The return journey from Glasgow to Manchester was uneventful, bar a succession of Spanish students sticking their phones in my recharging point and leaving them buzzing all the way to Lancaster.
Come Thursday, with an arduous day out in Preston ahead, I settled on a quiet day in Chorley, capital of the bit between Bolton and Blackburn.
One thing that had escaped me was Chorley’s rapid rise to become a footballing giant that culminated in a 3-0 tonking of mighty Stockport on Saturday.
But then, it’s easy to forget Chorley is a growing town (35,000), home to Chorley cakes (better than Eccles), Porter beer pumps, and a post-cotton economy fuelled by independent businesses.
No town, except perhaps Middlesbrough, has seen such an explosion in small bars in the last five years.
Here we have Nelipots and Latch, yet to grace the Guide and therefore spared BRAPA’s wrath.
I applaud these places for having a go, taking on empty premises, offering milk shakes and creating a vibrant circuit you won’t find in many South-eastern towns.
Even the sandwich shop is out to convince you it’s a furry themed micro.
How can you resist this culinary capital of Central Lancs ?
A great place to wander, and shop for women’s nightgowns.
The market isn’t grand, like Leeds or Halifax, but you can shop for pennies, drink at Bob at eat Indonesian.
OK, Chorley lacks a flagship art gallery or social history museum, but the parks are great and the Spoons is never short of, er, life.
The micros in Chorley are very good, but they’ve edged out the trad pubs a bit. So it was good to get a new entry (GBG19, no embargo breaking here) in the Proper Pub style. Albeit the Mason’s Arms has 3pm opening, the new norm (if you’re lucky).
Twenty minutes north of town, almost at the Mormon temple, in fact.
Reminds me a bit of the Beehive in New Mills, an edge-of-town boozer with a tiny front bar with seating tight to the bar.
“Oooh, what should I have then ?” I ask the wonderful Landlady.
“Deception” she says, without hesitation. I like that. None of that “Depends what style you like/have a taster” nonsense.
A cool, foamy cracker (NBSS 3.5) for £2.90. A pint.
Our heroine attends to the beer delivery and the dishwasher. I enjoy the silence, but not in a Depeche Mode way.
I admire “Ploughman in a bag” but then notice the Bar Snacks menu.
“What do you call rolls here ?” I ask, like a BBC 2 documentary maker from the ’60s.
“I don’t know”
“It’s just they’re called batons on that board. ”
Batons, baps, barm cakes, cobs, bread rolls. Where will it end ?