Message from the Editor Hello everyone and welcome to the 73rd edition of Ale and Hearty. I am Pam your editor (that’s me on the right just in case you wondered what I look like) and I am looking forward to receiving original articles and photographs from you for future editions, please don’t send copied articles as this infringes the copyright. As I write this the Open Golf Championship has just finished at Royal Birkdale. The town has been busy during the evening with all the pubs and bars doing well. During the day it was noticeably quiet as people were all either at the golf or didn’t come to town as they thought it would be packed. So it’s been a bit of a mixed week. We can now look forward to the summer holidays all six weeks of them with families visiting Southport and hopefully visiting the local food and drink places that we have to offer. With plenty of real ale bars now popping up in the centre, we have
a good selection for the real ale drinker. I was sorry to hear the death of Christine Lievesley a much loved landlady of the Volunteer Arms and we send our condolences to her family. The 2018 Good Beer Guide will soon be on sale on 14th September with details of 4,500 real ale pubs in the UK. Also every brewery producing real ale with tasting notes for thousands of beers is listed so don’t forget to put it on your Christmas list. Can I thank our three new delivery people, John, Kieran, & Andy for doing a great job out and about delivering in West Lancashire. The photos on the front cover are of our POTY & COTY which you can read about inside. Tap & Bottles, Cricketers Ormskirk and Fleetwood Hesketh. You can also read about Dave’s escapades in Scunthorpe and take a look at the quiz’s answers, some may surprise you Finally can I thank, Hop Vine. Grasshopper, Arion, & Cricketers for letting us hold our meetings there. Pam Editor
Chairmans Bit Welcome to this our autumn edition of Ale & Hearty. The summer could have been a lot better started off very promisingly but as soon as the schools broke up along comes the rain as usual but not as bad as it was a few years ago, anyhow there’s still plenty of time to visit all the pubs in the area and enjoy hopefully the up and coming Indian summer which we so regularly seem to get these years. Next month (September) the new 2018 Good Beer Guide will be coming out with most of the old faithful’s for our branch still in but sadly some not in but with some refreshingly new ones in. In what has now got a lot harder decision to make this year with so many new pub/bars opened in the last
12 months serving good real ale. The Good Beer Guide will be available for the discounted price of £10 for CAMRA members attending the October and November branch meetings and so saving you having to send off to St Albans for it. Can I also ask that all CAMRA members please when visiting pubs submit scores in to “What Pub” as this is the main way we as a branch use for selecting pubs for the Good Beer Guide and this will greatly help the decision process for early next year. Some good news is that the beer festival should be back next year and if anybody is interested in getting involved in the organizing of it then please contact me where you will be made very welcome at email@example.com. Doug Macadam Branch Chairman
is the CAMRA Southport & West Lancs Branch’s magazine, published three times a year and distributed free to pubs, clubs, beer festivals, tourist offices and other outlets in Southport, Formby, West Lancashire and beyond. We produce 4,500 copies, and each one is read by several people. Ale & Hearty is funded entirely by our advertisers, whom we gratefully thank.
CONTACTS Editor Pam Hadfield
Chairman Doug Macadam
Branch Contact Mike Perkins
Items for inclusion to Editor, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cut off for editorials for the next Ale and Hearty is November 30th Name and contact details required: anonymous correspondence will not be considered, although your name can be left out of the magazine with the editor’s agreement.
BRANCH WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK For more local news about CAMRA, pubs, beer and breweries go to: www.southportcamra.org.uk. You can also follow ‘Southport and West Lancs Camra’ on Facebook. ‘Like’ us for updates.
USEFUL CONTACTS •
CAMRA HQ 230 Hatfield Road, St Albans, AL1 4LW.
01727 867201. Website: www.camra.org.uk
SEFTON TRADING STANDARDS Sefton MBC (Environmental Protection Department), 1st Floor, Magdalen House, Stanley Precinct, Trinity Road, Bootle. L20 3QZ. Email: email@example.com (0151) 934 2089 Fax: (0151) 934 2106
SEFTON LICENSING AUTHORITY Sefton MBC, The Licensing Authority, Magdalen House, 30 Trinity Road, Bootle, L20 3NJ. 0151 934 4015 Fax: 0151 934 4276
LANCASHIRE TRADING STANDARDS Trading Standards Service, County Hall, Fishergate Hill, Preston, PR1 8XB. 01772 533569 (General Enquiries). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
WEST LANCASHIRE LICENSING SERVICE West Lancs Borough Council - Licensing Service, Robert Hodge Centre, Stanley Way, Skelmersdale, WN8 8EE. Email: email@example.com 01695 577177 Fax: 01695 585126
The opinions expressed in Ale & Hearty are not necessarily those of the Editor, the CAMRA Southport & West Lancs Branch or CAMRA Ltd.
Letter to Editor THE SOUTHPORT VISITER I’ve been a happy visitor/visiter to Southport since the 1950’s. I’m from Burnley and my Dad was a member of Fullege Conservative Workingmens Club – very near Burnley FC Turf Moor. The annual children’s coach trip was always to Southport. What a wonderful day it was. Always sunny, plenty of rides, food, ice cream and pop – landing back in Burnley about 7 or 8 o’clock. 1950’s Britain was of course very different from today. Younger readers won’t believe this but we had ventriloquism on the radio. Educating Archie – listened to by tens of millions of people each week. Archie’s teachers included Benny Hill, Max Bygraves and Tony Hancock. Hattie Jacques was also in it as was a very young Julie Andrews who played Archie’s girlfriend. Peter Brough was the ventriloquist and no you couldn’t see his lips move – not on radio anyway. The show later transferred to television and yes, you could see his lips move. In the 50’s and 60’s, when the circus or fair came to town, we used to pay sixpence to see the tattooed lady – you don’t have to do that anymore – they are all over the place! Fond Southport memories include:-
Visits to Southport Theatre and the Arts Centre for shows/concerts – again involving a visit to an excellent pub for a pint or two.
