Life After Football takes you in his chauffer-driven Merc* to the outer reaches of Tamworth, I drag you on foot to the foothills of Accrington. Only on pub blogs will you visit the REAL England.
I assumed that Oswaldtwistle was named after the Accrington left back from the season they were expelled from the League, but that was Oswald Thistle. Very different.
The main football connection with the town is that chap;
Half a pint of Thwaites Original if you can name him. He made 10 appearances for England in the period before the notorious “Every Englishman with two legs shalt play for Engerland” policy was repealed.
There’s a large shopping village in the old mills, and an award-winning sausage shops, from where I purchased a Cumberland ring (NSSS 3.5) to accompany that Duchess de Bourgogne.
Hard to believe now, but as recently as March 2020 (yes, then) I was in Oswaldthistle ticking the Vault, a micropub where I couldn’t take photos so didn’t bother to blog about. Within a week I had no material and resorted to musical posts and Fen walks.
So I’ll have passed the Black Dog, and probably thought “Typical Thwaites, never make the GBG with all these Lanky micros”.
Bit quiet midweek, just a young couple hiding from me round the corner. Don’t blame them.
All the usual Thwaites pumps turned round, just the one house beer.
But no-one to serve me.
“He’s down in the cellar” shouts young bloke.
He emerges, like Mr Benn, cheery and apologetic. We share consoling words over lack of trade and I suddenly realise why so many pubs open at 4. Or not at all. “Not enough trade for the Thwaites” apparently.
It’s a pleasant plain community pub, clean and welcoming.
And whatever that beer is it’s cool and foamy (NBSS 3.5), just like most of the beer this summer.
But the problem facing the Black Dog lies in the words of Arlo Parks, whose modern classic of the same name contains the immortal line “Let’s go to the corner shop, and buy some cans”.
Get out and save pubs, folks.