I asked the ticket inspector if I could break my journey home in Newton-le-Willows.
“It don’t bother me, mate” he said, in that charming Woollyback lilt.
I knew you could, bit I always get a bit freaked out when your journey involves multiple train companies. But no-one cares. Except Tom Irvine.
And not many care about Newton, even though it provides you with access to Haydock Park, Murky Mountain, Sankey Valley and the childhood home of the Rickroller himself.
I can’t actually believe it was four years since my last visit. Who knows where the time goes ? (don’t think that was one of Rick’s hits).
As you can see from the train times, 20:12 to 20:31 gives 19 minutes to leave the train, get stuck behind the folk on a go-slow, walk 4 minutes to the Kirkfield, and down a quick pint. Oh, and take a few pics.
Blimey, this was a posh one. Uniformed staff, silver-encrusted champagne holders (?),
and those local beers that smart gastropubs in Cheshire put on to show their artisanal credentials.
I expected the worst, despite the cheery and welcoming staff.
But after finding a proper seat under the Rugby League memorabilia it started to make sense.
What a cheery place, loads of groups out on a school night (do Woollybacks go to school ?), and a wonderfully cool and creamy pint of Big Bog.
Note how expertly I made a mess on the table (top).
And then admire the lacings.