We didn't make it to our remote pub yesterday. Our Sunday table was bereft of us. E and I set off in hope of getting there though. An effort had to be made. We walked the mile or so to Midd in deep snow and snow showers and got a 17 bus, the first for a long time according to the impatiently waiting queue. The traffic was gridlocked. Rochdale Metro had not it seemed, gritted the roads. Snow had fallen on already icy roads and they were treacherous in this hilly town of ours. Cars slithered and wheels were spinning impotently. The bus took 20 mins to go 300 yards. In the meantime phone calls were received from the boys. The lane was very dangerous; Colin had gone on his arse twice while walking his dog. John had fallen too. Dave's missus had decided it was too dodgy to take him. We were stranded in Middleton. In short, the game was over for today as far as the THT was concerned. I texted the landlady to have the attendance book duly noted.
Feeling slightly cheated, we baled out of the bus, me grimacing at paying £7 for the privilege of a 300 yard journey and repaired to Middleton Cricket Club for soothing pints of Lees Bitter, then down to the Old Boar's Head for more of the same. We enjoyed the beer, but missed the familiarity of our pub, the welcoming roaring fire, the conviviality of our friends and the usual banter and conversation that we'd have had. That's why we go there, why our local is so much part of our lives. Without it, Sunday just wasn't the same.
Later we walked home, back up the hill in more snow. We just missed two 17's leaving the bus station at exactly the same time. Insult added to injury.
The photo shows a well wrapped up E outside the Cricket Club
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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