The ramblings of Tyson as he sups his way through life's bitter vale of tears.
Return of the Ploughman's
What I do I see before me at Marks and Spencer? A Christmas Ploughman’s sandwich. Not only does this abomination contain gammon-therefore disqualifying it as a real ploughman’s anyway, but they’ve completely bastardised it. Just so they can give it the daft moniker of “Christmas Ploughman’s”. Pure madness. Some of the proceeds may be going to Shelter, but frankly they should be ashamed of themselves. If they had any integrity, they would refuse the donation on the grounds of good taste.
And while I’m at it, why do all their sandwiches contain large doses of mayo? I want a nice cheese and tomato (or a proper ploughman’s), not something covered in Greek yoghurt etc.
The Kimberley Workingmen’s Club in Stacksteads, Rossendale is the stuff of legend. Few, outside of those interested in such things, have heard of it and fewer still have visited it. Even many locals aren’t aware of its location and yet internet forums are full of people willing to travel across the country to visit a genuine slice of social history. Established in 1897, the KMC started out as an afterhours drinking venue for quarry workers. Legend has it that it was carried down into the valley on poles. There are various theories about its South African connections-there is a Kimberley Street close by, but what we do know is that surprisingly little has changed since those early days. Once you have got up the steep hill, over the dirt track and through the gate; you are confronted with two very small rooms. There’s probably just enough room to squeeze all 36 members in. This helps to explain why visitation is strictly by invitation only. We were privileged to enjoy a special Sunday ope…
Wyldes sits on the corner of Bolton St and Market Place in the centre of Bury. When it first opened, it was a flagship Holts pub. It sold Mild, Bitter and, revolutionary for the time, guest beers. It offered all day dining and sports TV. However, the wheels soon began to come off. The guest beers were too expensive for the regular Holts drinkers and quality suffered. This in turn deterred the casual drinker from going in and slowly both Mild and the guest beers disappeared from the bar.
I wrote about its woes back in 2008 and the years in-between havem't been kind. Pub trade in the centre is fiercely compettitve and it's had more lows than highs. It didn't get to grips with Wetherspoons on the food side, failed to build up a weekday trade and relied too heavily on the weekend late night music-led crowd. It was looking dark and tired and even the TV picture was poor.
Now however; as part of Holts estate refurbishment, it has had a long overdue makeover and reopened last wee…
Was it only three years ago that Manchester was gripped by Cloudwater inaugural fever? It seems a lot longer. Ah I remember it well. How innocent we all were. How young we all were. How thirsty we all were. But in the words of that great prophet Robert Zimmerman: "the times they are a-changin'. Indeed they are. Cloudwater-to no one's great surprise-are now firmly established in the top rank of UK craft brewing with a reputation that encompasses Trumpland.
But where can you regularly drink this delightful Manchester nectar? Until recently the answer would have been their Barrel Store underneath the Piccadilly arches. While some may have enthused about its cosiness, truth be told, it wasn't the best showcase for Cloudwater's beers. A brewery with the standing and ambition that they have needed a more suitable outlet. Something, say, like a proper brewery tap.
And so it came to pass. The brewery tap is located, logically enough, next to the brewery at unit 9 of the P…