15th April 2023.

Yes, a fortnight behind with the blog. And it’ll only get worse as I report back blow-by-blow on the CAMRA AGM in Sheffield last week, paper clip debates and all.

Two weeks ago I was dreading a trip to Manchester a day after the Big Brum Booze-up, but I felt fine after adding the soft drinks and halves into the day (unlike some).

To be honest, City v Leicester always makes me nervous.

An early evening kick-off, so plenty of time to get a penultimate G.Manc tick in Ashton-under-Lyne, the Hinckley of the North.

Half an hour on the tram takes you through the bucolic east Manchester suburbs and wonder what joys might await you in Guide Bridge. Oh well, another time.

Ten minutes walk past the mosque to the Halfway House, which would be a “surprise Guide entry” in a normal year.

But, as BRAPA will tell you, GBG23 is full of unexpected “Proper Pub” joys, and I know what I mean by that.

Gorgeous, isn’t it ?

Loads going on, too, and #CAMRA, #MildMagic to tempt in the half-pint mild trail tickers.

Inside, half a dozen pint drinkers are definitively NOT on the Mild Trail,

though I’m politely asked if I want my card stamped as I order the Banks’s Original with an alluring paper pump clip printed off the internet. It’s a straight £2, so really not the sort of beer you’re going to order in halves, unless you’re a ticker.

I assume the beer at £2 is the fastest selling one, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Cool, rich, filling. I immediately tell the world of Twitter it’s a 3.5/4. Perhaps someone believes me.

The pub fills up a bit; the soundtrack goes from 1977 Meat to 1981 Quo,

and it suddenly feels like the community pub of your dreams, NOT the sort of community pub I visited last night where the village buy a failing place and turn it into a restaurant open Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday lunch for diners only.

I decide I’m not going anywhere else before kick-off and have a pint of Tetley. It’s £2.80, which is Craft Union prices.

Again, it’s cool and smooth, a GBG entry in 99% of the world. A bloke sings “You’re once, twice….three times a lay..dee“, thankfully to the Commodores rather than the Kaiser Chiefs, and I fall in love with pubs (again).

I almost, almost, have the Bishops Finger on the third pump as the conversation reaches new heights.

I just wants loadsa butter melting on them crumpets”.

But then I notice the Oldham crest and remember I’ve football to get to.

But I’d better eat first.

*I just spend 10 minutes trying to find this on What Pub before discovering it’s listed as Half Way House. Why ?


  1. Need to eat before the match? If the City Chippy’s still there then it’s not to be missed, but if the lady with the shaker’s also still there then put on your own salt – or have your meal look like a Christmas card scene.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Alas I think it has gone in the “redevelopment” of the south side of Ashton New Road.

        Compulsory Purchase is a marvellous thing.


      2. It improved “proper” Salford – Ordsall, Weaste etc. Stuff rushed up after the war was getting into a dreadful state.

        Liked by 1 person

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