It’s been entertaining and educational, two accusations you could never level at the BBC, to re-read the pub bloggers over the last few days.
Time for some reports from the Halifax of the North (that means Halifax). Chris Dyson actually lives in a box at the Grayston Unity, waiting for the return of gigs by artists called “Ready Brek Kidz” and “Conservative & Unionist Dominoes Club“.
I love this pic from the wonderful Grayston;
though you may prefer the more traditional (if equally compact) Blue Bell in York.
Chris had a busy year;
A tremendous achievement given the year we’ve just had. Yes, 264 hours of travel if he’d done it by foot rather than train.
I caught up only briefly with Chris, on the infamous “Complete West Yorks in a Day” tickers tour which proved what a wonderful place Halifax is.
Here we see CAMRA members at Manchester Beer Festival about to be beheaded for requesting “Something that tastes like Doom Bar.”
Some great shots of normality in his trips to The Sun, Coniston,
the Footballers, Summerseat,
and of course the Temperance Bar in Rawtenstall, where Chris noted;
“nostalgic comfort food for sale like jam sandwiches and Marmite on toast. Me, I had a warm Lemon and Ginger Cordial“
No such thing as temperance in Wigan, thankfully…
The came the first Lockdown, with a paean to pubs. Chris was struggling, even with his back garden for exercise.
“And so, I had beer at home. A pint at the end of a day. But, after working from home? It’s just not the same as having a chat over a beer in for example, the Stalybridge Buffet Bar after working in the company of your colleagues.“
Bur music kept Chris’s spirits up, in another bumper year.
We even got references to Fat Larry’s Band, a little-known punk band from Hebden Bridge.
My whole world went Zoom…
When pubs re-opened it was back to the Tyne.
There’s a bonus in Chris’s Tyne post of a visit to the artisanal Gregg’s mini-chain.
Then off to the Vault in Ellesmere that I liked a lot.
Throughout the year, Chris gives us realistic, unbiased NBSS scoring, notably in lovely Whitby.
And then, it ended. Again.
“I do miss the chatter, the banter, the laughs, the craic, and the atmosphere of the pub. I miss the live music. But it will be back at some point, and that first pint will be wonderful.”
Keep smiling, Chris.