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. And so it was I found myself enjoying breakfast early this morning at Bury’s newest pub. A liquid breakfast, naturally, for as Tandleman says: beer is the finest of breakfast drinks.
The Art Picture House in on the site of the former Chicago Rock and is named after the original Art Deco cinema that was built there in 1923. A grade 11 listed building, J.D.Wetherspoons have spent some £850,000 restoring it and a jolly nice job they have done. It’s got plenty of distinct drinking areas and has a mix of tables and comfy seats. The large, central, wraparound bar is unusual for Bury and is complemented by a smaller bar at the other side of the room.
Five handpumps are in action, although two are taken up by Spoons usual suspects. I kicked off with a couple of pints of Moorhouses Black Cat before switching to Pride of Pendle. Being a Lloyds No. 1 outlet will mean late night dancing and high jinks for the kids and wannabe youngsters. What they will make of it and indeed how long it will remain pristine under their tender ministrations we will have to see. But for now, it’s a very welcome addition to the town centre’s drinking scene.
Incidentally, our local punting expert tells me that there had been speculation that the Brickcroft would become a brothel. I think I was actually the source of this rumour, having speculated about its position within the punting triangle. So it’s good to know someone is reading this, even if it is only admirers of ladies of the night.
Time for tea and preparations for this evenings jaunt, I think.