I’ve lived in Chorley since 1976 and now I’m retired with a bus pass, I can take advantage of the 347 between Chorley and Southport. I often visit on a Wednesday for the regular Lunchtime Concert at Christ Church on Lord Street. These are free and excellent – donations at the end. Southport has always been a wonderful place for beer drinkers. The pubs I regularly go in are the Inn Beer Shop, Barons Bar, Phoenix, Sir Henry Segrave, Tap and Bottles and The Willow Grove (nice to sit upstairs). But my Southport friend Dave Wright – who comes to Chorley most Tuesdays, we met in The Bob Inn on Chorley Market – has introduced me to two pubs I’d never been into before:-
The Guest House – an absolute gem with good food (I recommend the pie, peas and carrots) and local beer. The Cheshire Lines – another splendid pub with good beer.
I’ve been visiting Southport for 60+ years and I hope I’ve still got a few more years left.
In the 1980’s going to the wonderful Sunday Carvery at the Scarisbrick Hotel with a couple of pints of excellent beer. Visits with the children in the 90’s to the beach and the pier – we occasionally saw the tide in. I would leave the children with Mum and Grandma and try a couple of pints. Paul Tate
Study shows ‘hair of the dog’ works In the Woody Allen film Sleeper, a health food shop owner is cryogenically frozen. After he is revived 200 years later, his doctors have this conversation: Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called “wheat germ, organic honey and tiger’s milk.” Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties. Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or ... hot fudge? Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy ... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true. Dr. Melik: Incredible! In an example of life imitating art, researchers at the University of Greenwich have discovered that two pints of beer are better at relieving pain than painkillers such as paracetamol. If your blood alcohol content is raised to around 0.08%, your pain threshold is raised slightly, thus noticeably reducing the intensity of the pain. According to the researchers, “Findings suggest that alcohol is an effective analgesic that delivers clinically-relevant reductions in ratings of pain intensity, which could explain alcohol misuse in those with persistent pain, despite its potential consequences for longterm health.” Predictably, the press reports on these findings in the press were obliged to conclude with a warning about the health risks of excessive consumption of alcohol, along with a reminder that the official recommended safe limit is 14 units. Let’s say they had discovered that, say, beefburgers had certain health benefits, would they end every news item about this discovery with a warning that
eating too many of them could lead to obesity and other health problems? I rather doubt it, but - tediously - they insist on doing it every time alcohol is mentioned. Anyway, it’s now official: hair of the dog works at a level of about two pints. Best not exceed the dose or, tragically, you might have to apply the cure again the following day for the hangover. A packet of paracetamol costs around a tenth of the price of two pints but won’t work as well, and are undeniably less enjoyable to take. You pays your money ...
Enjoy a taste of Robinsons Brewery Visitors Centre
Robinsons Visitors Centre, Apsley St, Stockport, Manchester, SK1 1JJ
Brewery News SOUTHPORT BREWERY The seasonal ale for summer 2017 is Hole in One named after the Open Golf Championship played this year at Royal Birkdale and was a light golden summer ale with an ABV of 3.7. The brewery is also doing a special beer to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Billy Bingham of Southport Football Club called Binghams Brew at ABV 4.0 and it will be available in the Grandstand Bar at the club on match days instead of Grandstand beer probably until Christmas. Also the mention in the last report of Grandstand Beer should be Bandstand about it becoming a regular beer as Grandstand is only usually available in the bar of Southport Football club on match days
music will be on throughout the afternoon. All are welcome.’ Colin Hadfield BLO
RED STAR BREWERY Red Star Brewery ran its first local beer festival in conjunction with Formby Cricket Club in late March /beginning of April. The festival was very well supported and attendance was near full to capacity which meant the event was a overwhelming success. The brewery are continuing to run “meet the brewer “events throughout the local area and brewery tours are available (usually on a Saturday) via prior arrangement with Dave and Glen at the brewery. For full details see the website.
Doug Macadam BLO Julie Squires Brewery Liaison Officer
THE PARKER BREWERY ‘The Parker Brewery has welcomed back their popular seasonal ale, the Golden Samurai Ale 3.8% which will be brewed during the summer months. Work is underway to produce a new seasonal ale which will be released once production of the Golden Samurai Ale has finished. The brewery is hosting a Drink, Food and Music Festival on 16th September. The bar will be open from 11am till 10.30pm, and along with cask ales (£2.00 a pint!), there will be a selection of wines, Prosecco and Spirits available. 600 Degrees woodfired pizzas will be set up in the courtyard outside the brewery selling delicious hand made wood fired pizzas, along with Spotlight Catering who will be selling homemade pies, sausage rolls using The Parker Brewery ales in their recipes. Live
3 POTTS BREWERY As well as their existing three brews of Sprocket, Furnace and Turbine, 3Potts are now producing the following beers :- Wingnut, a white coffee stout at 6% abv, Gasket, a Black IPA at 5.8% abv, Sparkplug. a 4-6 % Pale Ale and Short Circuit a 6% Pale with NZ hops. Fred Harris BLO
THE CRAFT BREWERY Due to popular demand we now offer Fined beers for the pubs where the clientele want a clearer beer or the Barstaff don’t have the knowledge to explain why beer is naturally cloudy.
