Saturday, 30 January 2016

Bradford & Queensbury Crawl plus a few in Leeds, 2nd January 2016


This was to be my first pub crawl in 2016 while off work on the Christmas break.

It was the usual National Express bus up to Leeds arriving at 10:00am, a quick walk to the train station, then onto a local train to Bradford. I got into my first pub of the day well before 11:00am so was well pleased.

1: The Old Bank

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

An old bank now thankfully converted into a decent pub, just round the corner from the Ginger Goose. There was a decent choice of real ales on the bar. I opted for a drink of Bradford Northern Soul which went down well after the journey up here from Nottingham.

I now had to go and take some photos of pubs in Bradford city centre that I would do later in the day when it was dark. So it was off up to North Parade where there there seems to be lots of new bars opening. After taking my photos I noticed that there was a pub just opening so I couldn't resist going in for a quick half.

2: The Sparrow

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

This is a small pub that was probably converted from a shop. There was a decent choice of real ales on the bar, and I had a drink of Raw Winter Soltice which was a very nice drink. I had a chat with the friendly barmaid, and I quite liked this place.

3: The Turls Green 

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield
 
A modern looking Wetherspoons that is in a nice location overlooking what looks like Bradford's main square. The beer choice was a bit disappointing for a 'Spoons but I was only having a half so nothing to moan about. I had an Oakham JHB which was a really nice drink.

It was now a short walk to the bus station to get a bus up to Queensbury, all new territory for me. The plan was to do a pretty simple pub crawl following the road from Queensbury back down into Bradford. The bus ride was uphill all the way to Queensbury and so far up the hill it got thick with fog. I was told later in a pub that Queensbury has its own weather system, different to Bradford or Halifax.

4: Ring o Bells

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield


A nice looking stone built pub. There was one real ale on here which was Theakston Best. This is a bog standard beer, but at least it was a real ale. There was also a real fire on the go making the pub seem quite nice.

What I thought would be a short walk to my next pub, The Omnibus, was a bit longer than I thought it would be, and when I got there the pub was firmly shut. So it was an even longer walk to the New Dolphin. I had passed a chippy on the way down so decided to go in to have something to eat. I had a really nice haddock with scraps on for £3 - a bargain.

5: New Dolphin Inn

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A very pleasant locals' pub with two real ales on the bar. I had a drink of Black Sheep Bitter which went down well after the haddock and scraps. A short walk took me to pub No 6:

6: Queensbury Tavern 

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A decent enough stone built pub that is in the middle of Queensbury. Only one real ale on which was Doom Bar, but this was a decent enough drink.

The pub crawl was going roughly downhill from here, but not in terms of pubs. A shortish walk and I was in pub No 7:

7: Halfway House

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A three-roomed Samuel Smiths tied house, This was quite a nice pub which was surprisingly empty on my Saturday dinner visit. The Samuel Smiths Old Brewery Bitter was not real, but I have always liked Sam's keg beers so no problem, and a snip at 90p a half.

Another shortish walk and pub No 8 was in view:

8: Old Dolphin

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A nice looking pub from the outside and also decent enough inside. Two real ales on here, and I had a drink of Timothy Taylor Landlord which went down well.

The pub crawl was all going to plan, but it was still thick with fog. Hopefully when I really started going downhill it would clear.

9: Boars Head 

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

My last pub in Queensbury before heading into Bradford's southern suburbs. This is a decent looking roadside pub, the sort you now see closed and boarded all too often. Two-roomed and quite smart in my opinion, with two real ales on the bar, and I had a decent drink of Tetley cask.

I was now heading downhill proper into Bradford. It was still foggy and now also raining.

10: Hare & Hounds

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A long fronted pub with its front door out of use. I was told this was due to it being too slippy, so I entered the pub from the rear and found a decent pub garden, while the pub is quite big inside. Two real ales on here, and I had a Tetley cask which was a decent drink.

The hill I was going down was now a bit steeper. It was still raining but the further down I went the more the fog was clearing.

11: The Crown

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A nice looking pub with another long frontage. This pub was quite large inside, and although food seemed to be a big draw, the pub still seemed quite pubby with all that goes with it - pool, darts and TV showing football. There were two real ales on the bar, and I had another nice Tetley cask.

Another short walk and I was in Pub No 12:

12: The Monkey

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

I think this pub has a couple of rooms, but I had a drink in the main bar room and did not look round. Three real ales on here, and I had a drink of Oakham JHB which was on top form. I do like this beer.

I was still going downhill and I think I was in the Great Horton area of Bradford - it was still raining.

13: White Horse

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

This is a decent looking pub with a long frontage. It was my second keg only pub up to now so not too bad. I had a drink of Tetley Smooth which was cold and crap, and also the most expensive beer up to now. The pub was empty on my Saturday afternoon visit - I wonder why?

Shortly I was in Pub No 14:

14: George & Dragon

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A decent looking single roomed pub with one real ale on. I had a drink of Tetley cask which was decent.

Another short walk took me to Pub No 15:

15: Kings Arms

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A nice looking pub but shame about the lack of a real ale. I had a drink of Wm Youngers bitter which was poor, but better than the other option of John Smiths Smooth crap.

