An uneventful 18 minutes from the (closed) black pudding stall out to the Elton Liberal Club,
with just the furnace builders and B & M home stores to lighten my day.
I fancy myself an expert on UK underpasses; please send me your own recommendations. But I have Newport, Bradford and Coventry down as 3 of the worst, even though you’ll often emerge at the entrance to a great pub.
Not so in Bury, to be honest.
But the Elton Liberal Club has a classic sign, the sort you expect in an underachieving Scottish Championship side’s ground.
Pubs being open is still a bit of a novelty. A lady is outside watering the plants, something I might get round to myself this year (I won’t).
Perspex dividers apart, nothing much changes here.
Two lovely young staff usher me to a seat; I choose the one with the map on the wall. “Workhouse” (far right) is what they called breweries in 1896.
The soundtrack is the Bee Gee’s classic “You Win Again“; when did the Liberals last win anything, I ponder. But I’m fairly sure ALL these political parties crowding the GBG are entirely non-political, unless the price of the Moorhouses goes up by another 10p.
Actually, I chose the Brightside Odin (£2.80) and it was unexpectedly gorgeous, a cool, rich NBSS 3.5. Micros and clubs have providing some sparkling, and often sparkled, beer this GBG year.
A succession of Old Boys come in and report difficulties renewing their membership, skilfully resolved by the young barman. Old learning from young, and vice versa.
“There’s a wake later” the barman tells us. For the Liberals, I assume*. But not for the Elton Social Club, which seems in splendid health as I leave to the “Push the Button” by the Sugababes.
Bury looked pretty good too, as I too a back route into town to admire the remains of the castle where the black pudding was kept.
Elsewhere, the indoor shopping centre suffers in comparison to the flashy if empty retail park of The Rock, which rather puts Stockport’s RedRock to shame.
Here I spend TWO WHOLE POUNDS rewarding young musicians who I assumed were singing their own compositions. If I find out they were singing Elbow out-takes I’ll want my money back.
*And then 2 days later the Libs thrash the incumbent Tories in Amersham; they’re SO ungrateful in the Home Counties.