23rd December 2019

A real gem of an English village for an American readership next, and an interesting question;

Why has it taken me so long to get back to Saddleworth ?


Probably because the pubs in Delph, Diggle and Dobcross are all good; we stayed here 20 years ago and did them on a balmy summer night, like in the Meatloaf song.

Quite odd the newbie is Dobcross Brass Band Club, though I remember when they were on the BBC the euphonium players heading for the Navigation, a proper pub.

A pleasing 20 minute uphill walk (both ways) from the Albion Tap, with rare views back towards Manchester.


Quosh’s house clearly visible


Last time in Dobcross Square we saw a family of pashminas moving into the little house marked “Saddleworth Bank” opposite the Swan, and nearly gatecrashed their housewarming party before remembering we weren’t in Chatteris now.

Expensive, probably
The Swan (in hiding)

I had time before the Band Club opened, so popped in The Swan for a challengingly priced coffee in one of the prettiest pubs in the country. With emphasis on pub rather than restaurant, mind. All ages represented at 5.15.

Worth £2.50, it’s gorgeous

I can’t tell you if the Sunbeam was drinking well, though the coffee was.

Four beers you’ve heard of

The problem with reading books in pubs is they’re so long. Why can’t someone print out BRAPA’s blog posts and leave them in pubs ?

Got to Page 3 of Five Go On A Strategy Away Day

The Band Club looked shut, curtains drawn, at 6pm.


I tentatively pushed at the door, which flew open to reveal a dozen Old Boys who’d probably been there an hour wondering why I’d been creeping around outside.

Authentic club seating

Frankly, I could have been at Solihull Snooker Club or Dartford Darts Club. Not quite sure what I expected; Fanfare for the Common Man on tenor horns.

Dobcross used to be in Yorkshire, I hear, so we get Yorkshire beers.

Dividing opinions

You’re supposed to go for the Belgian Blue at Christmas, it’s tradition.


I can’t blame it on the Bradfield, but the photos got a bit blurry after that.



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