I see I’ve almost used this title before, but so what ? There’s not much that rhymes with Hanley. Or Stoke.

Before the pedants start, Hanley isn’t Stoke, but it is the “entertainment” centre for the Potteries, apparently.

For a start you’ve got the Reardon Club (aka Victoria) with its Wheeltappers vibe and Bass. And some great art.

I took a quick peek at the venerable Coachmakers, one of my favourite pubs a decade ago with cosy rooms and dedication to Bass.

Reprieved from demolition, but in 2018 it’s just closed on Thursday afternoons. Whatever happened to afternoon drinking.

Struggling on

Last time here I admired the new Smithfield office complex (am all heart), this time I give you the Town Hall.

I half-heartedly compared Piccaddilly, the trendy street, to Oldham Street and expected cheap rents to see more indie start-ups. What’s happened in 30 months ?

Completely unfair to compare a wet Thursday afternoon in Hanley to a Friday night in Manchester, of course.

Well, we have this from my near namesake.

But for now the Guide welcome BottleCraft, as inevitable an entry as an argument about Baps V Cobs V Rolls on this blog.

One is plenty

Just one other customer, but what a cheery place.

And only one beer on cask (hurrah !), in contrast to that Derby Spoons.

And no half-pints. So just a third of that Blackjack for £1.10 (saving myself for Manc Beer Fest).

Cheers fella !” . Don’t the Hanley youth know it’s “M’duck” (Council bylaw 38 Para 17)

A really good, rich third (NBSS 3.5), if there can be such a thing as a good third. If I ever drag Mrs RM back up here for the Toilet Museum in Fenton she’d go mad for the craft keg. I suspect she’s exactly their target audience.

No match for the Craft Central that is Newcastle-under-Lyme these days, of course, but that joy will have to wait until the Premier Inn comes down a few quid. Then I can use that “Weller, Weller, Weller” line I’ve been saving for years.


  1. The theatre next door to BottleCraft is the one Adam Faith was performing at the night he carked it in his hotel room shagging an actress 40 years his junior.

    And to think some people wouldn’t be seen dead in Stoke-on-Trent.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I took a Norwegian business guest to the Italian restaurant next door to the Regent (La Bella Napoli) after an exciting evening watching Stoke City’s Scandinavian duffers. She was convinced she was in a 1970s themed restaurant.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, and “Hanley isn’t Stoke” so your Norwegian business guest in an Italian restaurant in Stoke would have been convinced she was in a 1960s themed restaurant.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You remind me that the Coachmakers is the only reason I ever go “up ‘Anley” – and that’s only once every few years.
    I would rather pay a bit more and travel to Manchester or London – except I might not be going to London again after the news last Friday ! .

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No, but no longer locally owned will make London a bit like all those depressing high streets across the land without a locally owned shop or other individual business in sight.
        And how long before their brewing is moved out of London ?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Playing Devil’s advocate here a bit, Paul, but what will look any different to the average Londoner ? Same livery on the pubs, same largely soulless gastro pubs, same London Pride generally ignored in favour of Peroni. And if it is eventually brewed in a big factory in Reading and shipped back into London it’ll only be the sentimentalists who claim to notice the difference. Bet we wouldn’t have this fuss if Harveys or Adnams had bought it.


      3. Well if I go down there again I shall ask “the average Londoner” if Youngs pubs are no different from twenty years ago.


      4. 20 years of gentrification, identikit food, focus on imported lager and the smoking ban did for those, long before the beer quality dropped by being outsourced (a bit like Wimbledon football club was, really).


      5. Gentrification is what happens in London because that’s where the money is.
        Identikit food is what I’ve NOT seen in Fullers pubs many of which have had Thais cooking proper Thai food.
        Imported lager, ah yes, we’ll soon see a Japanese lager brewed somewhere in England.
        The smoking ban, er, I’ll leave that for the other Mudgie to comment on.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I guess it has the Art Gallery (very good), a Spoons and a theatre but otherwise it’s a marginal city centre at best. Burslem actually has better architecture (and Plum Porter !).


  3. “And some great art.”

    The mural of the face done by other faces isn’t that bad.

    “Whatever happened to afternoon drinking.”

    (checks watch)

    Still works for me, albeit from the comfort of my home. 🙂

    “Completely unfair to compare a wet Thursday afternoon in Hanley to a Friday night in Manchester, of course.”

    Even I get the disjoint of that!

    “Well, we have this from my near namesake.”

    Shoulda called it Mart Inns. Then we could (possibly) say Martin’s in Mart Inns. 🙂

    “welcome BottleCraft”

    Interesting how, in the photo, they technically don’t include lagers, stouts (or traditional ales) as craft beers. 😉

    “I suspect she’s exactly their target audience.”

    I still think for some of their beers they make up the name first; although Valencia is a good choice for a blood orange sour.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. “M’duck”? Not round there, that’s the East Mercia form. In West Mercia it’s simply “duck”. In both cases it’s supposedly from “dux” the Latin for leader or general, but for some reason in the Potteries you’re more likely to hear “boss” rather than “duck”, although you’ll get “duck”ed in the surrounding areas.


  5. Do you often get to a GBG place where the only cask currently available is a stout? I confess I tend to think of a ‘brown bitter’ as the classic example of cask, though of course almost anything can be cask. Would it be fair to say that when CAMRA was founded, stout was maybe not the style its members were primarily devoted to?


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