You left us in the car park of Ashton-under-Lyne IKEA, my dreams of a night in Fierce, Cask Ancoats and the Hare and Hounds in tatters.
By the time Mrs RM had freshened up at the Ikea Budget it was flippin’ 8.30pm.
Only an hour and a half to cross Great Ancoats Street, check in at a pub, any pub, and sink a pint before being cast out into the Sodom and Gomorrah that is 10pm.
“How do you fancy a Proper Pub, Mrs RM ?“
I’d promised to visit the Jolly Angler shuts after Christmas, and I felt SLIGHTLY guilty having visited infrequently over 25 years of Manc pubbing, despite it being A WONDERFUL PUB.
Mrs RM filled in a form, headed for a table on the left (she’s a socialist) and immediately something clattered to the floor.
“It wasn’t me” she said.
Ray, the landlord of 34 years standing, was on sparkling form, despite the guillotine hanging over the Angler.
Table service may not suit pubs like this, but it gives Ray the chance to enchant Mrs RM with his life story and his strategy for dealing with a noisy group on the right.
We’re well behaved, as are the other Gang of Four behind us.
Grief, the Hyde’s is immaculate, just as it was a year ago when I discovered the German fascination with Proper English Pubs.
We’d shared five immaculate (NBSS 3.5+) pints, mainly Lowry, in an hour in which Ray had deftly removed some trouble makers, and we’d chatted non-league football at Cartmel, and the closure of Shenley Hospital with a bloke from Watford.
Ray dashed in and out for a fag, pulled the net curtains, and laughed when we asked if he had any nuts. “I know, you’re not a restaurant” I said.
It was a wonderful hour or so, with beer, banter and “24 Hours From Tulsa”.
But I felt more than a little sad at what Manchester was losing when I left.
NB Here’s some Beer mats for beer Mat and Stafford Paul. Thanks to Ray for letting me have them.