After three days break for “planning”, it was off to Halifax with Curry Charles.


With Charles starting at Dereham, the town that makes Wisbech seem modern, there was always going to be a need for multiple “comfort breaks“.

But there’s nowhere up the A1 that I haven’t stopped a dozen times.

Except Pontefract. Charles became animated at talk of Pontefract cakes and rhubarb, which clearly have different meanings in Norfolk.


No new Guide pubs here since the Greene King diner on the edge of town, and the Carleton is now the only GBG entry in a solid town of 30,000. That makes Castleford look exotic.

Cobbled streets

Charles was taken with the cobbled streets and stately architecture.

Possible drafty micro
I was after a Lloyds

But a walk towards the castle reveals a more mixed picture.

Brutalism ?

It was tempting just to eat liquorice for lunch, but the sausage rolls and cheesy slices at Pickerings proved the healthier option we craved.

The true home of liquorice
High quality AND good for you in an alternate universe

Five minutes to the castle, which was in the process of being redeveloped into a Brewhouse & Kitchen. Probably.

The views weren’t bad, and we could just make out Drax power station.

Future mic..
I spy Drax

The town is rather dominated by a giant bus station, which famed Rugby League team Featherstone had come on a day trip to visit.

We had 20 minutes left on the parking (20p), just enough to buy Charles a half in the Spoons, admirably equipped with real fire, dartboard and regulation Old Boys.

Private Members Club style
Rare Spoons dartboard
Nettle Thrasher “pretty good” said Charles

Plenty of attractive pubs left in town, but zero obvious craft, apart from at the keg Sam Smiths, of course.

Just enough time to buy the eponymous cakes, find the quaintly named alley,

and buy Charles some emergency clothes for our night in Halifax.

30 thoughts on “PONTEFRACT CAKES

      1. I don’t think “prestigious” is a word I have read in connection with Wetherspoons before.
        Oh, or maybe that’s a branch in a prestigious city centre ?


      1. Tim’s magazine/propaganda sheet sometimes likes to big up darts and other teams in the interests of “community”. Never seen a darts board in a Spoons myself though. Maybe I’ve just been using the “prestigious” ones…


      1. Incidentally, re Spoons, I read that Tim is implementing his non-marketing of rest-of-EU products as I write.

        As some wag remarked, “what about Guinness?”

        Love it.


      2. Yes, the joke went well over my head. Almost missed it. I can never remember to which posts I respond, they go by so quickly!!


  1. I’ve been brooding over the prices in the various Spoons featured on here recently. In Bristol, the cheapest ale in Spoons was Ruddles Best at £1.99 and not all their pubs had it. The default price is/was £2.29 (before voucher) Elsewhere, it seems Ruddles is £1.69 or less and loads of cask at under £2.00, as in the photo in this post. Anyone else have any experience of big Spoons price differentials and how much is a pint in their airport branches these days?


  2. Don’t forget that the January sale ended in ‘Spoons branches on Thursday. Hence, for the period from 2 January 2019 to 17 January 2019 inclusive, guest ales and Ruddles Best Bitter were generally reduced by 10 pence per pint. So the branches featured on here “recently” might have been showing sale prices.

    The default price in the South but outside of city centres is now £1.99 per pint for guest ales and £1.79 per pint for Ruddles Best Bitter. But prices are higher in city centres or affluent areas. So those are the prices in The William Morris in Cowley. But go three miles down the road to the two branches in Oxford city centre and the guest ales are £2.59 per pint.

    RM recently featured somewhere on the outskirts of London – possibly Ruislip – and his photograph suggested that £1.99 is the guest ale price in that branch too.


  3. I entirely empathise with the break for “3 days planning” – much of our work is unseen in this way, thrashing out the detail with the back office boys etc. I sense this is building up to a big night out in Halifax.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “which clearly have different meanings in Norfolk.”

    I think Norfolk folk folking love to bugger up the King’s English. 😉

    “Cobbled streets”

    Good lord. It looks like something out of a zombie movie.

    “I was after a Lloyds”

    Isn’t that where Simon works? 😉

    “Future mic..”

    If I win the lotto, I’m buying it!

    “I spy Drax”

    It’s where all the clouds converge, innit?

    “and regulation Old Boys”

    I hear they’re pretty cheap to rent for the day.

    “Rare Spoons dartboard”

    And no wonder; bloody difficult to score any points throwing spoons.

    “Nettle Thrasher “pretty good” said Charles”

    I’d have gone for the Winterfell; if only for the Game of Thrones reference. 🙂

    “and buy Charles some emergency clothes for our night in Halifax.”

    Here’s me not asking what the bloody hell you were up to in Halifax.*

    *(although it looks a bit like the ‘lost night’ I missed out in in Hamburg back in ’81) 😉


    Liked by 1 person

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