11th February 2023.

This was the day I singlehandedly revitalised the East Lancashire economy with purchases of halves in micros and award winning pork pies.

I also bought four (4) separate £2 bus tickets on the trip from Adlington to Fulwood*, which seems an extravagance at the time but my feet were chafing so I have an excuse.

Yes, it’s not just Mrs RM that has “inappropriate footwear” issues. These jolly folk, arm-in-arm on Fishergate, seemed better prepared.

Preston is one of the world’s great pub towns cities, even if the Market pub doesn’t sell John Smiths Cask anymore.

Another year, another two new micros. This couple required a near 4 mile wobble back into town from Fulwood via Ashton-on-Ribble with a guided tour by Preston’s most famous pub man.

I’d told Matthew I’d be in Fulwood about 19:00, so obviously when I gave him 5 minutes notice that I was an hour ahead of schedule he was still in the Crafty Beggars ahead of me and claimed the last high stools.

Six shop conversion micros in a row, another pub that’s just too narrow for comfort.

And far too noisy. The Beggars has a good mix of local trade, some of it conceivably with even worse hearing than mine after the Delgados gig, and I couldn’t hear a word Matthew said.

But I’ll never criticise a busy pub, and I’ll always tell you the TRUTH about beer quality, and the Lancaster IPA, in a thick glass, was a chewy NBSS 4. Sureshot and Cloudwater on keg, too, a serious operation.

Matthew was keen to show me the edgy bits of the ‘hood, but all I take a pic of was the St Cuthberts Church on the approach to Tap End. Oh, and the famed garden with plants in toilet bowls (top), which is surely a nod to my own duff beer disposal methods.

Yet another boxy shop conversion with orange light radiating out.

I know you’ll be evicted from CAMRA for calling micros “boxy” but it’s true, innit ?

What can I even say ? The beer, from Arbor I think, was once again excellent (3.5+), the soundtrack “Fools Gold”, but my notes only reference telling me about the best place to get stabbed in outer Preston.

It reminded me of the time I was in Panama and a young lad on a scooter “minded my back” for $5 as I took an ill-advised solo trek round Colon’s dark streets. He looked a bit like the lad on this Ashton graffiti.

Anyway, two ticks in the bag and both micros busy and serving cask that’s the pinnacle of the brewer’s craft.

Unless you’re from Blackpool, you really ought to come and explore, possibly over this weekend of high quality music.

They’re all tribute acts, you say ? You’ve got better eyesight than I have.

*The driver on the bus leaving Lostock Hall said I couldn’t buy one ticket through to Fulwood as I’d need to change in central Preston and I’d be better off buying a £5.20 Day Rider than two singles !


    1. I suspect the bus driver thought I may be needing a return ticket rather than walking the 3 miles back ! In that case the day ticket may have made sense. I assume you have these capped £2 fares in Hampshire, Tony ? Do they only apply to a single direct trip ?


      1. Yes even us affluent Southerners get the capped £2 fare for a SINGLE journey so unfortunately if you need to change buses to get somewhere that’s £4. A Dayrider ticket here is £6.70 for Stagecoach buses only. Fortunately being old I have a bus pass which is well utilised even getting to Scotland and most of the way back on it.


  1. Pedant mode on, it’s not East Lancs unless you are from Blackpool. The CAMRA branch know known as Central Lancs was formerly West Lancs. Pedant mode off, as a Blackpool exile I have to admit Preston is a great pub “town”.


    1. Actually it’s East Blackpool; Blackpool Jane told me that.

      As Pub Curmudgeon will tell you I have problem enough with east and west without introducing the concept of central 😉

      Preston is odd; the pubs in the Good Beer Guide are completely different (Black Horse and Old Vic apart, I guess) than 20 years ago when I first “did” the pubs and Friargate was the main area of interest.


  2. Up here, if you’re 60 or over, you get a bus pass which works all over Scotland. It’s brilliant. One of the few good things Nippy has done, although thinking about it, it might have been Sleekit Alex.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Quickest way would be drive to Sumburgh (45 minutes), plane to Glasgow (hour) then bus/train to Stranraer (dunno, never done it). Could possibly be done in half a day.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Cor, imagine a Quo tribute act. I remember one in the 90s. They were called Oasis. Imagine a Quo/Meatloaf tribute act. That’s the father-in-law’s idea of heaven! I saw the real Quo last year (well, real as in one original member…) Not the best gig. They played one song, and then played it again and again, another 15-20 times.

    If you like narrow micropubs, a licence application notice has gone up in the window of what used to be a florist in Godalming. It can’t be more than two metres (just over six feet for imperial folk) wide. I’ll probably struggle to turn around…


      1. Oasis wanted to be the Beatles, but they were Quo.

        Plenty of pashminas in God-awful-ming. Let me know if you visit and I’ll wear one. We’ll go to The Volunteer and drink bottles of Desperados like all the cool kids do.

        And it’ll still be better than going to Haslemere…

        Liked by 1 person

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