616 - No Sign Bar, Swansea - So just after 12 noon we arrived in this obviously ancient (1690) bar which Dylan Thomas apparently frequented, very much the Dick Turpin of South Wales in that regard! A nice selection of 4 ales would have done me, but the lovely blonde barmaid advised us there was a beer festival on in at the end of this Tardis like long & thin building. Bonus! Though it took as a while to properly find it, never mind to embrace the beer fest experience. Tom had arrived looking like someone who'd spent the last 24 hours on the rail network, and we sat under a rather pretentious food menu til Dad cracked, ordering us all Tapas but both mine and his (Calamari and Bruschetta) were rubbish, though full marks to all the staff who were excellent throughout - seemed like they needed a few more to assist. All the ales were superb quality, the Elland 1872 Porter a highlight as I'd managed to avoid it on recent trips to Elland and Halifax, yet found it in Swansea! Typical. I wish we'd been able to stay there a bit longer, or a bigger "Welly" gang could have sampled this "away pub of the season" contender. Tom did make a valid point, how can you have a pub called "No Sign Bar" when it has a sign displaying that very fact?
|Fresh off the 5:55am from York. Me arriving at the No Sign Bar, Swansea 12 noon.
Fast forward to Tuesday and probably still not recovered from Swansea, it was time for the West Yorkshire Midweek edition of BRAPA! Now I was supposed to be going to Hipperholme for leg two of Halifax, but work had put me on "checking", so I had to stay to 5pm, and with a bus needed for Hipperholme, it put too much pressure on the situation. So something more straightforward was needed ....
So after taking the Manchester Victoria train 40 mins, I arrived at the attractive canal town of Sowerby Bridge.
|A fine spring evening in Sowerby Bridge
|Decor and seating inside the Shepherd's Rest, a fine Ossett pub.
There is a third pub in Sowerby Bridge, but with time ticking on and 40 minutes from Leeds, never mind York, I headed home knowing I have plenty of time to do combine the final pub with my final Mirfield tick later this summer.
|Firehouse, Sowerby Bridge (Prosecco gang in second window on right)
LATEST NEWS .....
- My "business" cards have finally been shipped after some payment difficulties. Could they make a surprise debut on Saturday?
- Oh, the joys of village pub life and their irregular opening times. Ellerton's pub appears not to open til 4pm, and with Sutton Upon Derwent's one closed between 3-6pm, Dad and I have had to work hard to come up with a plan around this! All will be revealed in my next BRAPA report.
- HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY to BRAPA!! 5th April 2014 was our official start date in Beds, I was around the 385 pub mark then. Now at 618, not forgetting the 70 or so pub drop in September when the 2015 GBG came out, I've ticked off a lot of pubs!
- I'm sure I won't be on "checking" at work two week's in a row, so Hipperholme will be back on for Tues 14th.
- I'm booking an overnight trip to Aberdeen on Thursday 9th July, I have two days off work so let's get on the BRAPA trail!
- Even more urgently, I'm looking at a birthday BRAPA outing in early May. Greater Manchester is looking the most likely county at the moment.
- The latest Bedfordshire trip is a week on Saturday. Some high level planning is needed. Ampthill and Bolnhurst are the "must" pubs. Houghton Conquest, Felmersham and Kempston would all be nice too.
- Doing Sowerby Bridge made me realise the great progress I'm making in West Yorkshire. I could well be finishing this county before Bedfordshire if I can stay in the Tuesday night groove through spring and summer. Dirty Dick's in Halifax was my 100th West Yorks tick.