Ads not shown when logged in
Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 39

Thread: A West Riding Ramble

  1. #1
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    God's Own County
    Posts
    5,388

    Post A West Riding Ramble

    One of the beery delights of the North is the Pennine RailAle Trail which is interpreted in various ways but normally includes the West Riding Licensed Refreshment Rooms at Dewsbury station, the Head of Steam and the Kings Head at Huddersfield station and the Station Buffet Bar at Stalybridge in Lancashire (Greater Manchester). Various other pubs close to the two railway lines crossing the Pennines between Leeds and Manchester are sometimes included. Ale and Hearty and myself took on the trip in the post Christmas/pre New Year period.

    For me the beer day started at opening time on a draughty platform at Dewsbury Station, with what I thought was amazing timing the train arrived outside the West Riding Licensed Refreshment Room door at one minute past eleven. Meaningful nods from the small knot of gentlemen standing around outside meant that the doors were not quite open but I was soon the first to cross the threshold and behold the choice of eight fine ales. Starting slowly as it was likely to be a long day I went for the Timothy Taylor dark mild which was a great set up for the day. A fine old station buffet although it only started the present business about 1994, and its most famous visitors were beer buffoons James May and Oz Clarke in last years TV programme. The place soon filled up with thirsty men from outside plus their long suffering wives, I thought perhaps they had a similar plan to ourselves but they were actually going the other way for a crawl of York. Advertising in the bar gave yet another interpretation of the trail, listing the Cellar Bar at Batley and the Sportsman in Huddersfield, in addition to the Refreshment Rooms; strangely enough they all belong to the same people. The next train loomed so I finished my pint and walked almost straight out the door on to the train for Mirfield.

    Mirfield is just before the junction of the Huddersfield – Stalybridge line with the Sowerby Bridge – Rochdale line so meeting here would give us the choice of taking either the northern or southern arm. A short walk from the very exposed platform, made worse by the sleet starting just as the train pulled in, then under the railway bridge and up the lane beside Jewsons brought me to the Navigation Tavern.
    Once in the bar a quick check of the pumps clips revealed the full set of Theakstons, (Best, Black Bull, XB and Old Perculiar) plus John Smiths Cask, fortunately a small set of clips on miniature pump handles dangling from the bar top showed there were also Okells, Roosters and Saltaires beers available. “Are you doing the RailAle trail?” asked a voice from beside me and answering in the affirmative sound advice was proffered. Shortly “Ale and Hearty” found his way into the pub and while we supped our pints introductions were made and the day's plan discussed. It was going to be a flexible day going where the fancy took us but we decided on Huddersfield as the next destination. Sadly we had just missed the train so we thought we'd better have another pint until the next train came, there are two an hour from Mirfield to Huddersfield.

    Less than quarter of an hour after getting on the train we alighted onto Huddersfield's platform 6 and made our way to the platform 1 door of the Kings Head, sadly this was locked as it often is, but it's only a short walk to the front door and we were soon checking the blackboard for the next beers. The owners are supposed to be renovating this basic room but as yet it is still... well basic. I stuck with the darker beer theme having a superb Golcar Mild whilst A&H plumped for the single hop variety beer - Chinook from a brewery whose name eludes me. A shame to leave but we thought we'd give the Sportsman a try, fortunately A&H knew roughly where it was and after a short walk down the road to the left and under the railway bridge we soon arrived at its doors. Another array of beers, eight pumps this time each with a tiny glass full of beer in front of it, perhaps just to show the colour rather than as a taster. Leatherbritches from Derbyshire for A&H while my childhood memories of Para Handie and the Vital Spark induced me to go for the Arran Clyde Puffer. We also enjoyed some great home made pies in here before setting off back to the station, once more we'd just missed the train so a swift pint in the Head of Steam was called for. Hand pumps in almost every room here but I had a beer from the fairly new Nook brewery and was most impressed. The Head of Steam is a much more comfortable place than the Kings Head and for the anoraks amongst us it has some good railway porn as decoration. All too soon the hourly stopping DMU for the west was due so next stop Marsden.

    Another short trip of under 15 minutes up into the hills, a friendly local hill dweller travelling beside us, enquired if “we were doing the real ale trail”. Are we that obvious? I don't even have a beard or possess a pair of sandals, beer gut – yes, beard and sandals - no, A&H has the beard but doesn't look the sandals type. We were advised of bad weather in Marsden and also that the Tunnel End had pretty vague opening hours, and since it is a longish walk from the station we should stick with the Brewery Tap or the Railway. It was getting dark by now but we could see the snowy Pennines looming large above the Riverhead Brewery Tap as we approached it carefully down the steep icy hill from the station. Late afternoon and the place was fairly well packed, no seats so we had to prop up the bar and check out the range of seven Riverhead beers, a couple from Ossett, who now own the brewery and pub, and London Pride as a guest. We tried a couple of excellent beers each, and someone again had us down as beer geeks asking us what we thought was a good beer and what we'd recommend. He seemed more than satisfied with A&H's sagely advice. Maybe it's the note taking that was the giveaway. Now approaching train time we had to leave and get back up the hill, unfortunately a misreading of the timetable on my part meant we had about 40 minutes to wait so a retreat into the nearby Marstons pub – The Railway for another pint was in order. Pretty much an undistinguished sort of place, at least there were five handpulls selling beers from the Marstons stable. Being yuletide we went for the Ugly Sisters seasonal but either our palates were a bit too jaded by now or it just wasn't an exciting beer as neither of us were too impressed with it. Getting back to the station at the right time we set off for darkest Lancashire, Stalybridge and the prospect of much better ale twenty minutes down the line.

