Wednesday 15 February 2017

BRAPA - The Romance of Emley

If all BRAPA nights were like this one, I'd readily admit defeat on my pub-ticking mission, retire, and instead do something more serene, like visiting all Norman churches in England, or becoming a member of the "92" club.

Not that tonight's pub, or location, were bad in any way, both lovely on this Valentine's night.  But the transport, ugh!

After a  straightforward train ride to 'Uddersfield and a two minute speed-walk to the bus station, I joined the half-term masses and local scroats on the bus to Wakefield, stopping of course at Emley.  I was directly in front of two schoolgirls.  One was telling off the other for dying her hair without her Mum's permission.  "She won't be too mad, it's only green!"  Traffic was horrendous but 15 mins later than scheduled, I was in this surprisingly remote hilly village just as dusk was falling .....

I tried to get Emley Moor and the mast in but failed miserably!
1027.  White Horse, Emley

I do like a good Ossett pub (I feel I must've visited them all by now!) and I wandered in relieved it was one their more traditional efforts, with 8 locals (men & women) in their fifties lining the bar.  I peered over the top and ordered what seemed to be a special Emley house beer, 'Emley Cross' - I might've been paranoid but I thought I heard a few stifled chuckles as I did so.  Is this a re-badged ale that they put on for the idiot "outsiders" like me?  Well, I don't think so in retrospect, as it was darker and maltier than 90% of Ossett beers, no nonsense stuff for no nonsense folk in t'village!  To keep Saturday's run going, I spied a corner seat near a roaring fire where a woman kept warming her arse.  At least she gave it a good poke (the fire I mean, not her arse).  "Looks like the best seat in the house!" I commented in jovial manner.  An insipid smile was all I received in reply.  In my 27 minutes in this pub, she came over TWICE more for further arse warming.  After that, it felt like I'd walked into a TalkSport phone in with the focus on the Championship.  Firstly, two Huddersfield fans were pessimistic about their chances v Rotherham.  Then, a Sheffield Wednesday woman said "let's hope all goes well at fortress Hillsborough" and then a seated Blackburn fan growled at her in Lancastrian tones which confused all present.  Then an excitable gambling scummer listed all the teams on his "accy" accumulator, including Rotherham twice.  And just to top things off, a man claimed Marcus Tudgay was the best footballer he'd ever seen.  Then, to put the final cherry on the cake, a woman tells the Blackburn man,  "you are owned by an Indian Bernard Matthews".  And I couldn't even take my glass back to the bar because the efficient barman took it whilst I was in the loo, so all I could do was wave goodbye from afar to the newly arrived blonde barmaid.  Oh dear!  

It's Championship chat fest!  The arse-warmer is leaning on the right.
I'd been downing my drink so I could make the 18:11 back to Huddersfield.  Except there WAS no 18:11, it was now the 18:48 after a timetable change.  How did I miss that?  Thankfully, a dotty old local woman crossed the road to tell me.  And because it was dark and there was no pavement at the stop, I couldn't see times on bus stop and had to perch in the road in my black coat leaning on a stone wall avoiding oncoming traffic  Nightmare.  Even West Berkshire's rural bus stops have bits where people can safely stand!

I'd assumed it'd been delayed due to all the problems getting here and accident on M62 (and I'd seen a broken down bus on the way up at Flockton Moor), but like she read my mind, dotty old woman said "it's not worth your while going back to the pub" (how did she know?  A witch?) so I explored Emley in the dark! Where's mi BRAPA torch?

Funniest of all, the centrepiece of the village seems to be Emley Cross (hence the beer name) but it's a tiny stubby thing if you compare it to say, Lymm Cross.  I wonder if residents of Lymm come to Emley to boast that theirs is bigger?  

18:48 turned up at 19:07, exactly an hour since I'd left the pub.  Arrrghh, give me strength.   Back in 'Udders freezing cold with a dead phone and a painful back from the stony wall, I was glad of an almost immediate direct train back to York.

See ya Friday for more "bonus" West Yorkshire adventures cos some pubs can't do the BRAPA basics (i.e. open on a Tuesday evening).  



  1. "I couldn't see times on bus stop..."

    Simon, not sure if you have a smart phone or not; or - if you do - if it's an Android or an iPhone. But, most Androids have a built in flashlight:

    If you have an iPhone, you're on your own. :)



    1. I must confess, I have an iPhone and never even considered it had a flashlight! But it does, cos I used it to retrieve a lost dice under a dusty seat in York's Maltings a couple of months ago.

      Miner's Lamp would be a wonderful birthday present Tom (6th May) if you are feeling generous.

      Getting reliable up to date bus info is probably up there with the main BRAPA dream scenarios along with me somehow being able to fly from pub to pub.

  2. Russtovich, your cunning plan requires a timetable to be displayed at the bus stop to begin with. In rural parts, this often isn't the case. I do like the idea though, I've thought of a miner's lamp as a part of Si's BRAPA survival kit before for those dark walks on a country road - this is similar thinking.

    The woman was right about Blackburn Rovers being owned by the Indian Bernard Matthews. I've never thought of it that way before, but she's right. I consider that line award worthy.

    I have previously stated that people who put money on accies are idiots. People who put money on accies involving Rotherham United winning two games, or indeed any number of outsiders is beyond that and enter into the territory of completely stark raving bonkers.

    1. Thanks Tom. Being from across the pond (i.e. west coast of Canada) I thought Simon meant that he couldn't see the timetable due to the lack of light. But I agree with the idea of a miner's helmet. :)

      Also, another good idea would be to have the stops all labelled with a code that you can punch in to your phone to see what time the next bus is expected. Or, even better, punch in the code, go for a pint, and it sends a message to your phone when it's time to drink up in order to make the next bus! (heh)


  3. Many bus stops have a system whereby you can text a code, displayed on the stop, and receive details of the next few buses by a return SMS message. All such schemes that I've seen charge for the pleasure, and hence I've never used one. There are such systems that work exactly as you describe on a smartphone.

    I do like your idea of a system telling you to drink up when the bus is getting close. It could even tell you to order another pint if the bus is running late or on fire or something.

    1. "It could even tell you to order another pint if the bus is running late or on fire or something."

      LOL - great idea!

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