13 minutes from Victoria to the Victorian.
I’d been looking forward to a first proper look at Rochdale in a decade (or two), as it gives me the chance to wheel out these amazing FACTS about the town.
- 99.7% of Southerners couldn’t place Rochdale on a map (given a 300 mile tolerance).
- 82% believe Lisa Stansfield is STILL the MP there.
- Most astonishing of all, there are more keg Sam Smiths pubs than Greggs outlets.
It’s a town on the rise.
Some great art on the half mile walk from the station (metro available for the wealthy), to distract you from the sense this is a town built entirely of taxis and closed pubs.
I didn’t recognise the place till I reached the lovely Spoons.
The Moon is one of a trio of sterling central GBG pubs that have defined Dale for me in my little mind.
Shamefully, I’d forgotten the river,
underwear and briefcase market,
and stunning civic architecture.
OK, it won’t be replacing Preston or Stockport at the head of my table of “Places to retire to” but it’s certainly edged ahead of Walsall, which is nowt to be sniffed at.
The Guide newbie looks a corker.
This is the homebrew craft place, Rochdale’s Remedy if you like, and it’s opulent and calm.
I’m greeted by the sounds of the Christians, who are slowly bringing Northern pub playlists into that difficult year of 1987.
The cheery barmaid notes my admiration for the Tap.
“Are yer up here visiting someone?”
Southerners get asked this a lot.
“Yes, your pub“. It’s the truth, but I don’t think she believed me.
I go for the scary beer.
Well presented, tasty, a bit homebrew but an enjoyable 3.5.
Oddly I’ve brought you a pic out of the window rather than the beer.
I decide to walk the steps to the church and wander back.
But then I saw this…
My first big mistake.