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.


Always nice to see a welcome sign

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.

Statue of Chris Holroyd at bus station

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.

Micro pub closed.  Who’d have thought it ?

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.

Milkshakes and Draught’s

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.

Serves Wimbledon beers on draught

How can you resist this culinary capital of Central Lancs ?

Half and half

A great place to wander, and shop for women’s nightgowns.

Proper clothes

The market isn’t grand, like Leeds or Halifax, but you can shop for pennies, drink at Bob at eat Indonesian.

Cheap as chips

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 3 tickers
Future Brunning & Price ?

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).

Blurry photo completely intentional

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.

And on a John Smiths mat !

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.

Look closely

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 ?



      1. What a wonderful day it is, yes, what a wonderful day it is, for sending prisoner Charles Bronson to a bed-and-breakfast in Londonderry, and saying “how about that for a hard bo(a)rder?”


      2. When I were a lad it was quite nice seeing the St George’s flag flying from the church tower on 23rd April but that was enough.
        I see no sense whatsoever in them hanging from windows or flying from car aerials whenever there’s an international football match.


      3. Thinking our country is so much better than everyone else’s is a barb often aimed at Brexiteers.
        Personally I don’t mind flags on show.I mean,I’m not pushed either way but it doesn’t offend me if someone is proud of their country and wants to fly the flag.
        I get a bit ticked off when people run down Blighty though.It has its imperfections and a history both glorious and shameful but if it’s so bad why do so many people want to move here ?
        The funny thing is when I travel,especially in the States,I never seem to come across any people who think Britain is the laughing stock of the world which,if you read certain newspapers,is what we’re led to believe.
        In fact it’s quite the opposite.Johnny Foreigner seems to have far more respect for this country than some of our own citizens.
        Just a couple of weeks ago I passed a house in Napa that had both the Stars and Stripes and a Union flag flying outside.
        Our American host didn’t think it odd but was surprised to hear how flying the British flag outside a house in Britain was considered,by some,to be a sign of extreme political views.
        She was genuinely puzzled,along the lines of why is the Union flag now a fashion statement seen on clothes,suitcases and cars all over the world if it’s something to be ashamed of ?
        She works in marketing and to her the Union flag is up there with the best and most powerful brands.
        Just my two pennies’ worth.


      4. P P-T,
        “Aren’t we better than them ?” was just suggesting that we don’t need flags all over the place and had nothing to do with Brexit, a subject I try to avoid online.
        “If someone is proud of their country and wants to fly the flag” then that’s their prerogative but I’m a bit wary of pride, not because pride is said to be the deadliest of all the seven deadly sins but because it’s all about our the glorious aspects of Britain at the expense of the current shameful aspects such as the division between rich and poor approaching what it was in Dickens’s time.
        You “get a bit ticked off when people run down Blighty” and so do I. “So many people want to move here” primarily because Britain is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. I very much doubt if I have a lesser opinion of Britain than you, have never considered living beyond this island and rarely take holidays abroad.
        It had been used a bit as a fashion statement in the Swinging Sixties but “Flying the British flag outside a house in Britain was considered by some to be a sign of extreme political views” because when the union flag started to be seen more in the 1970s and ‘80s it had been appropriated by the National Front and then the British National Party and that association isn’t easily shaken off.
        Just my tuppence worth.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Thanks Martin.
        I’m not normally one for discussing politics on sites like this but 1930s Germany first saw flags all over the place and that led to the Daily Mail’s “Hurrah for the Blackshirts” headline and a conflict so dreadful that our saviour Winston Churchill called for a United States of Europe.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. As I believe you to be a Manchester City supporter, you could have mentioned that ex-Manchester City player Nicky Reid is the landlord of the Masons Arms.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maidenhead, and now Chorley – was working on our Away Day (Micro) Pub Guide to Chorley last week ahead of our October trip, and have come up with eight of them (excluded Latch as that seemed to be a cocktail bar). Should you wish to continue to preview YTFC’s season of travels, easing my research burden into places have never been, adding Wrexham, Bromley, Fylde, Harrogate and Eastleigh to your forthcoming itinerary would be most helpful 🙂.


    1. The only one of those I’ll have to revisit is Fylde (Kirkham) for a new micro, but you’ll find posts on all those venerable places if you stick the place in search.

      Harder job for your home games this year 🙄


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