Showing posts from October, 2009

The Circle Of Life

A busy day today. I’ve just returned from watching a piece of Bury’s drinking history being razed. Yes, the Brickcroft Tavern on Brook St has been reduced to a pile of, er, bricks. Sadly, the writing has been on the wall for some time now, as I speculated in this earlier story.

I used to pop in there in the 70s on my way back from school. I think Jim Grimshaw was the landlord back then and it was there I developed a taste for Tuborg snakebite before eventually graduating onto Thwaites Mild and then Bitter. Like all pubs, it had its share of mini-crisis and made the local paper on more than once occasion. A plaque commemorating local Fusiliers killed at Gallipoli was found in a nearby scrapyard and hung over the bar until an appeal found some of their descendants. And in 2005 police were called after the licensee found an unwelcome guest in her bed-her naked, estranged partner!

But it’s not called the circle of life for nothing. Out with the old, in with the new, as Jordan likes to say. …

Some Good Cheer

Some good news for once on the local pub scene. The Star Inn at Broughton in Salford has been saved by locals who have clubbed together to buy it at auction for £80,000. The Star on Back Hope Street is a lovely little pub in a conservation area that seemed doomed when Robinsons announced their decision to sell it. However, in just a matter of weeks, a consortium was formed and hopefully they have now secured its future. Having enjoyed many a cosy lock-in sat in the vault, I congratulate them and wish them all the best for the future.

Just Like That

They say our loved ones never truly leave us. And so it may be in the case of the late, great, Tommy Cooper. For some 25 years after he shuffled off this mortal coil, it appears he has returned-on the bottom of a steak pie. Chip shop owner Crad Jones stumbled across this amazing discovery whilst enjoying his usual lunch of chips and steak pie at his shop in Caerphilly.

Mr Jones, 45, said he called the manufacturers, Peter's Pies, when he noticed the silhouette so they could document his find. He went on: “The comparison was amazing. It was definitely Tommy Cooper. I called my daughter over and she recognised it as Tommy Cooper too. I got the pictures because I thought no-one would believe me."
This is pure nonsense, of course. Obviously, there is no way that this pie has Tommy Cooper’s face on it. It looks much more like Tandleman to me.

Dance Of The Mad

As we all know, binge drinking is the scourge of modern Britain and something needs to be DONE. Step forward Bury council who are tackling the problem of irresponsible drinking head-on. Cleverly, they are eschewing the obvious routes-targeting problematic venues, education and such like and are taking a more oblique approach.

The council brain boxes have decided to ban people from bringing drinks into council owned venues. This ban includes bottles of water. Something that hasn’t gone down too down well with the various dance classes that use the council facilities. Line dancers, for example, have been told that they must leave their bottled water in the foyer for collection later.
A council spokesman pointed out that there was a difference between types of events. Soft drinks would still be permitted for exercise classes, but purely “social” events such as ballroom, line dancing etc would be subject to the letter of the law. There is a licensing requirement to ensure responsible drinki…

Nancy Whisky

I knew it was going to be one of those weekends. It usually is. After last weekend’s drink till you burst wine tasting at Urbis, I was looking forward to a quiet one curled up with Wolf Hall. Naturally it was not to be as Eddie, the eager, legal beagle had other ideas.

Friday saw me join him and the Manx Minx at the Met for the cultural phenomena that is the Lancashire Hotpots. Obviously a few drinks were required pre show and, thanks to MALT being downstairs, actually during the very enjoyable 90 minutes top notch entertainment. Indeed Eddie was so overcome by the emotional impact of Shopmobility Scooter that he was seen dabbing his tears with his tweed handkerchief.
Of course post show drinks were called for. Time flew as did the Jever and then with the witching hour come and gone and the Trackside closing its doors, Eddie and Minx disappeared for a pizza. I decided to call at the Towler for a Golden Pippin nightcap and discovered there was free beer to be had. Well it would have been…

David Cameron's Flying Circus

So the circus has packed up and is headed out of town. Yes, the Conservative conference in Manchester is over. A week of arguments, late nights and copious drinking has come to an end. And that was just me. The hotel trade did best out of it, closely followed by restaurants. Pubs didn’t do as well as they would have hoped, but although the Fourth Estate doesn’t quite knock it back like they used to, there were a few drams had in the Britons Protection and a jolly good knees up in the Pevril.

Of course, Conservative Chairman Eric “Britain doesn’t really have any riot police” Pickles had ordered restraint on the booze front and actually imposed a champagne ban. However, trying to keep a bunch of old Etonians off the fizzy stuff is like trying to catch a fart with oven gloves-impossible. Future PM David Cameron was pictured flouting the ban and Philip Whittington was so keen on the stuff, he spent the nights in the cells after staff at the Midland Hotel alleged he helped himself to a £150…

Let's Get It On

You’re never too old for a bit of slap and tickle, but you may need some help. That’s the message from Manchester Council who, in conjunction with the NHS, have produced an illustrated guide to bonking for the over 50s. The Guide To Good Sexual Health for the Over 50s is a handy 47 page booklet with chapters such as “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “Dating Advice”.

People featured include 68-year-old Pam, who writes: `We're more experienced, more mature and more confident and we're able to talk about what we want which makes us better lovers”. Right on, sister.

However, Sarah Kennedy on the Dawn Patrol quipped that by the time you were 50, hopefully you knew what you were doing and Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said: 'I think this guide is an incredible waste of money. If someone hasn't learnt how to have sex by the time they have turned 50 then a booklet is certainly not going to help”.
There have also been some complaints over the £8000 cost of producing the 5000 copies. Personally…