This will improve our customer base and lead to expansion to some of the more traditional pubs. Pam Hadfield BLO
BURSCOUGH BREWERY HOPVINE BREWERY Mike McCombe of the Hop Vine pub has brought the old Burscough Brewery plant and they expect to start brewing in June 2017 but the beer will only be available at the Hop Vine pub and the Leigh Arms. Mainly just 2 beers will be brewed Hop Vine Bitter and Hoppy Blond with the occasional seasonal beer. The Brewery started brewing late July 2017.
The Willow Grove
Open every day 8am till midnight • 2 floors 12 hand pulls • Ales from £1.99 a pint. At least 10 on at any one time Always Doombar, Ruddles, Abbott and Wainwright. (unless Beer Festivals weeks which we do 4 times a year here) Beer bus or meet the brewer once a month We support all the local breweries like Parker Red Star
387-389 Lord street, Southport, PR9 0AG 01704 517830
A.I. is too important to be left in the hands of machines. The A.I. we’re referring to isn’t Artiﬁcial Intelligence, it’s Ale Intelligence, of course. We’re not technophobes, we just don’t trust anything incapable of smelling, feeling or tasting to create something as delicately balanced as Landlord. That’s why we have ﬁve hands-on, Heriot-Watt trained brewers involved in every step of the process, from barley delivery to ﬁlling the casks. This way, we can make sure that every sip of Taylor’s is as delicious as humanly possible. Machines may one day take over the world, just be thankful you won’t be around to drink their terrible beer.
All for that taste of Taylor’s
Past Ale & Hearty Number 59
A VISIT TO TETLEY’S LEEDS BREWERY This time back to Winter 2010 Ale & Hearty no. 59, and my apologies for missing scribing an item in the last issue due to my problems after a traffic accident. This in 2010 is the only issue in which I appear in person on a photo on the front page stood outside the former vast Tetley’s Brewery in Leeds. The front page caption under this reads “Branch visits doomed historic brewery – visit to Tetley’s Brewery in Leeds”. On the 30th October in 2010 a coach party of 30 Southport members and friends visited the famous brewery as it was due for closure in 2011. Tetleys was not famous as a micro brewer, but its wellknown bitter travelled far and wide, and at one time before the dreaded “Beer Orders” were introduced in the early 1990s this brewer had a vast empire of around 1,100 pubs in the West Yorkshire area, plus others further afield. Its beers were available throughout the UK. The brewery was established in 1822, replacing a previous 18th century brewery on the same site, and at the time of our visit was virtually a brewery village, and a famous Leeds landmark next to the River Aire. The fabled huntsman logo was used at one time, but made no difference to the closure plan and the decision to move bitter production to Banks’s in Wolverhampton and smooth flow to the nearby brewery town of Tadcaster. The coach travelled by a lengthy outward route because of various pickups off the main direct motorway network, and when we arrived two of Tetley’s master brewers met us and a group from Leeds CAMRA branch, and we partook of a fine buffet lunch. There then followed a short history of the brewery and processes, ingredients and the
impend-ing closure, which would result in some redundancies. The brewery was said to be closing because of brewing over capacity, but the large piece of land near Leeds city centre was quite valuable to any developer. Some of the site had already been sold off and owners of the new luxury flats there complained of brewery noise (after 188 years of brewing!). There had not been many recent trips to the brewery and our branch tended to visit micro brewers, but this site was an eye-opener as a large beer factory with a computerised control process and giant brewing vessels called coppers, with one dating back to 1966. We viewed the brew house with its famous Yorkshire squares, bottling and canning plant, and the large wooden panelled Victorian boardroom. The tour included an old entrance foyer with grandfa-ther clock and old fashioned furniture. Very few people were required to operate the site (around 150). We finished off with samples of the beers, bitter, dark mild and a seasonal beer and we wished our hosts a hopeful future brewing the famed bitter in the Midlands and that its quality would not fall (anyone who still drinks the now much rarer Tetleys please comment!). We were then treated to a free pint of their bitter in the nearby Palace pub, which had 9 real ales on offer and is a house of the former Melbourne Brewery (Closed 1960 – I did sample their beers) – the Palace was featured in the CAMRA 2016 Good Beer Guide. En route home we stopped westbound at Keighley to visit some local pubs and try the beers. We had a very long but interesting day and most who travelled seemed happy with our day out. Sadly the
brewery was demolished but nothing happened to the land for some time afterwards. Although I am a former Leeds citizen, I have not visited the city for some time, so wonder if the site has now been developed – please let me know if you have news.
OFT NEWS CAMRA had been involved with the Office of Fair Trading about the lack of independent beer choices in pubs, and the then Business Secretary Vince Cable had warned pub companies that things should change, despite the failure of a legal battle about the practice. The current situation has only slightly improved in these large pub chain company owned pubs.
ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION The October 2010 medical journal the Lancet had reported that alcohol was the most harmful drug. This was swal-lowed by the media. This topic has been covered many times, but current advice seems to indicate that small amounts can be good for the health, provided the practice is not overdone!
CAMRA BRANCH CELEBRATION The branch celebrated 25 years (silver anniversary?) of existence, having been formed in 1985, after being a sub branch of Merseyside CAMRA. Since then the branch has expanded to cover Formby and West Lancashire.
