So it came to pass that at 5:20pm on Fri 6th Jan 2017, I was stood in a train carriage hurtling towards Dewsbury chatting to my new fave work buddy and local resident, Miss Hannah Gilroy, about subjects as joyous as 'tricky job interviews', 'epilepsy' and Shannon Matthews.
Before you could say "who's hiding in that divan bed?", she handed me over to "Kind Random Old Man" who was heading for the bus station and was happy to walk me down - I felt like a Dewsbury shaped baton. After some gentle BRAPA chat, he came up with quote of the year so far. "I'm not a real ale drinker, I don't like beer. I'll drink the odd lager, but I had a pint of Guinness in the eighties and it put me off!"
Jeeeeez! I told him I wouldn't try converting him. Dewsbury bus station was a sterile affair, the most fun moment when a senile old lady with zimmer-frame was given a right royal rollocking by a station 'official' for not having waited where she should've and therefore missing her bus. "WHAT AM I GONNA DO WITH YOU KNOW?" he whined.
20 mins later, I was in Ossett where I avoided some lurking bus station chavs and found this weird precinct area which looked very 70's in the gloom, but hurrah, I spied my "pub"!
|The lights are on, and someone's at home.|
I use inverted commas because it was more shop than pub, as you can probably see even from the photo. A smiling satisfied pair of customers were leaving as I entered, and said 'hi' so a nice friendly start. The shop had those weird carpet tiles, which make me think Doncaster Brewery Tap, but then there was an element of Cardiff's Gravity Station too, with just one large communal table - this was being used by a jovial bunch of middle-agers and I had to skirt around them to find the sole handpump hiding in the corner. At £2 a pint, am not surprised it's kept a secret! There were two nice staff members, the serving baldie-man who was vaguely 'Lord of the Rings', plus a wild-eyed merry bearded chap whose eyes implored people to ask him about the beers on sale. I could've perched on the huge table and got into conversation, but it felt a bit awkward and squashed so I took my pint around the room, 'window shopping' and came away with two cans of something trendy, and some cheese-based biscuity snacks for a party I'm off to in Hull tomorrow. The Bier Huis was surprisingly friendly to me considering I spent most of the time in my long black coat doing a slow perimeter of the shop like some Dickensian beer obsessed spectral lurker. I assured them I was having fun. One slight downside, one customer had a 2017 Good Beer Guide out on the table. I think I started to hear a growling from my bag. Yes, my own GBG has now turned feral, and it cannot stand rivals. It was time to leave before it decided to mark it's territory. No-one wants a pissy rucksack. Everyone wished me a cheery goodbye, a strange but pleasant experience.
|Spot the one that I'm drinking!|
|A view from the far corner.|
Ossett bus station was more terrifying than Dewsbury, they played dreary classical music to try and placate the local teenage shit-bags. The bus journey went quick and then rather annoyingly, a direct train to York was due immediately so I saw this as a sign not to go to the utterly amazing West Riding Refreshment Rooms. Boooo! That's a Dewsbury first for me.
I was back in York well before 8pm, job done, only 12 West Yorkshire pubs to go. The next on Tuesday evening, again just 12 miles from L**ds. I can W.Yorks done by late spring if I crack on!
Happy weekends all, Si