So it was onto the James Chester-esque 16:35 from Leeds to Brighouse, normally solid and reliable but when it does score on 'own-goal', it is normally hilarious and at a total inopportune moment.
The 697 bus from Thornton to Bradford was more Tom Huddlestone - heaving and painfully slow, but I was eventually dropped off by a friendly bus driver two minutes walk from the pub.
715 - New Inn, Thornton
A pub of two halves (but pints, you know what I mean!)
First half ..... On entering the pub, a group of about 5 locals were discussing which eggs tasted nicest. Duck eggs was the conclusion. I had nothing to add. There was a certain pub camaraderie throughout, but it was more disjointed than Southowram last week. Part of the problem was the pub itself. A large building but I really could find a decent seat. The left side looked dark and I'd be far too "out of the loop" sat there. The entire right side was a Mary Celeste style dining area, the knifes, forks and serviettes were laid out, but who would use it? This was a local as West Yorkshire gets and all drinkers were craggy old men. Some noisy kids and Mums had draped clothes over one seating area, but at least they were outside, despite the cold rain. Hardy folk round here. A mini stage and a wood burner (which we could've done with being on, even in July!) were also taking up much room. So I perched on a stool, a bit uncomfortably, especially as a back door was blowing in cold air. I'd been recommended a Partners Working Class Hero by a quirky old chap at the bar, so I went for it, but a slight hint of vinegar was present. It settled down a bit, maybe I was imagining it, but then another old man took back a pint of London Redemption back because it was 'sour' (and not a Saison from what I could tell). I'm having a bad run with beer this last week after the Melbourne in York and Hedon's Haven Arms. Getting near the end of the GBG year perhaps?
|Big pub, limited seating options - New Inn at Thornton|
Second half ..... It was lucky therefore all round that I'd just missed the first bus back, so "had" to stay for another. First, the kids moved so I could get the comfy bench seat. Then, my Acorn Yorkshire Pride was superb (they had 3 Acorn's on so perhaps this brewery was sabotaging ever other guest ale?) and then the quirky old man came to sit with me and was impressed with my West Yorkshire GBG ticks to date, and had a few stories to tell, and seemed to love the BRAPA concept in general which is always nice. The barmaids were friendly, suspicious looking and a bit crazy. One found a sign that said "Very Broken" but she didn't know what it had fallen off! And the main one who served me was quizzed on a recent (supposed) arrest for GBH but said she could prove she wasn't the aggressor due to the bruises on her legs, which she wanted to show the pub. By the time I left, everyone (4 people) were wishing me a jovial farewell and my opinion was somewhat improved. But question marks over beer quality have to be a big issue. The Allan McGregor of pubs perhaps?
|Much better second pint - do you like my Acorn artwork?|
BREAKING NEWS .... When researching Blackpool pub potential, it occurred to me I've done Castle Gardens, Carleton. Call it my 716th tick! I went on "P is for Poulton-le-Fylde" day so didn't recognise I'd walked to another part of Lancashire. Full archive review to follow soon.
So that completes July, a cracking month for BRAPA thanks in large part to Aberdeen. 30 pubs visited is one off my overall record but double my monthly target, woohoo. It would be 31 if I hadn't mistakenly thought I'd done the Commerical in Slaithwaite. And I got some "good" pre-emptives in like Bryherstones (Cloughton), Old Vault (Thorne) and Chequers (Wrestlingworth).
|First pub tick of the month - Hayburn Wyke at Cloughton Newlands|
I thought the same last year too, that August what with the football season AND punk festival would be a stifling influence but I've soon learnt (with Tom's help) to make them work in the favour of BRAPA. 7 days off work helps too. So the below agenda is a "best case scenario" and as we say at work, will be "approached on a best endeavours basis" (which basically means, if and when I can be arsed).
Sat 1st - Hereford (2 new pub ticks before seeing the Tiger Cubs).
Sun 2nd - Sheffield South (3 pubs in the proximity of Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane)
Tue 4th - Upper Denby (more West Yorks midweek fun, unless friends hold me to an earlier DVD night promise).
Thu 6th - Sun 9th - Cleveleys / Bispham (I'll be looking to take time off from the punk fest to hop aboard a North bound tram to tick of these two Sam Smith's lovlies - just beware the Southend fans up from Fleetwood wanting to fight "rivals" West Ham).
Tue 11th - Accrington - 3 pubs before an important league cup tie which may well end in disaster.
Wed 12th - Thu 13th - BRAPA summer festival - Yes, I'm still of work so providing I have recovered my lizard sufficiently, I will be looking for a couple of cheeky pubs which don't really work as part of a Saturday trip, OR a midweek night. No specific details yet.
Fri 14th - North Cave (lunch and pub tick after a walk in South Cave with lovely Mum and Dad).
Sat 15th - Wolverhampton (with emphasis on the 'outer' parts of town).
Tue 18th - Wetherby / Sicklinghall (two after work ticks, one NY, one WY).
Sat 22nd - Charlton (Tom and me have a plan, but Greenwich is now out with the sad news that "Old Loyal Britons" was closed despite everyone loving it).
Tue 25th - More midweek fun TBA, depending what has or hasn't been done on 12th/13th. Could we see the start of South Yorkshire with a trip to Armthorpe?
Fri 28th - Cross Hills / Kildwick - bus from Keighley, cos one pub only opens 3-11 on a Friday!
Sat 29th - Coxwold and the villages North of York
Mon 31st - Bank Holiday Fun Fun Fun! (or rest my lizard and do book work).
So as you can see, possibly over ambitious. I'd break my record easily if I did it but I might need the odd lemonade or two!
Time to start on the archives.