This has been a tiring week of travel, and it’s not often I say that.
Two trips to Manchester, a dozen journeys taking Matt and his precious possessions between Salford, a storage depot on Ashton Old Road, and his new house in Ancoats. He’s looking worse for wear too.
But he’s moved now, so no more exploring Ordsall and the Hungry Horses on the Quays. I assume the one below is a Brunning & Price;
Not only have I returned to train journeys this month (no fun), I’ve also stayed in 3 hotels, averaging £30 a night.
Between being a delivery driver, I popped out to finish the Beer Guide entries for Lancashire in the overtime (Sep to early Oct) granted by CAMRA due to Covid. They’re all heart, are CAMRA.
Burscough is a pleasant large village on the vast Lancashire farming plain between the sand dune of Southport and the pies of Wigan.
It looked quite bustling, and a friendly new bar called the Thirsty Duck gave me an almost certain pre-emptive tick if GBG22 ever gets published.
You’re not allowed to see the bar these days, of course, so I don’t know what I had and can’t score it NBSS 3.5 on What Pub but I read that CAMRA branches won’t be bothering with NBSS anyway so who cares about beer quality ?
Away from the cobbles I ventured down Mart Lane (no relation) to an abandoned Victoria Park, once home to the mercurial midfield maestro Alex Russell.
A rare new GBG entry, the waterside Old Packet House whose lone outside table had been snaffled.
At the door you’re met by the now familiar table of organic hand sanitiser and notice forbidding your march to the bar.
But the smiley barmaid DOES let me approach the pumps, once she’s checked me in, and I remember this is even less fun for pub staff than for me and stop whining.
Oh, Landlord then.
I nod to the Old Boy on the next table who’s spending more time doing the one way circuit to the smokers corner than drinking, and remember that West Lancashire pubs are required by law to play 2020 pop (in this case Baby Come Home by Olivia Dean), putting them about 35 years ahead of Lincolnshire musically.
It’s a decent Landlord (NBSS 3), decent being the word I use to describe a pint that is enjoyable but not memorable. That’s enough 2 months after the Return of Pubs, isn’t it ?
Across the road, I could have had another Landlord in the town’s second Guide pub, but I’d probably have been killed by the cyclists imitating local legend Bradley Wiggins.
Of whom more shortly.