VISITING YORKSHIRE & CLASSIC PUBS Carole and Ian Ellis reported on their walking visit to Hinderwell near Whitby, when they visited the Fox & Hounds at Dalehouse near Staithes (Buckley Bitter), then the Captain Cook Inn at Staithes (Steamin’ Billy Bitter), next to the harbour and the Cod & Lobster (for Black Sheep and Timothy Taylor Landlord). Finally to the Brown Cow in Hinder-well village for beers from Newsham and Copper Dragon. David Williams reported on his visit to the Lamb in Eccles near Manchester. This is a fantastic traditional pub, virtu-ally unchanged and owned by the well-known local brewer Holts. It is quite near
a Metro station. Their beer prices are reasonable and Dave sampled an excellent brew at £1.92 per pint. The pub still served beers from Hogsheads, which were 54 gallon casks and quite rare in this age of multi-choice 18 gallon casks. Holts also had a Pioneer beer on offer at £1.50 per pint which Dave missed out on! The pub is very ornate, with snooker table and leather bound seats, great panelling work, and well worth a visit. Holts beers are now also available locally at the Richmond and Imperial in Southport, and the Hayfield in Ormskirk.
OTHER ITEMS Neville Grundy was the Editor of this 2010 edition and he wrote querying free tasters in pubs, which are still not of-fered in some pubs, but the advent of third pint glasses has led to this practice in some locations. It is quite a useful idea, especially in pubs like Wetherspoons with a large array of beers. Neville also discussed the topic of winter ales such as warmers, which are often supplied, especially around Christmas times, some of these strong and dark, and usually quite pleasant, but at the time of year now it is quite popular to sample some summer ales, which are usually golden and hoppy and also very nice. Note that in Manchester there is an annual winter ales beer festival. This edition of Ale & Hearty was in full colour and had 32 pages and 20 advertisements, from pubs (some now closed down) and others over the whole branch area in Southport and West Lancashire. If you have any comments please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Perkins Branch Contact
Pub News GRASSHOPPER RAISES £165
there have been unusual sightings of Bowland Hen Harrier, Connoisseurs The Usual and even the local Craft Brewery has had beers on sale there. At the Portland Street junction with King Street is the Sir John Falstaff rebranded from the Falstaff, is now styled as Tap Room and Eatery. This is a very comfortable pub with many TV screens and has had on hand pump the ubiquitous Deuchars IPA plus the less frequent Oceanic beers (George Wright stable).
Two former Lancashire County Cricket Club captains Glen Chapple,now head coach and Mark Chilton assistant coach visited The Grasshopper,Hillside to lend their support to a fund raising event for the Love Manchester Emergency Fund which raised £165.
The Henry Segrave (JDW) on Lord Street is often thronged and during the Open Golf Championship was where most out of towners seemed to head for. Opposite the side entrance to Sir Henry Segrave in Coronation Walk is the Phoenix. Easily missed if concentrating on hoteliers on Lord Street, the beers here are cheaper than JDW £1.99 per pint. There are the usual suspects Doom Bar etc but as a free house recent choices have included Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted, Prospect Cascade Blonde and amazingly Harveys Sussex Best Bitter all the way from Lewes in East Sussex.
Glen and Mark enjoyed the real ales and also pulled a few pints during the recent Specsavers County Championship match between Lancashire and Middlesex played in Southport.
TOWN CENTRE TITTLE TATTLE In the last edition of Ale and Hearty much was made of the increasing number of outlets selling real ale at the northern end of Lord Street. Since then a further bar/eatery has opened in the former Ellis & Co estate agents on Lord Street and is called Cocoa House. There are three hand pumps with beers from Red Star brewery and Liverpool Organic in situ on my last visit. The alter end of Lord Street has much to offer in addition. King Street runs parallel to the main boulevard and has the Cheshire Lines as an excellent community pub. No under the stewardship of Vicki
Back on to Lord Street is the Sandgrounder. Frequently selling Weetwood beers and other north western beers, again their beers are cheaper than at the nearby JDW - £2.00 per pint.
More centrally on Lord Street the other JDW is The Willow Grove which again was very popular during the Open Golf Championship. Barons Bar, in the depths of the Scarisbrick Hotel still sells up to 9 beers at “2.10 a pint and is one of the rare places in Southport where Slaters beers can be found from time to time. This year’s pub of the year (and last year’s too) the Tap & Bottles is just off Lord Street in Cambridge Arcade next to the Town Hall. After last year’s very successful Beer Festival another one took place in May and was probably even more busy with two
thirds of the cask ales selling out before the last day of the 3 days. This is the venue for sampling cask ale from breweries you have never heard of and all with a 20p pint CAMRA discount. The real ale scene in Southport is certainly dynamic and long may it remain so.
Our Pubs of the Year & Club of the Year 2017 The CAMRA Pub of the Year is a competition held yearly in February that finds the best pub in the UK. First established in 1988, the competition helps to highlight quality pubs around the UK that are worth seeking out and visiting. Each year, each local CAMRA branch nominates one pub in their area to be entered. These 200 pubs then go through to the regional competition, which then whittles down to 4 pubs to go to the national final. The first winner in 1988 was The Boars Head, Kinmuck, Aberdeenshire The pubs in the national final are evaluated on: Quality of the Real Ales served Value for money Atmosphere Interior decoration Customer service and welcome Our branch covers two counties so we are able to have two POTYs
Our West Lancashire pub is The Cricketers in Ormskirk
Cricketers became a cornerhouse when the inner Ormskirk Ring Road sliced through Chapel Street. The Pub sits on part of the conservation area of ‘Upper’ Chapel Street and adjacent to that of Rough lane. The pub was a traditional small no frills wet led venue, and was popular amongst students in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s when Edge hill was primarily a teacher training college. The pub still holds a special place in the hearts of many a senior teacher in the area and beyond! Extended in the mid 2000’s the Cricketers became a Tapas Wine bar (Oeste) for a 10 year period, before reverting to The Cricketers under the ownership of Dave Coyle and Ray Mckinty (who also own the Ship at Lathom). Both have a rich history in the licensed. Ray previously worked for 25 years for Whitbread, with Dave Coyle coming from a Publican Family and brought up in a Public House in Accrington. Dave Coyle’s nephew Dave Speak is now the Landlord at The Cricketers and has helped turn it into a Ormskirk Favourite, for both the excellent food, and the well kept and varied selection of real Ale. The Cricketers will always stay true to it’s roots, with the Pub/Bar at its heart.
