(Before you ask the half was mine. #PintWomen )
At the weekend Mrs RM made me go and look at houses in the North.
You know, THE North. Mumsnet readers know it well;
Comic gold. I guarantee you, most Mumsnet readers think Stockport is in Manchester, which they think is in Stoke.
GinDaddyRedux (real name) gets it right in answer to the eternal question;
Why is The North seen as backward and undesirable?
As you’ll know, we’ve been contemplating our move to the barren North for years.
Yes, we kicked off in New Mills. Half Man Half Biscuit summed it up in 13 words.
“No frills, handy for the hills, that’s the way you spell New Mills”
Tight terraces, views over chimneys, ominous clouds. Burnley with a soul.
Mrs RM had seen a house she liked there.
“Er, do you remember New Mills ?” I asked. “Show me it” she said, not unreasonably.
I was only here last May with Charles, but I can’t pretend I know it well.
It’s very hilly. How will Mrs RM cope ?
The Beer Shed is the highlight of a simple High Street. You couldn’t even socially distance with yourself in its narrow confines.
There’s a few Marple-esque touches. A famed vegan cafe, organic pottery, fire-glazed scones etc etc.
But I wanted to show the REAL New Mills.
As we descended to the Masons Arms I tried to paint a picture of the town as one of those slightly smarter suburbs of Oldham which retain somehow retain their own character and whose cobbles haven’t been completely smoothed yet.
She just wanted a beer.
The lady at the table outside gave Mrs RM a long stare, then rushed inside to serve me.
I disinfected my hands, wrote my name and number, read the instructions, and headed for the bar.
“Sorry for staring, your wife is the spitting image of my Mum” she said,
possibly compounding her error.
This was the pub recommended as a pre-emptive to us last year, where Charles and I gulped halves in 30 seconds before running for the Buxton train.
I like it then, and while quieter on our second post-Lockdown Saturday it still felt a place you’d like as a local. Pint, half and nuts for £4.90. The Storm had that straw taste I like, a solid NBSS 3.5 suggesting it wasn’t last Saturday’s barrel.
Mumsnetters from Cambridge or Camberley or Chelmsford wouldn’t move to the North to save £3 on a pint, a half and nuts, would they ?
No. But they might move for views like this;