I took James for his second Covid vaccination this morning; he could have walked the mile to the west of Sheffield but he seemed particularly keen to be back in time for work.

Such dedication to a job, particularly one done entirely from home, is surely to be commended, and contrasts sharply from my own world of work as a 22 year old nipping off to play snooker at the Fulbourn Social Club at lunchtime.

James’s boss, who I’m not sure he’s met yet, comes from Leigh.

He ought to meet up and do all 12 Leigh pubs that have graced the GBG over the last decade or so. Yes, a dozen. How is that possible ?

Sadly, this is one of the largest towns in Britain without a railway station, but a fit person can walk from Atherton as long as they don’t eat too much pie in Wigan and can dodge the bullets (joking, Atherton).

It takes a singularly requiring mind to appreciate the charm of the Edwardian and Victorian terraces and civic architecture, so here’s the back of the Admiral casino.

Oh, look, here’s your Edwardian red brick.

It’s a busy town, full of gentlefolk shoppers drawn by cheap prices and a West Indian chap vigorously bashing a cardboard box out-of-tune to “Everything I Own“. I forgot to drop a quid, my usual fee, in the cap and now feel guilty, but he was rubbish.

Oh look, a 10am GBG opener that’s not a Spoons !

Yes, it’s a Stonegate, which means it’s slightly more pubby (i.e. the clientele drink more) than Spoons, but also immaculate and appealing to young folk wanting big breakfasts to the accompaniment of undistinguishable R & B.

A wonderful choice for the Guide, as you see.

Obviously, with two different Doom Bar pump clips I panicked and picked Black Sheep. Another decision I regret.

But, as always, the Black Sheep wins; cool, foamy, distinctive (NBSS 3.5). And a bargain £2.60 (bargain unless you’re in Spoons).

Some of the most severe air conditioning so far, but also the sort of art that makes Leigh look like the centre of the world (well, east Lancs).

Let’s be honest, you’re not coming here till they open that station, even if the beer is half Manchester prices and the massive ham and Lancashire cheese cob from the Buttery is bigger than BRAPA’s face.


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