Our North Merseyside pub is Tap & Bottles The Cricketers gets its name from being the nearest pub to Ormskirk CC. Although no direct link, The Cricket Club and The Cricketers work closely together on The Ormskirk Beer, Food and Wine Festival (22nd -24th September), and the pub is popular with many players and members. The
The last year or so has been quite eventful...we’ve had an extension, two beer festivals and we turn 3 years old on the weekend 29th July. Our Beer Street festival has been a huge success and we’re currently looking at how we can make it even bigger and better next time (which may mean a change of location). As lots of new bars open in Southport,
it’s our aim to focus even more on serving quality beers from exciting breweries that can’t be found anywhere else in town.
Within two weeks the site was cleared and new foundations were laid. Work on rebuilding the club was all-voluntary and on a budget of £12,000 it was rebuilt and fully reopened in 1978. Further alterations and extensions have since been carried out to make the club what it is today - the largest sports and social club in Southport.
Our Club of the Year is Fleetwood Hesketh
Today our club is a vibrant social club with members across the generations. We are proud of our strong connections with the Southport community. We host a range of social events as well as excellent sporting activities and opportunities. We also have Southport’s best kept secret - a secluded beer garden away from the busy roadside, overlooking our bowling greenwere we serve our real ale
The Fleetwood Hesketh Club was founded in 1925, the land being given by the Fleetwood Hesketh family to be used as a recreation ground. Shortly after two ex-army huts were acquired and erected on the ground by volunteers, earning the club the nickname “The Hut”. Sports, including football, cricket and bowls, were soon introduced and the club was named The Fleetwood Hesketh Institute. The name lasted some 40 years and continued to be run by volunteers as a ‘dry house’.
In 1968 a liquor license was granted and the club became The Fleetwood Hesketh Sports and Social Club. This turned out to be the saviour of the club until disaster struck in September 1977 when 95% of the premises was burnt to the ground.
OUR DAY(S) OUT It was Tuesday 9th May this year when I was in County Durham visiting my good friend Frank Daly and my mobile phone rang. It was our Chairman Doug Macadam, to tell me that Northern Trains were doing a special promotion in conjunction with Johnston Press. This is the way it all works. Johnston Press is a company which prints regional newspapers. The only one I know they print which is available in Southport is the Lancashire Evening Post, so Doug immediately went out and bought copies each day. Even then, there are not many local newsagents who stock the LEP, but Morrison’s is one local outlet. However, we had no such problem in the North East, as Frank and I bought the Sunderland Echo each day whilst I was staying with him in Pity Me, just north of Durham. The offer actually began on the previous day, Monday 8th May, when the Sunderland Echo printed a voucher each day until Friday 19th May. Two vouchers have to be saved and attached to an application form which is downloaded from the Northern Trains web site. Applicants then have to take the form, attach the two vouchers, and the applications can be used for up to four tickets per application, with tickets then allowing each passenger to buy a £10.00 ticket for unlimited travel on Northern trains for the day in question. The tickets could be used from 8th May until 9th July, with the exception of half term week beginning 27th May until 4th June. So, once we got our heads around the system, the first day I had free to try out our unlimited rail travel tickets was Monday 5th June. I came back from Durham on 13th May, but this was my first day off after my week’s holiday. On this occasion Frank came with us. I returned from a day walking in Seatoller in the Lake District
to prepare for the following morning, with Frank coming to stay the night so that we could all meet up at Southport station the next morning. As we could not use the trains until 8.45 in the morning, Frank and I duly left my house in Birkdale to walk into town in order to catch the 8.57 train to Manchester Victoria. However, we alighted at Salford Crescent in order to catch the 10.09 train which meant we could transfer to Manchester Piccadilly. We had lots of options for our first train journey, but we opted for a place where I had not visited many pubs: the Potteries in Staffordshire. So we caught the 10.46 train from Manchester Piccadilly to Stoke-on-Trent. Alighting at Stoke station, we had already realised that to get to Potteries pubs we would have to pay out some more money by buying a First Bus Potteries day ticket for £4.00. Our first job had been to work out which pubs were open all day, having arrived in Stoke at midday, so we opted to visit the Greyhound at Hartshill. We got the 25 bus, although we were told later we should have got the number 11. Anyhow, we had to walk from the nearest stop to the pub, but it was worth the long walk, because my first pint of the day was the superb Titanic Plum Porter. We could choose from the whole range of Titanic beers in here, because the Greyhound is one of just eight pubs which Titanic own, although a lot more of their beer is available in the free trade in the Potteries. Although we were technically still in the Stoke-onTrent area in Hartshill, our next port of call involved a short walk to Newcastle-under-Lyme to the Bridge Street Ale House, a pleasant little micro pub, and the first one set up in the Potteries in 2014. Here I tried an unusual beer from a brewery I had never heard of, 4Ts brewery, the beer called 1 Man 2 Sticks. All the beers were from local microbreweries, and even the young lady we were chatting to was supping a pint of stout!
