrieking out ironic comments, about it being a good thing that, she had remembered to, er, come well-prepared, for someone as, um, elderly and frail, so to speak.

    I went up the staircase ahead of her, and at the last turn it became evident, that the stairs emerged immediately stage left, and in front of the nearly-assembled audience, who were clearly amused and intrigued, by the strange exclamations echoing up the stairwell.

    I hurried back down, just as the lift turned the final bend, and gestured frantically at Mrs. E to hush up, but too late. She rose, smoothly and serenely, straight into the view of the audience. I have never seen anyone’s expression, of the utmost mirth, transform into one of some genuine excruciation quite so quickly.

    She sprang out of the chair, and marched – rather energetically it must be said – across the floor space between stage and seats, to ours, which did cause a noticeable ripple of surprise to pass through the crowd.

    The music wasn’t so good – but lots of self-satisfied nods between the musicians, every time that one of them did something that they agreed was nice. You know the kind of thing.

    We didn’t come back from the bar after half time, but oddly enough, I can’t remember much about that.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha! No it was a quartet, I seem to recall, of cerebral, studious-looking, self-absorbed types, who played nothing harmonically or melodically recognisable, and without any rhythmic excitement either. They seemed to like it though.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I generally prefer shabby seen-better-days towns as long as they’ve got good pubs. A rare combination these days, I’ll admit.


  2. Love ‘Life & Death’, indeed most Vocation brews. You need to visit the new Assembly Underground, Vocations foray into the Leeds market – 50 beer lines, cask and keg, plus a (overpriced) street food market. Vocation tap room in Hebden Bridge good too and surely Hebden Bridge wins out over Halifax every time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s