Last Tuesday was Matt’s 20th birthday, and he invited me and James over to Manchester to celebrate in the Northern Quarter. I don’t know about you, but at his age I was planning a night drinking Polish vodka in Footlights after my Certified Accountants Costing exam and asking my Dad to join me never crossed my mind.
He sent me this pic from Fierce on Thomas St as a tempter.
I thought I’d converted him to cask after that trip to Stockport last month, and had a lifetime CAMRA membership in mind as a birthday present, but then he taunts me with this photo from Wolf At The Door;
They do Pomona and Lervig and he has the house Pilsner !
Tuesday turned out to be a good day, with more signs of post-Lockdown Mancunian life and my best walk in months.
A bit depressing to learn that 14.44 miles only walks off 697 eggs, to be honest.
I took the morning train, like in the Sheena Easton song, hoping for a few ticks in exciting places like Urmston, Wigan, Hazel Grove and Glossop.
But you know how it is, lunchtime drinking is dead, and nothing was open till 14:00, if at all.
So after a quick reminder of the endless stories of Manchester’s ever-changing landscape,
I caught the next train for Bury, where there WAS a noon opener.
My first trip on the trundling tram since 2019, when the Thirsty Fish made its micro debut.
As we passed mysterious Besses o’ the Barn, a chatty lady making her 3rd trip to Prestwich to pick up emulsifying paint (whatever) compared notes, but not on the complete absence of Guide entries in North Manchester. There must still be Holt Bitter there, surely ?
Good to see the trams and trains getting busier, and good to see Bury so bustling, even without the famous market, whose closure denied me my customary black pudding.
My tick opened in 40 minutes so I had a quick look at the other Guide entries.
Trackside Bar at the heritage railway (closed), aforementioned micro (closed, obvs), the classic Lamb (closed), and two Spoons. What happened to those smart cafe bars like Automatic and the Clarence, so beloved of BRAPA’s dad ?
I used the posh one for the loo, incurring the annoyance of a local as I accidentally went in the Ladies. It is getting impossible to see where I’m going wearing a mask these days.
Nice mobs, as they say here.
Actually, the problem with having too much time on your hands and limited targets is that you end up overdoing it early (ask Si) and I needed to save myself for later. So I resisted the charms of the other longstanding Spoons, and headed west.
You know what, just like Oldham last week, Bury looked rather gorgeous.