Last Tuesday I decided to brave one of those long train journeys, praying that sitting in front of someone for an hour wearing a mask wouldn’t generate a “ping” to put on hold my ticking.

The winged lion of Sheffield looked doubtful.

The cheapest advance fares (£5.40 single) take you the slow route (1hr 20) into Piccadilly via Marple and Reddish North, and had the worst Wi-Fi, particularly in the Totley Tunnel where we waited for 20 minutes for a bloke with a torch to ensure the line was clear.

When I apologised to Matt I might be a few minutes late for my (long overdue) cut, he had big news for me;

The train pulled in at 10:45, somehow I made it to Albert Square for the dot of 11:00 from a standing start, pausing only momentarily at the Waterhouse to note the absence of fumes. It’s always Spoons, isn’t it ?

45 minutes later, six kilos of hair shorn from my head (Parental Advisory : photo to follow) I headed towards Oxford Road for the start of my ticking day in Kendal.

Just enough time to attempt again to find the new Vocation bar, now young Chris had sorted me out.

As usual, another Chris got here first. Read Mr Dyson for the detail.

Tucked away in Barbirolli Square, it’s still hard to find, and I look forward to it alternating between “Society” and “Vocation” when it makes the GBG23.

Based in a sort of mini-Mackie Mayor food court, it’s very shiny.

Not quite the 50 taps of their Leeds showcase, but all the better for it.

The bellwether Heart & Soul, first out the pumps at 11:52, was cool and crisp and foamy (NBSS 3.5).

OK, with the trestle table and tinkly piano it’s not the Hare & Hounds, but you can’t have a Char Siu Pulled Pork Bun with your pint of Holt so lose some, win some. The staff were really great.

When I tell Matt its only £4 a pint he’ll be there like a shot.

Whether he’ll then pop in the Briton’s Protection is quite another matter.

Anyway, let’s head north.


      1. Even easier not to go to the pub, which is what the older drinkers are doing in their droves. That way you don’t get pub owners slagging you off for inadvertent breaches of rules, either.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Break the habit for long enough, the more difficult it is for the old timers to start doing anything again. Can’t say I’m really seeing many pensioners out anywhere at present.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. In an otherwise entertaining conversation with a publican and local last week there was much ridiculing of the customers (no doubt older than even me) who had struggled to follow all the rules (now all dropped completely) like right entrance, sanitise, log-in/AND write your name and phone number, sit down/DON’T sit down etc etc. And then they complained about lack of trade.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A little bird tells me that none of the Vocation cask range is currently being brewed at Vocation. Moorhouse’s are contract brewing it. It’s still a good pint though, if a little hazier than the original.


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