The next pub was to be the last on my last on this stretch of road. The landlord of the Bulls Head said all pubs have closed going further into the city centre.

16: Bulls Head

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A stone built corner pub, and a true survivor in this area of Bradford. A decent sized single room, but no real ales on the bar so it was another drink of Wm Youngers Bitter which was poor but a better bet than John Smiths. 

A short wait and I was on another bus back into the city centre.

17:  Record Cafe

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A small bar that was more than likely converted from a record shop. Four real ales on the bar, and had a Vocation Bread & Bitter which was a nice drink. This is a decent bar that was quite busy on my late Saturday afternoon visit.

18: City Gent

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A pub housed in a grand looking building, and once inside it is still very grand. Three real ales on the bar, and I had a drink of Bradford Hockney Ale which went down very well.

A short walk back down North Parade and I was in Pub No 19:

19: The Beer House

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

A large pub with one very large room, and three real ales on the bar. I had a drink of Clarks Brass which was quite nice. The pub was very busy but not really to my liking.

Another very short walk and I was in Pub No 20:

20: Al's Dime Bar


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

This bar had just opened as I was passing which was a bit of luck. A small single room and two real ales on. I had a drink of Roosters Buckeye which went down well. The bar was filling up quickly during my short visit. I quite liked this one.

After a bit of a walk round the middle of Bradford I decided to give up on finding any more new pubs to do, what with it still raining. So it was back to Bradford Interchange for a train back to Leeds.

Back in Leeds I decided to do The Queens, a large hotel close to the train station.

21: The Queens

A large hotel with a large bar open to all. There were Leeds fans plus some more well heeled customers in on my early Saturday evening visit. One pump on the bar but not in use, so I had a drink of Tetley Smooth which was expensive and crap.

I was now heading back to the bus station and decided to do the Revolution that I had took a photo of late last year but not done.

22: Revolution

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

One very long room with an equally long bar. No real ales here which is to be expected of the Revolution chain of pubs. I had a  drink of Shipyard Pale Ale which was not that bad. The pub was very busy with a good mix of customers, not just younger ones.

A short walk and I was in my last pub of my crawl.

23: The Norman

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield

Similar shaped to the Revolution, and no real ales on here, but there were some different keg beers and tasters were offered. I had a drink of Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale. This was a decent enough keg beer but too fizzy for my liking.

This was a good start to 2016 on my pub crawling quest. 23 new pubs done and only 6 keg-only pubs.

Next Pub Crawl will be an older one, then some of my stats if I get round to them.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Eccles Crawl, 21st February 1987

This was to be our second crawl going after Joseph Holt tied houses. I had sent a letter to the brewery in late 1986 asking for a list of all Holt's tied houses,they kindly sent me a two-page A4 list of their tied house estate, so we had something to head for.

The Holts tied estate, as of late 1986, consisted of 77 managed houses and 22 tenanted houses.

It was, as usual, an early start to get the Nottingham to Manchester Victoria train which would then go onto Edinburgh and Glasgow. A local train took us to Eccles where we were really looking forward to getting some more Holt's pubs done.

A short walk from the train station and down the pedestrianized high street and we were in pub No.1:

1: Oddfellows Arms



(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A two roomed Boddington's tied house where we had a very nice drink of Boddington's bitter, when it was a drink to be sought out. A good start to our crawl.

We retraced our steps slightly to get to our next pub.

2: Cross Keys
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A very smart and plush Bass tied house with two real ales on. We had a drink of Bass which was  decent enough. The pub was almost empty on our early Saturday dinner visit, and we also thought it was a bit too posh for our liking.

Back down to the bottom end of the high street for our next pub.

3: Hare and Hounds
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A decent looking Wilsons tied house with Wilsons Bitter and Mild on the bar. We had the bitter which went down well, and the pub was also quite busy.

A very short walk and we were in the first Holt's pub of the day, so we were well pleased.

4: Old Bulls Head
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A very basic looking pub, so just the sort of pub we were after. We had a really nice drink of Holt's Bitter, and the Holt's Mild was also on here. This pub now looks very different to when we did it.

We were now heading towards Liverpool Road where we knew we would hit some more Holt's tied houses. After passing a few pubs we found a really good Holt's house.

5: Lamb Hotel
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A large grand looking Victorian pub with a backdrop of high-rise flats. Quite a few different rooms inside a really nice pub. We had a drink of Holt's Bitter which was really nice. The Lamb was a great pub, just the sort we were after.

Our next pub was another large pub that was a short walk from the Lamb Hotel.

6: Duke of York
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

This pub was a free house when we did it. It was a very large pub with a very comfortable lounge, with three real ales on. The Timothy Taylor Landlord was a very nice drink, and there was also Marston's Bitter and Whitbread Chesters Bitter on the bar.

We had a shortish walk down Barton Lane to get to our next two pubs to do. They were next to each other, one old, the other new, and what a contrast in pub styles.

