Matt gets introduced to the joys of Oldham

Matt could have made his way back to Manchester from Rochdale on the fast train, but opted to join me on the slow tram that stopped at Oldham. Youngsters are odd.

I’ve no idea why I picked up a beer mat showing you the Rochdale ale trail; maybe Dick & Dave will do it if they ever get over here again (I recommend swimming).

The Fox & Pine, a minute from Oldham Central, has been on my To Do list since a) I found out it was the sister pub of the wonderful Cob & Coal, b) I heard it served Bass, and c) it “landed” in GBG21.

The outside drinking area is a bit ambitious for a November evening in England’s coldest town,

but inside there’s a warm welcome and glow of pubbiness.

But no Bass. No call for it. Supply problems, again. No wonder Boris is calling an emergency press conference this evening.

No problem, the Raven Cherry Dark is quite wonderful (NBSS 4), and Matt chooses a Pilsner from a local craft brewery, probably somewhere in Royton. Matt is genuinely astonished that two top pints cost only £6.50. You’re not in Manchester anymore, Tonto etc.

It’s a wonderful beer in what feels like someone’s front room, with folk enjoying potato hash and dumplings and chatting nonsense.

She’s a woman of property; got herself a caravan” a particular gem.

I think Simon will explode with joy if he times his visit here right, and end up looking like this;

Three Little Birds” gave way to “A Case of You“, Bob to Joni, it was a perfect pub.

I didn’t want to leave, and goodness only knows what magic they can work with Bass when they get it in, so after showing Matt the best example of “trees growing on civic buildings”, we hopped on the tram.

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