Lydgate is posher than Stalybridge. Hang on. Everywhere is posher than Stalybridge. Okay, it is posher than Greenfield and Mossley (pronounced Mozzley, I learned tonight), and they seem quite 'nice'.
Lydgate had a GBG pub for the first time in BRAPA history. Twitter legend and probable mayor of Stalybridge, Quosh (some people call him 'Alex', fuck knows why) kindly volunteered to take me here and also to my one remaining Mossley pub.
I jumped off the train at Greenfield into the bouncing rain, almost accosted by a gang of middle aged Twanspennine Crawlers probably off to Marsden to hopefully drown themselves in the river. Why going on the Transpennine Ale Trail has to coincide with being an anti social nincompoop is one of life's precious little mysteries.
I saw Quosh's easily distinguishable Quoshmobile and hopped in. "This is Chris" he says. 'What is Chris?' I wonder for a confused second. Then I turn to see a kindly looking young chap on the back seat blinking up at me, like a Thinking Man's Beckham. He had 'pub blogger potential' from the off, I thought. Quietly contemplative, drinking in surroundings, nuances and moods. I liked Chris already.
Quosh played us a bit of Morrissey ("before he became embarrassing") just to cheer me up, and waxed lyrical on Duncan Mackay for a few minutes solid, as any red blooded male would, as we passed all the grand houses of Lydgate and approached the sodden pub car park. 'Looks like a dining pub, probably is a dining pub', I ruminated in a roomie kind of way.
|Top pose from Quosh|
The White Hart, Lydgate ( 1722 / 2694) then, and before we'd even entered, I could see a gaggle of middle aged posh blonde ladies and barbour jacketed men who looked like they'd stepped out of a dog boutique in Lymm, blocking the route to the bar. Quosh fought through to see the largest pump clips known to man, from a local brewery called Donkeystone in Greenfield, more on that later. We span around to see another pub twitter legend, Chris Dyson, another one to tick off the 'Pub Twitter I-Spy Book' (40 points for a Chris Dyson). He was from the right side of the hills (Halifax), so obviously had his head screwed on right and the rumours of him being a great bloke were spot on. We peered into about three empty rooms, all set up for the kind of posh dining that even the Lymm boutique massive gave zero shits about, and thankfully found a 'drinkers' room with a table in the corner, though I had to wait for a twog to get yanked away by a lady owner. We chatted on pubs, ale, BRAPA, you know the drill. 'The Newark Incident' and 'The Phantom Ticker of Sidcup' tales got an airing, 'twas all really pleasant, the ale superb even though we all admitted we had no idea how NBSS worked. What was with the staff uniforms though? I thought it was just the one guy, but when a young lass who reminded me of something from the original Twin Peaks appeared, I realised they had this skinny blue jeans and tight grey waistcoat uniform policy. Truly unique. A more perfectly formed dining pub than many.
|Really nice Cotton Clouds, lacings or something. 3.5 on NBSS, or is it 3.75, 4 or 4.33?|
|Quosh getting his debut green highlighting done - GERRIN' LAD!|
In another puddly car park amidst industrial units aplenty, a few artsy donkey murals greeted us ......
|Here I was|
|Chris Dyson does what is needed|
|On the way out .... cosier place than this pic suggests!|
Things were about to get crazy, a bit blurred, but mainly crazy. Find out about that in part 2 tomorrow!