Our next stop was a pub which some of our members visited a few years ago, the Lymestone Vaults. The reason this pub was visited by Southport & West Lancs. CAMRA was because Lymestone Brewery won our Beer of the Festival award, I think for one of their beers named Stone Dead, voted the most popular of the festival by our customers. However, the beers I tried in the brewery tap were Foundation Stone at a very reasonable £2.90 a pint and the much stronger Stone the Crows at 5.4% which was still good value at £3.20 a pint. As well as the superb Lymestone beers in the Lymestone Vaults we all tried the delicious Staffordshire oat cakes which were on sale. I tried the cheese and onion flavour, but if you have never heard of Staffordshire oat cakes they are superb, but really more like pancakes than oak cakes, but a local delicacy! We then tried a pub which was not listed in the Good Beer Guide, but one which we had heard good things about: Wellers. Another micropub, it was just 60 yards away, so the shortest stagger of the day. Once inside, I was tempted by the Weal Ales Centwealial Milk Stout, a beer I scored 9 out of 10! Not bad for a pub which did not even make the 2017 Good Beer Guide, although I suspect it may make the 2018 edition. Leaving Wellers, we then had a ten minutes’ walk to the Castle Mona in Victoria Street, still in Newcastle-under-Lyme. The landlord told us he had only recently taken over the pub, but he seemed to know what he was doing, because the Blythe Staffie was superb, and another 9 out of 10 beer. We then walked to Albert Street (can you see the connection here) to the Hop Inn, referred to in the Good Beer Guide as “a shining star of the local real ale scene! It had ten or twelve real ales, but most importantly the pub was selling a beer from one of my all-time favourite breweries, Oakham Citra, and secondly the beer was in superb condition and only £3.00 a pint. This was perfect! Beer of the day, this got 10 out of ten from me. The local Pub of the Year, I think I can say it really did deserve the honour.
After leaving the Hop Inn, we walked to Brampton Road to catch the 17.46 number 98 bus to Burslem. It was getting busy by now, and the bus was caught in traffic congestion, but we alighted to walk to the Market Square in Burslem, one of the famous five towns, which, we were advised by the local people, should really have been the six towns of the Potteries: the other towns of course being Stoke-on-Trent itself, Hanley, Tunstall, Longton and Fenton. Anyhow, our first stop in Burslem was the Duke William in St. John’s Square. Here I decided to partake in a glass of Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby Mild, a dangerously drinkable 6% legendary beer. In fact I think we all went for this, and my God was it good! We then staggered to the Bulls Head, about six doors away, where I was back on the Titanic Plum Porter, which again was delicious. The Bursley Ale House was next, and only a short distance away, and here I tried another Oakham beer in the form of Inferno. And then, to finish the day, it was a short walk to a pub on the main bus route back to Stoke in the shape of the Post Office Vaults, where I tried my third Oakham beer of the day, Bishops Farewell. So what a day. A £10 train ticket, a £4.00 bus ticket, ten pubs, plenty of exercise walking between the pubs, some local culture, Oakham beers and loads of friendly, helpful people doing their best to show us the delights of the Potteries. I did want to visit some of the local Potteries museums, which had also been my aim, but I did not get round to doing any of them. Well, maybe next time. Thanks to Doug and Frank for being such good company, and especially to Doug for guiding us from pub to pub using his GPS system. Oh, and more travels to report in the next Ale and Hearty. Best wishes,
The Pub Smoking Ban
10 Years On Ten years ago, on 7th July 2007, smoking in all enclosed public places, including pubs and bars, was banned. CAMRA’s policy was for a ban in singleroom pubs while proposing separate smoking rooms in multi-room pubs, but as we know the government chose a complete ban. Supporters of the ban argued that they wanted to drink in a smoke-free environment, and pointed to the risks of passive smoking. Opponents argued that better pub ventilation systems would resolve the problem of smoke, and denied there was any evidence that second-hand smoke had health risks. While I am not qualified to comment on that final point, the NHS strongly disagrees with it. One immediate consequence was a drop in pub trade, and probably some pubs with low profit margins became unviable as a result and closed. However, drinking had been in continuous decline anyway since before the ban: the Office of National Statistics’ annual survey suggested that in 2016, drinking among adults aged 16 years and over was at the lowest level seen since the surveys began in 2005. There are several other possible reasons affecting pub usage, but insufficient space here to cover them. As time passes, it becomes increasingly unlikely the ban will be relaxed because: • Nowadays most people expect a smoke-free environment wherever they go. • The number of smokers continues to decline, from 20% in 2007 to 15.6% now. • All drinkers aged under 28 have never known smoking in pubs and bars anyway. In fact, the only change governments of any persuasion have considered since 2007 has been whether to extend the ban; so far, they have not.
There is no doubt that the ban has fundamentally changed the experience of pub-going in this country, whether for the better or worse is a matter of opinion. One thing is completely certain: it’s now more than ten years since I’ve walked home from a pub with my clothes smelling of smoke.
Interbranch Bowls The annual Merseyside branches of CAMRA bowls match took place on Saturday 2nd September 2017 at the Northern club in Crosby. There were two teams of six with one comprising Liverpool and District members and the other from Southport and West Lancs/Wirral branchâ€™s. There were three rounds played with the Southport and Wirral team winning 5 and Liverpool team winning 4. We would like to thank the Northern club in Crosby for very kindly letting us use there green and having some of there bowlers on the day giving some tuition and scoring during the matches.