    The Station Buffet Bar is located on the Eastbound platform so you need to use the underpass to reach it from the Manchester bound platform. The main bar and the conservatory were both packed as usual and there were two hardy souls out on the platform, we took a seat in the middle section of the building where I enjoyed Greenfield Black Five and some more fine railway porn adorning the walls. As it was now quite late evening we had pies and chips here although by now most varieties had sold out so the choice was limited. All too soon the timetable caught up with us and we rejoined the journey to the east and parted at Huddersfield, A&H for the Wakefield line and me continuing up to Leeds.


    A number of starting and finishing points are possible for the Pennine RailAle Trails, you could for example go Leeds to Manchester Victoria then include places like the Marble Arch, or you could do a circuit from Manchester to Mirfield via Rochdale then back via Huddersfield and Stalybridge. There are good pubs to be found near almost every station on the two lines. We used the “South Pennines Day Ranger” ticket which gives unlimited travel on those two lines for £14 (2009 price), it also includes Sheffield, Halifax and Bradford but not Leeds within its area. There is also a West Yorkshire Rover which of course won't allow visits to Stalybridge, Rochdale or Manchester.
    Drink drink, whoever you may be,
    we are the drunk and disorderly,
    and we’ll drink more beer wherever we may be,
    and we’ll meet you all in a pub said he.

    Dr Busker

  2. #2
    I'll stay on me own runningdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    East Dorset
    Posts
    463

    Default

    Bluidy hell, wish I'd been there, 'a&h' is someone I look forward to meeting..........
    Pubs are a hobby, real ale is a passion. Oh, and like me dogs, fear no evil..........

  3. #3
    Former Pubs Galore Coder
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    5,931

    Default

    Thanks for that ob, only just sat down to read it, sounded like good fun, and glad to hear you constantly outed as a real ale fan during the day.

    I think we may have to set up a beer crawl archive on the forum and archive the beer crawl threads onto them as we do get some corking descriptions

  4. #4
    The Beerhunter. RogerB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Dartford, Kentshire near Londinium.
    Posts
    1,975

    Default

    A superb rendition of a "wish I was there" occasion. Unfortunately all my crawl blogs start with good intentions, detailed and witty anecdotes of our exploits and product sampling but after the tenth pub I am always left with a mass of hurredly scribbled and undecipherable notes from which I am unable to extract anything worthwhile to write about. Asking my fellow drinkers what happened and where usually only reveals the more embarrasing aspects of the day that are best left in the forgotten file.

  5. #5
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    God's Own County
    Posts
    5,388

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RogerB View Post
    Unfortunately all my crawl blogs start with good intentions, detailed and witty anecdotes of our exploits and product sampling but after the tenth pub I am always left with a mass of hurredly scribbled and undecipherable notes from which I am unable to extract anything worthwhile to write about.
    you will notice it gets a bit vaguer later on as I suffer from pi55ed wrist syndrome as well
    Drink drink, whoever you may be,
    we are the drunk and disorderly,
    and we’ll drink more beer wherever we may be,
    and we’ll meet you all in a pub said he.

    Dr Busker

  6. #6
    This Space For Hire aleandhearty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    3,156

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by runningdog View Post
    'a&h' is someone I look forward to meeting..........
    Likewise 'rd'. 'oldboots' told me a little bit about you during our travels.

    'ob' Apologies! I know I said I'd write an account. You've proably gathered 'procrastination' is my middle name. Enjoyed your version, but i feel a riposte coming on!
    'And where he supped the past lived still. And where he sipped the glass brimmed full' John Barleycorn, Carol Ann Duffy.

  7. #7
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    God's Own County
    Posts
    5,388

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aleandhearty View Post
    Enjoyed your version, but i feel a riposte coming on!
    splendid idea, I'm sure there's more happened that didn't get into my notes or while I was in the Gents (again - prostate's can be a pain in the ar5e )
    Drink drink, whoever you may be,
    we are the drunk and disorderly,
    and we’ll drink more beer wherever we may be,
    and we’ll meet you all in a pub said he.

    Dr Busker

  8. #8
    Official PG MILD tester Soup Dragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Staffs
    Posts
    1,639

    Default

    Hey OB - do you fancy a day in Liverpool? i can get the choo choo from Wolvo - get there for 12 and get the 8.30 back
    MILD:

  9. #9
    Old & Bitter oldboots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    God's Own County
    Posts
    5,388

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Soup Dragon View Post
    Hey OB - do you fancy a day in Liverpool? i can get the choo choo from Wolvo - get there for 12 and get the 8.30 back
    Damn fine idea young man, PM me and we'll try and set a date, some time later in the week in late Feb/early Mar?

    Anyone else fancy the delights of Merseyside?
    Last edited by oldboots; 22-01-2010 at 07:52.
    Drink drink, whoever you may be,
    we are the drunk and disorderly,
    and we’ll drink more beer wherever we may be,
    and we’ll meet you all in a pub said he.

    Dr Busker

  10. #10
    This Space For Hire aleandhearty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    3,156

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oldboots View Post
    Anyone else fancy the delights of Merseyside?
    Certainly interested, but seriously, seriously skint at present. Keep me in the loop though and I'll try and sort something out.
    'And where he supped the past lived still. And where he sipped the glass brimmed full' John Barleycorn, Carol Ann Duffy.

Similar Threads

  1. A couple of closures in West Bromwich
    By Delboy20 in forum That Doesn't Go There!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 30-11-2009, 12:17
  2. Sussex: move one in the East, close one in the West
    By PaulOfHorsham in forum That Doesn't Go There!
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-09-2009, 16:45
  3. West Sussex Updates
    By PaulOfHorsham in forum That Doesn't Go There!
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 22-06-2009, 12:33
  4. pls add KIWIS, Neath, West Glamorgan
    By Aberdare Blog in forum That Doesn't Go There!
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-09-2007, 17:34

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •