Destination Dewsbury

A morning tram ride took me to Manchester in order to get the train to Dewsbury. But as I sauntered past Piccadilly Wetherspoons, I was struck by a strange impulse to venture beyond its grubby doors. Famously once voted the roughest JDW in Britain-quite an accolade considering the competition-nowadays it seems to cater mainly for the sad and desperate. A typical JDW some might say. Anyway, it does have its share of celebrity visitors-Tandleman has been known to pop his head round the door, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Already fairly busy and it wasn’t 11am yet, I positioned myself at one end of the long bar directly in front of the elusive Proper Job. Quite clever I thought, as after serving the village idiot ordering two coffees it was obviously me next as there was no one else anywhere near. Alas the Czech ice maiden behind the bar proved to be a clone of her sister in Huddersfield. Whilst she was at the till counting out change one of the local deadbeats sidled up beside me. Not a problem until the cheeky chappy promptly ordered several pints of cooking lager. Apparently she hadn’t been to Specsavers as a shrug of the shoulders was her only answer to my protestations. I did, however, leave the interloper in no doubt as to my opinion of him.

Having eventually been served by Miss Czech Congeniality-after pouring me the wrong pint-I settled down with the excellent Proper Job. A beautiful balance of fruit, hops and delicate malt, it was easily the best festival beer so far. As a courtesy I felt compelled to share the good news with Tandleman. Although time was pressing, but instead a rapid yomp up to the station was needed to ensure I had time to collect the tickets and catch the train.

First stop was Huddersfield. I feel like a local now and so, eschewing the station offerings, I escorted Archimedes and Pythagoras to the Grove. Here there was just time for a pint of the very moreish Phoenix Hopsack before heading back to the station. Here we called in at the King’s Head, which as usual had an interesting selection. First up was the 5% Stilton Porter. I quite liked this, as the Stilton was subtle and came through in the aftertaste smoothing out the rough edges. Church End Goat’s Milk (3.8%) was even better. A sparkling golden beer, it was very light on the palate with a slow-burn dry finish. Then it was out onto the platform and onto the Batley train.

Batley, having been immortalised by Monty Python, is now considered somewhat rough and is part of an EU transformation zone. However, no problems at our destination-Batley Cellar Bar, as chronicled by A Swift One. Here I enjoyed a couple of Copper Dragon beers before we headed back into Dewsbury. Not far to the nearest hostelry here as the West Riding Refreshment Rooms are in the station. Some excellent Glentworth was sampled before we took a little taxi ride out to the Shepherd’s Boy.

This excellent Ossett pub kept us entertained with a mix of their own beers and (for me), Leeds Pale. Back at the Refreshment Rooms there was time for a swifty before catcItaliching the Manchester bound train.
It was fairly tipping down when I arrived back-the perfect excuse to divert once more into Wetherspoons. With Proper Job gone, I settled for Brakspear Oxford Gold which proved surprising fruity. A meander took me up to the Marble Arch where I was hoping to find Eddie, the eager, legal beagle. However, the birds had already flown the coup in search of Manchester’s seedy side. Only Deathly Hallows remained, slightly the worse for wear, and eventually we ended up on the same Bury tram. Where, who should we meet, but Dean, our own cellarman from the Trackside. Naturally when he proposed having a nightcap in Bury, what could I say but....?


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