This is all you’ve got now, me raiding the archives to celebrate an uncelebrated town.

I should have got Tandleman to guest write on Rochdale, really.


As a local he can probably pronounce the places like “Trub“, “Slattocks” and “Hole” .


Not sure I’ll be retiring there, but family closeness apart I’d rather be isolating on the edge of ‘Dale with all those lovely hills and canals framing the industrial estates.


Fair bit of grandeur left in the centre, notably the Town Hall.

And of course “Proper football”

Rochdale v Spurs -FA Cup 2018

As for culture.

Yes, yes, Gracie Fields and her late 80s euro disco which led her to become a cult figure in the Capri niteclubs.

But the doyen of Dale’s artistic fields is Vikram Seth, whose 1999 epic “An Equal Music” ought to be raided by the TIC.

“Michael is a complex, sometimes prickly young man whose birthplace, Rochdale, in the North of England, was once rich in orchestral and choral music.”

The pubs are often gorgeous.

Stained glass
Tiling in the Nelson Hotel

And the Tand could construct a pub crawl to suit American tastes (Do they have any – Ed).

You might even get Bass.

Flying Horse.
A top 4 pub

The Horse didn’t quite match the Baum’s achievement in winning National Pub of the Year, but like the Baum it’s high quality.


Even the micros have proper seating…

Post Office,Castlton

The Tand made great inroads into the keg Sam Smiths estate, dozens of them.

Stick to the Stout and you’ll be fine.


Corporation, obvs

I can tell you nothing about Chinese takeaways – are they any good, and not just cheap ?

Proper names for a takeaway

20 minutes odd on the train from Manchester, how can you possibly resist?


  1. “Proper football”. Assume, if the season of proper football is voided, so likewise all pub ticks for the 2020 GBG 🤣?


  2. Coincidently I had got Rochdale in mind for this spring from a night or two in Manchester.
    It’s as well now I hadn’t booked – and questionable if or when I’ll get to know the town.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A town with some distinguished internal and external features, well captured here. “Not sure I’ll be retiring there”- GBGRetiredMartin? Smashing football pic, didn’t know Spotland once had that feature.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I wonder if it was taken at the record attendance: 24,231 v Notts County 1949/50, presumably so large as I think Tommy Lawton was playing for County then. It looks older though.


      2. Yes. Rochdale opened their floodlights v St Mirren in 1954. The gate of 7,000 was apparently the lowest for a floodlight opening at the time (despite the attractiveness of the visitors)


  4. Rochdale was the scene, of course, of this unedifying episode from the Sam Smith’s archive:


    Rochdale is rather like Cambridge in that the station is a long way from the town centre. Probably one of the few similarities.

    Never actually been drinking there, although the Baum and the Flying Horse sound worth a visit, and Tandleman speaks highly of the Wetherspoon’s, the Regal Moon. I’d also go in the Roebuck even though it is keg – I’d expect a good dose of that classic Sam’s atmosphere.


    1. There you go, the makings of a Proper Day out already.

      The Spoons is definitely worthwhile, and I’ve have the Baum and Flying Horse in my Top 25 in the Greater Manchester section of the Guide (don’t start 😉).

      Can always bookend it with the Hare & Hounds, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, yes, the Rochdale Pioneers, founders of the Co-operative movement…pioneers…pie and eels…jellied eels are European ones, cooked in gelatine. These became a common worker’s meal, since eels were one of the few forms of fish that could survive in the heavily polluted River Thames, and in London’s other rivers at one time. Supply was plentiful through the late nineteenth century, particularly from the Dutch fishing boats, landing catches at Billingsgate Fish Market.

    Liked by 1 person

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