Mad Dogs & Englishmen

The weather, for once, was on our side. Trafford & Hulme Camra were coming over to see some of the (many) delights of Bury. The idea has been for some al fresco drinking, but recent experiences had cast a doubt on whether that would be possible. However, Apollo did his thing and, phew, wot a scorcher.

The natural starting point was the Trackside, where the only problem was the snail like service. George Wright Summer Sizzler was good, but a bit on the strong side to kick off with, so I stuck to Acorn Yorkshire Pride for the duration. This 3.7% session bitter was straw coloured and had a pronounced bitter edge. Very good, as Acorn tend to be, I thought. However, Stopwatch Sid found it too one-dimensional and complained it wasn’t well balanced. Exactly why I liked it. Well balanced? Blimey, we’re on a piss up, mate, not wine tasting in Aix-en-Provence.

Shepherding the day trippers onto the bus, we headed, via the scenic route, to the Pack Horse in Affetside. A check yesterday had revealed that, despite rumours to the contrary, this was open and still run by Conrad. A case of Chinese whispers, perhaps? Anyway, we soon settled on the patio decking, soaking up the rays and enjoying a couple of Hydes finest. The Bitter was in particularly good form, being a lot dryer than usual. Also tried was the seasonal, Bells & Whistles, which was fine, if unexceptional.

Next stop was the Hare & Hounds and a shady spot out at the back. Once tried, I stuck to Phoenix White Monk which was fresh on and bone dry moreish. Eventually, those of us left, moved onto the Footballers in Summerseat. Here we took up position in the back garden with its very scenic views of the surrounding countryside. The Hydes Bitter here was good, if not quite up to the Pack Horse standards. I also managed a couple of Taylors Landlord before saying goodbye to Don Ricardo who seemed to have lost the ability to stand. Despite a new speed walking record of 6 minutes, I missed the bus due to an idiot driver seemingly determined to ignore the timetable.

However, plan B kicked in, and I got the bus going the other way. After all they all go past pubs, don’t they? As everyone else was heading home, I got off and sampled some Wainwrights in the Sundial before settling down with Golden Pippin at the Towler. Next thing I know I’m at home eating pizza and watching the goggle box. People are always complaining about late night TV, but personally I found Addicted to Boob Jobs very educational. It was a real eye opener, in every sense.


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