Future Socials A WIRRAL WALKABOUT SOUTHPORT RAILWAY STATION CHAPEL STREET 16th September Our September Social, worthy of a note in your diary, is an exciting excursion into the land over the water for an extensive wander around some of the pubs on The Wirral.
ORMSKIRK TRAIL 13th October November No 2 bus route to pubs in Banks and Walmer Bridge
DEREKS CHRISTMAS CRACKER 9th December These to be arranged please check website and face book for further details
The attached photo shows Doug Macadam from Southport receiving the cup from one of the Northern club volunteers helpers on the day.
, R E M M U LO V E S
GET YOUR HANDS ON LIMITED EDITION GOODIES PICK UP YOUR MPA SUMMER COLLECTOR CARD
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*Only valid when purchasing MPA. mps per day. Redeemable on the seventh stamp. Only two stamps
@McrPaleAle #MPASummer 22
Pubs giving CAMRA discount to card carrying CAMRA members Pubs giving CAMRA discount to card carrying CAMRA members Tap & Bottles - 20p off a pint 10p off 1/2pint Sandgrounder - 30p off a pint of Real Ale Bold Arms Churchtown - 20p a pint Real Ale Freshfield - 25p a pint Real Ale Railway Formby - 20p a pint real Ale Phoenix - 10% off Real Ale Park Birkdale - 10% off pints and halves Cross House Formby - 10% off pints Grasshopper Hillside offer a discount scheme Cock & Rabbit Members discount and loyalty scheme Cheshire Lines - 30% discount I am sure this list is not exhausted and if I have missed anyone out of Southport and West Lancs area or you decide to start offering discount please let me know at email@example.com This list will be a permanent feature of Ale and Hearty hoping to try and encourage pubs to be included.
Classic Pubs of the UK The Berkeley Hotel, Scunthorpe Yes, I can imagine the readers’ first thoughts – Scunthorpe!!!
Well, the reason I ended up in Scunthorpe, which, after all, is not the most popular holiday destination for most people, goes as follows. I and our local CAMRA Chairman, Doug Macadam, had taken advantage last year of an offer run by Johnston Press in conjunction with Northern trains – see my Potteries pub crawl article which should hopefully appear elsewhere in this magazine. And so, after discussing where we could go on the train from Southport, Doug suggested Cleethorpes and Grimsby on the Lincolnshire coast, which can be reached on Northern trains from Southport via Manchester and Sheffield. On this we decided that, rather than apply for a £10.00 ticket for one day, we would apply for a weekend ticket for two days and have an overnight stay. Hence the decision to look for some cheap accommodation, and that was the Travelodge at Scunthorpe, which ticked all the right boxes: it was cheap, it was central, and there were also a few local pubs to visit in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Now fair play to Doug, this was a great idea and I was up for it. In fact I had been looking forward to visiting lots of new pubs in an area I had not been to for a number of years. However, that was until a dispute ensued between railway operators such as Northern trains and Merseyrail and the RMT trade union, all over the issue of introducing guard less trains on certain lines, with Northern trains being right in the thick of it. Therefore we learned some weeks previously that there would be a train strike from 8th-10th July, the weekend we planned to go away. Anyhow, it was time to think out of the box, and Doug decided to drive to Scunthorpe instead. It was going to cost more, especially when my mate Frank Daly decided he no longer wanted to come, despite originally saying he would, which meant higher accommodation costs, paying for petrol and buying a bus ticket. Anyway, what the hell, I wanted to go anyway, that was until Doug decided he wanted to start off at 6 o’clock in the morning. So there I was, still eating my muesli at 5.55 on Saturday 8th July, when I heard a tap on the window. Now how is it that Doug, when there is a CAMRA meeting taking place at 8 o’clock in the evening on the second Wednesday in the month always gets there late, despite chairing the meetings, but when it comes to giving me a lift at 6 o’clock in the morning gets there early! What’s that all about? Anyway, I finished my breakfast, put on my shoes and we were off on time, Good Beer Guide and some money in my rucksack and an overnight bag due to the luxury of having the car. We duly arrived in Scunthorpe at about 8.15 a.m., and waited for the next Stagecoach Bus from the industrial park near our hotel, but more of that another time. Because I am not going to tell you about another pub crawl or bus tour taking in nineteen different pubs in Lincolnshire, but on this occasion just one of them, the Berkeley Hotel.
