Wednesday 12 November 2014

BRAPA - Bradley and Mirfield

The spitting rain wasn't forecast, but at least the Manchester Victoria train behaved itself as I arrived into Mirfield just before 5pm and took on the 1.5 mile trek slightly uphill to my first pub of the evening......

More top poster artwork from our BRAPA art technicians (i.e. me)

499 - OLD COLONIAL, Mirfield - Almost a shame to arrive in near total darkness as this pub has won "pub in bloom" awards before, and is a bit set back off Dunbottle Lane with an outdoory car park bit at the front.  On entering said establishment, I was surprised to find a large, rather grand pub empty except for one man reading a newspaper.  He turned out to be the landlord so I was the only customer, and after a quick BRAPA chat, he pulled me a fine pint of John Willie Lees 100, from that old Manchester brewery.  He wasn't finished there and soon won more staff points as he laid out two rugs, added wood to the wonderful wood burner, indicated a leather armchair and told me "sit down there and enjoy lad!" which I did.  As it turned out, this was pub experience of the night.  I still had time to embarrass myself by walking around the pub looking for the loo when they'd been directly in front of me.  There was one more customer in by now, but as I tried to down the dregs of my pint, I found a moth had beaten me to it!  Yes, a bloody moth, the bane of my life.  Once a crossword answer in a pub in Arksey, but usually flying around my flat scaring me to death.

Cosy wood burner style pub heaven at the Old Colonial

500 - WHITE CROSS, Bradley - You can't put a price on the local knowledge, the time saving element and convivial chat with a friendly taxi driver (well okay then, £4,50) but we were soon at this welcoming looking pub just north of Huddersfield and I could see why this is a GBG regular.  Friendly, jolly staff and locals having a laugh, some intriguing looking ales, and a light but still cosy large one roomed estate pub, but I mean that in the nicest possible way.  This was my pint of the night, the Movember themed Colonel's Whiskers by Batemans was as close to the perfect drinkable dark ale you could wish for, served in the pubs own branded glasses.  I relaxed again, listening in to the locals crazy capers and flirtations with the barmaids, and didn't time fly?  Time to go.  I should probably mention I achieved the 500 landmark here (again), but good as it was, this time there was no guard of honour, applause and free pint like the magical experience in Appletreewick.

White Cross - a very good established GBG pub.  Pint of the night.

501 - NAVIGATION TAVERN, Mirfield - After a slightly longer wait in the cold outside the White Cross, and a taxi driver who was less good at the small talk, I was soon a stones throw from Mirfield station again to take on this pub, which is part of the Rail-Ale-Trail although not in the days when I twice went on it.  I was slightly underwhelmed by the whole experience.  As a large group of Rail Ale geeks left, I entered a low ceilinged cosy pub to find a large range of ales, 7 in fact, but maddeningly 5 of them were Theakstons and the other two were Black Sheep and John Smith's I think.  The staff were very much of the "here's another visitor passing through" attitude which probably is borne out of hoards of Rail Ale goers over the years.  I sat in the 'games room' where Emmerdale was switched over for some egg chasing match so I watched a high standard pool match between the locals which was much more enjoyable.  My Theakston's Black Bull ale was average and as the pool player's friends arrived, I was happy to sup up quick and leave.  In a late footnote, one of the pool friends called me Michael Jackson due to the red leather jacket, for the first time since I was in my original 500th pub, New Inn in Appletreewick.  Spooky?  Or just a Thriller?  Sorry.

The Nav Tav - where the Theakstons sign should be taken seriously

The Yin and Yang of train travel then struck, I was 11 mins late of Mirfield but managed to catch a 2 minute delayed York train at the other end so it all evened out nicely, as I got back for a BK Whopper meal and a relatively early finish pre 9pm.  A good BRAPA night.

NEXT UP - Well, I'm going to a gig in Huddersfield on Friday and with 4 pub ticks still required, I'm looking for 1 or 2 before it starts no matter what friends and other people are planning on doing.  Saturday should be a Dad "blank Saturday" in Sheffield but he's not committing, and I'm worried I'm going to be left tickless in York so I need to try and push him on a bit.  Failing all that, our next West Yorkshire place alphabetically is Brighouse, so it's all gone a bit Huddersfield area of late!  I'll be updating as I go, and continuing with the archives, so stay in touch.


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