It all started with another delayed train out of Leeds bound for Bradford (deja vu) meaning although I wasn't more than a few minutes late, my train was heaving compared to how I assume it normally is. Got the bus to Cullingworth with a few mins to spare and after an arduous 40 minute journey, reached my first port of call.
491 - George Hotel, Cullingworth - The home of the Old Spot brewery beers with 7 on, I chose the almost famed "Light but Dark" and half of it had slipped down before I could blink - a good sign. Perfectly kept, great beer. It was very much a locals pub (what did I expect?) but the staff were very pleasant, they were all cooing over a baby belonging to a barmaid whilst two locals dogs provided additional entertainment! This was a multi roomed pub but I am not kidding you, EVERY spare table was reserved for dining. The food must be good. Male dog owner advised me to perch on a reserved table as they probably wouldn't arrive til late but as a consequence, I could not relax and the beer continued to slip down easily!
|Old Spot beers in the George Hotel, Cullingworth
492 - Station Hotel, Harecroft - What google maps never tells you is whether there are pavements or undulating road systems, so on what looked like a straightforward 1.5 mile walk turned into an uphill 'dicing with death' experience and at times I really feared for my life as narrow roads plus fast traffic scared the life out of me. I only realised how uphill it had been when I reached this little local pub with sweat dripping from my brow. My pint of Little Valley was superb but initially, a girl who was "not quite all there" kept firing questions at me. To escape, I tried to go to the back bar but was growled at by a dog described as 'beautiful but I wouldn't stroke him' by the barmaid! My taxi firm was too efficient in arriving on time so once again, had to drink up very quickly.
|This creature growled at me as I tried to escape to the back room
493 - Haigys, Bradford - After a very nice BRAPA chat with my taxi driver Mustafa, he got a bit lost trying to find this pub in notorious red light district, Manningham. He asked a local 'lady of the night' though it was only 7pm, she was out early I thought, and after initially not knowing, she pointed it out to us we'd just driven past it. He told me she offered blowjobs for £10 a go, he charged me £12 for a Harecroft-Bradford taxi drive. I pointed out the anomaly, he didn't really see it like I did! Nice quiet locals pub, plenty of Bradford City memorabilia and saucy postcards in the loos, pub had a cat (always a plus), another cracking pint (a Terry Thomas themed one!) and I watched the bottom half of Emmerdale and Corrie as that was how much of the screen I could see!
|A fitting joke amongst saucy postcard collection in Haigy's toilets in Bradford's red light district
494 - Sir Titus Salt, Bradford - A walk back into the centre and quick pee in the Ginger Goose (i felt they owed me for that weirdo last week) found me at this Wetherspoons - but shock horror, I'd been here before after some work testing with either Mark or Matt! I recognised the steps but the rubbish didn't stink quite as bad. Last time, the barmaid argued I shouldn't be drinking so early but this time, a very helpful bar man let me pay by card as all cash had gone, had a decent Naylor's velvet mild and tried to look innocuous though I didn't like the bright lighting. This pub used to be a 'baths' but it just felt like standard 'Spoons fodder to me, but I was fed up by this stage!
However, quite an eventful evening and my final Bradford trip will leave me with what appears to be three cracking pubs left. I will also look to combine Keighley with Denholme the following work evening week.
This means tomorrow I will try to get to Cross Hills for my Yorkshire day special. 2 reasons. One, Naylors brewery only opens Fridays 3-11 and how often do I do a Friday BRAPA? Also, I can get a bus from Keighley and instead incorporate Silsden as part of Saturday, where I can get a bus from Ilkley or Addingham. Technical but I have it all written down. Let's hope I feel sober enough to stick to these plans!
July has been a cracking month with 33 new pubs, hard to see how that can be beaten on almost tripling my quota for the month. August will be less prolific due to football starting again mainly, but we make a great start 1st and 2nd with this double header. And the 500 nearly up!