The beginning of August means the beginning of the football season. Daddy BRAPA and I headed over the Pennines on a drizzly grey morning where Hull City were due to play their opening match in Preston, where happily, I had 5 required GBG ticks. Knowing what a shambolic (Allam-bollick?) summer it had been, I tried to block out any of the usual pre-season expectations. The only result I was truly interested in seeing was BRAPA F.C. 6-0 Preston Town & Lostock Hall Casuals.
Preston is probably the town that most inspired BRAPA to become a thing, when back in 2003, my sister attended a Uni Open Day. I came along for moral support, bringing an Autoroute Map printed off with GBG 2003 pubs plotted on it. I told her I'd 'leave her to it' and stumbled upon the Black Horse, one of the pubs which made me realise how much I actually loved pubs, staying there most of the afternoon to take advantage of the free jukebox and sampling never-before-seen-ales from this groovy little place called 'Robinsons of Stockport'. Crafty!
I told my sister I had a 'good feeling' about Preston, and she spent the next three years here, me visiting on various occasions like a good brother, Autoroute Map in hand, ready to visit any new GBG pubs. It didn't always go to plan. When she returned our dodgy stouts in the Old Black Bull , the landlord told her "typical student, stick to lager luv if you can't handle the flavour!" But usually, the experiences were better. Stuff like New Brittania, Shawes Arms, Dog & Partridge and Olde Blue Bell. Classics circa 2005/6.
Back to the present day then, and at one of those wet godforsaken Lancastrians outposts, the train door goes 'crash' and Thomas George Irvin (Clagmonster to you) unexpectedly hops on, just as I'm on the phone to Mummy BRAPA predicting the inevitable Tigers defeat.
Soon, we are in the town wandering aimlessly, assuming each other know where our first pub is. In a totally unprovoked attack, Tom suddenly starts bellowing "YORKSHIRE, YORKSHIRE, YORKSHIRE" in the street! Daddy BRAPA tells him to settle down, and I rather cryptically add 'we are not in Luton now'.
As we line up to take the first pub photo, Tom hands us both a newly printed 'Allam Out' banner. A Romanian Unfortunate asks us for any spare change. Now, I'm not adverse to being asked for spare change by RU's (Romanian Unfortunates) but she'd picked a bad time, and scuttles past the lens, thus also missing out on her BRAPA 5 seconds of fame. Epic RU fail.
|It'd be easy to overlook the fantastic lacings considering Col's head massage trauma|
|Tom Eaves to score two goals? I was desperate for omens|
|Dad trying to get the local bus knowledge|
|Luckily Dad apologises for my outburst whilst I take this photo|
|Which one would you choose? (Tom isn't an option)|
Well, it was time to say farewell to Tom, Chris and Bernie who were heading off to watch Hull City get pummelled, and us other four headed off to our 4th pub. Right on cue, the heaven's opened for the biggest downpour of the day, making the next pub name rather apt.
|Lager and Daddy, won't have their spirits dampened|
Plug & Taps, Preston (1902 / 3331) and this was Colin's favourite pub of the day. He'd been understandably quiet since his Plau head massage but he decided he wanted to help pull the pints, and just ended up getting in the way! I got the impression Matthew had pre-warned the pub about my visit, the barman having a look of nervous bewilderment as he pulled the ales though too blurry to fully capture.....
|Putting the Pee into PNE|
|Lawro practically camouflaged|
|He's got dem bars, proper dope flow (or something)|
|Cask for Clubbers|
|Dad and Cookie, blending in seamlessly|
|Off for a pee, like Bobby Vee|
|Bernard has seen enough, and who can blame him?|