6th February 2020
It took three trains to get from Heaton Chapel to Bromley Cross, all of them delayed for reasons like “Train manager has lost his map”, “Unexplained item in the packing area” and “You don’t really want to go to Bolton, do you ?”. Never mind, I’m sure it’ll be as great as ever once it’s been renationalised.
I had to spend 25 minutes at Bolton Station, not quite enough time to nip out for a pint and Jamaican curry at the Market, but too long to stretch out a poor excuse for an Americano from the stunningly named Coffee House inside WH Smith. How do WHS cling on ?
As the train pulled in (late) to Bromley Cross in Bolton’s posh suburbs I reckoned I had 10 minutes max in the Nook & Cranny, a typical micro name I kept getting mixed up with Nog & Firkin while writing this post.
I reckon the N & C will rotate between locations like “Bolton:North”, “Egerton”, “Toppings” and “South Turton” in future editions of the GBG to keep tickers on their toes.
Anyway, this is apparently the 5th best place in Britain to raise a family, as it’s comprised entirely of schools and takeaways, the two things children need when growing up.
There were plenty of children in the Nook, something I like to see, even if it does scupper my snapping.
At my advanced age the beer boards all over the walls are a tougher gig.
Best just go for the one on the middle of the bar you can see.
The Brewsmith was cool and foamy (3.5), the atmosphere friendly and vibrant.
Yes, they’re playing darts in the side room. Darts, toddlers, music, keg; Herne will be appalled.
Not a bad way to finish Greater Manchester GBG for the year.
By walking 25% quicker than Google expects I’d eked out an extra 5 minutes in the pub, and even entertained thoughts of half a Flat Cap in the Railway with 4 minutes to spare, but sensibly headed for the tiny platform to catch the 18:40.
The gate to cross to the Manchester bound platform was locked.
“I’ve locked the gate, the train is on its way”. In 4 minutes time !
So you have to wait for the train to pass the crossing, the lady to unlock the gate, and then make a mad dash to jump on the train. Or walk round the back of the station via Ramsbottom, I guess.
Matt was closing his barbers tonight and was giving me and his brother a much needed cut before I took them out to tea, as we call it in Manchester.
“Do James first” I said, and went on a stroll to see if there was anything new in town.
Not obviously, so I waited patiently while Matt tidied James and Emma played deathcore on the shop stereo, which makes a change from Sam Smith I guess.
It was 8.45 when he finished, by which time I was famished and past caring if I looked like Ian Gillan. Matt had worked out who looked better on his Instagram account, anyway.
I only just had energy enough to walk the 20 yards to My Thai (opposite the Ape & Apple) for a beer Massaman and a can of Northern Monk.
Whatever happened to the beer glass ?