When we got to Scunthorpe and spotted the Travelodge where we were staying, three places caught my eye. One was the Tesco supermarket, because that was where the bus stop was which we needed to get our bus from. The second thing was Glanford Park, the home of Scunthorpe United, which was the first time a Football League club had built a modern all-purpose ground and sold its old one, in Scunthorpe’s case the Old Show Ground, which I visited in the 1980s. The third thing of interest was the magnificent Berkeley Hotel, easily spotted at a major road junction by a roundabout. Straightaway I remarked to Doug, “that’s one of the pubs in the Good Beer Guide” and I could not believe it was so close to where we were staying. The Berkeley Hotel is a prominent pub with Bed & Breakfast accommodation located to the west of Scunthorpe town centre. It was built in 1940 and is named after Sir Berkeley Sheffield, baronet, who was the first Charter Mayor of Scunthorpe. The hotel is built in an art deco style and retains most of its original features. On the ground floor is a public bar, lounge, dining room and spacious ballroom, one of the largest in Scunthorpe. On the first floor, accessible by the hotel’s stylish art deco staircase, are eight comfortable en-suite bed and breakfast rooms. My next question to Doug when I heard this was “why didn’t you book a room in here?” Anyway, after travelling around Lincolnshire via Lincoln, Louth, Grimsby and Barton-upon-Humber, we caught the bus back to Scunthorpe and visited the pub between 9 and 10 o’clock. We made this our first port of call in Scunthorpe, because the Berkeley closed at 11 o’clock and the two other pubs we wanted to visit, the Malt Shovel and the Blue Bell, closed at midnight and 1 a.m. respectively. On a mission with notepad and pen in hand once we got to the pub, it was a delight. A CAMRA National Inventory pub (which means it is a pub of historic or architectural importance); it had an outdoor drinking patio outside the ballroom. There was another room on the right with a ladies cloakroom and a room on the left with a gentleman’s cloakroom, the latter rather grand. Perhaps not quite in the same league
as the Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool (although I know I am biased), it was nonetheless rather grand. And not only all this, but the beer was just £2.00 a pint, and it just happened to be my round! Of course seasoned beer drinkers may have guessed, but this was a Samuel Smith’s public house, and they sell the cheapest beer in the land. The choice was Sam Smiths Old Brewery Bitter or nothing, but who’s complaining at those prices! The bar has a real open fire (although not lit while we were there, as it was one of the warmest days of the year), the Berkeley also sells good food, has free Wi-Fi, its own car park and ensuite bedrooms. In fact, if I ever book a flight again travelling from Robin Hood Airport (Doncaster/Sheffield airport) and need overnight accommodation, I will take my wife Yvonne there (I will have to now if she reads this article). I am not sure if anyone out there fancies a weekend in Scunthorpe, but if Liverpool or Everton (or Tranmere Rovers or Southport for that matter) gets drawn in a cup tie this season away to Scunthorpe United, then this is a must-visit pub. We went to nineteen pubs this weekend, and this was the best by a country mile. A gem, an absolute delight and a national treasure. Who would have thought you could find a pub like this in a town best known for being home to the UK’s largest steel processing centre?
QUIZ JUST FOR FUN
6) Which of these is an effective way of removing alcohol and sobering up
1) What can speed up the effect of drink in you
7) You drink a pint of 3.5% beer. How long is it before the alcohol in it is completely broken down by the body and will no longer affect you
a) An empty stomach b) Gulping the drink rather than sipping it c) Fizziness in the drink d) All of these 2) The legal limit for drinking and driving is a) 35 mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath b) 50 mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath c) 80 mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath d) 100 mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath 3) The most accurate way to find out how drunk you are is to a) Measure how much alcohol there is in your blood b) Attempt to walk along a white line c) Measure how long you have been drinking d) Ask your mates 4) Alcohol is: a) A stimulant drug b) A depressant drug c) Not a drug d) A non-toxic drink 5) Alcohol begins to affect the brain: a) The moment it is swallowed b) Within 5 minutes c) After twenty minutes d) Only after several drinks
a) A cup of strong coffee b) Making yourself sick c) Fresh air or a cold shower d) None of these e) Paying for a round
a) About half an hour b) 2-3 hours c) 10-12 hours d) It depends how regular a drinker you are 8) You are at the pub from 9pm-11pm drink 3 pints of Dark Ale 5% per hour. For a fit healthy male assuming no meal is eaten and no residual alcohol is in the system a) How many units would be in the system at midnight 15 b) At 7.30am 7 1/2 c) At 10.30am 5 1/2 d) At 3.30pm 0 9) How long does it take for the first unit of alcohol to be absorbed a) 5 mins b) 10 mins c) 30 mins d) 1 hour 10) Therefore how long does it take for 1 unit of alcohol to be processed and leave the body assuming you donâ€™t eat a) 30 mins b) 45mins c) 1 hour d) 2 hours Remember it takes one hour for one unit to be absorbed then another hour for the liver to remove it and a female it can take longer.
CAMRA Good Beer Guide App CAMRA has launched a smartphone app that places good pubs and great pints at your fingertips. The Good Beer Guide app collates data from more than 40,000 pubs, provided by the campaign’s 180,000 members all over the UK. The book version of the Good Beer Guide is a respected source of information about beer and pubs.
It makes the guide’s carefully compiled pub recommendations and beer listings easily accessible to everyone at the touch of a button – and at an affordable price too. The app is free to download, but if you subscribe from just 99p per month, you will have unlimited access to all the data and extra features. It is available from the App Store and Google Play.
Our new app is the next step, and will open up the world of great beer and pubs to even more people who will be able to share their interest with others through pictures, tasting notes and reviews. In effect, it allows you to take the pub with you wherever you go. You can connect with friends using the new inapp social feed. This feed lets you share pictures and comments on pubs and beers, highlighting the activities of your friends and keeping them up-todate with your latest beer and pub news. The app also allows you to build up your own personal guides by marking favourite beers. The basic app has a limited number of favourites, but if you subscribe, you can mark as favourite as many pubs and breweries as you like. Tested directly with consumers over the last six months, the app is an evolution of the successful Good Beer Guide book which has been a popular best seller for decades.
BEER FESTIVAL!!! ɔɔɔɔ OVER 35+ REAL ALES!!! ɔɔɔɔ LIVE MUSIC THROUGHOUT ɔɔɔɔ BBQ ɔɔɔɔ
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We would like to welcome you all to our 6th annual beer festival at the Wheatsheaf, with a huge selection of ales, this promises to be bigger and better than previous years! Live music, BBQ and great atmosphere are just some of the reasons to come and pay us a visit, we know you’ll love it!!!
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WHEATSHEAF INN TOWN ROAD CROSTON PR26 9RA 01772 600370
WWW.WHEATSHEAFCROSTON.COM From 12pm on 12th October running through to 15th October