7: Royal Oak
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A good looking Holt's tied house with a couple of rooms inside. Just the sort of Holt's pub we were after while in Eccles. We had a very nice drink of Holt's Bitter, and were well pleased our third Holt's house of the day.

8: Golden Lion
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A typical looking estate-style pub that was next door to the Royal Oak. The layout was like most estate pubs that I have been in. Two room, a smart lounge and a more basic bar. We had a drink in the lounge which was very comfortable. The Golden Lion was a Boddington's tied house, and we had a very nice drink of Boddington's Bitter.

The next pub was a short walk further down Barton Lane.

9: The Ship Canal
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A two-roomed Wilsons tied house with two real ales on. While there was also Wilsons Mild on the bar, we had a decent drink of Wilsons Bitter in the fairly comfortable lounge.

We went back up Barton Lane and onto Church Street for our next pub.

10: Crown and Volunteer
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

This looked like a 1930s-built pub and it was another Holt's tied house, so we we looking forward to going in for another good drink of Holt's Bitter. The pub had two separate rooms, and we had a drink in the bar which was very basic, but the Holt's Bitter was very nice.

It was another short walk along Church Street to our next pub.

11: Church Inn
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

This was a smart looking pub that was an unsigned Wilsons tied house. It was very comfortable inside and had three real ales on. I had a drink of Wilsons Bitter which was a nice drink, while the other beers were Websters Yorkshire Bitter and Ruddles Bitter. They were also serving food here.

We were now on Liverpool Road so lots of pubs to head for. We knew we would not do all of them, as there were so many and not enough time.

12: White Lion
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A really nice looking Holt's tied house, and just the sort of pub we came here to do. There were a couple of rooms inside, and we had a drink in a decent bar. There were two real ales on here, and we had a drink of Holt's Bitter which went down very well, with Holt's Mild also on. We were well pleased in doing this pub.

 A short walk down Liverpool Road took us to our next pub.

13: The Ellesmere
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

An estate pub that looked a bit on the rough side from the outside, this doesn't bother us in the slightest. A Boddington's tied house with a decent sized bar to the front and a lounge to the rear. We had a decent drink of Boddington's Bitter, and there was also Boddington's Mild on. We were pleased to get another Boddington's tied house done.

The next pub was another short walk along Liverpool Road.

14: Golden Cross
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A proper old looking Holt's tied house with all of its signage on the front of the pub's roof. It was quite basic inside with a few different rooms. We had a drink in a fairly basic bar, but we quite liked this pub. There were two real ales on, Holt's Mild, and we had a drink of Holt's Bitter which was a really nice drink as usual. 

We now did a quick walk back to the middle of Eccles for our last pub of a dinner time session.

15: Wellington Hotel
 


(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A basic looking Holt's tied house situated at the end of a small shopping precinct. It was smart enough inside, and we had a drink of Holt's Bitter and Mild here. Both beers were very nice. A decent Holt's tied house to end our crawl in.

This was a great day out in Eccles, and we did seven Holt's tied houses, so we were well pleased. All pubs were done with my wife, the best drinking partner I have ever drunk with.

The next Pub Crawl up should be a new one.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

London City & West Brompton, Earls Court & Chelsea Crawl, 1st July 2015

It was an early start on what was to be the warmest day of the year. I was on a weeks' holiday from work so I had the chance to do a mid week crawl.

I had a nice trip down to Golders Green on National Express, but once I got off the coach the heat met me.

A tube into the City and I was in my first pub before 11:00am.

1: The Windsor

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

Very close to Fenchurch Street train station and set slightly below street level. The pub was empty but it seemed a decent enough pub to me and at least I was out out of the sun. There were five real ales on the bar, and I had a drink of Twickenham Sundancer which went down a treat.

It was hopefully a short walk to the the next pub, but in rushing to get out of the heat I went the wrong way, and by the time I reached the Goodman Fields I was melting.

2: The Goodman Fields

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

This is a Wetherspoons pub that is set under what looks like a 1930s built office block. No air conditioning so I was overheating whilst having a drink of Red Squirrel Legally Blonde. This drink was decent enough though.

Now in E1 and what is probably Whitechapel.

3: The Dispensary

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A new pub in a old grand looking building. Most seating seemed to be for diners so I sat in a posh looking chair which was near an open door to the rear, so I was getting a bit of a breeze. Three real ales on the bar, and I had a drink of Harveys Bitter which was sadly not at its best.

A short walk and I was in pub number 4.

4: The Brown Bear

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

I quite liked this pub. Only two real ales on, and I had a drink of Doom Bar. I was a bit cooler but still far too warm.

My next pub was going to be The Pepperpot, but the pub looked firmly closed, so it was a bit of a walk to pub number 5.

5: Cape

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A modern bar in a redeveloped area of the docks. I quite liked this fairly large bar with three real ales on. I had a drink of Trumans Swift which was a very nice drink.

I retraced my steps and tried to do Wiltons, but it was closed and being refurbished, so a shortish walk by the side of rail arches and I was in a really nice back street pub.

6: The Dog & Truck

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A small single roomed pub which had a small open kitchen but also a pool table. There were three real ales on here, and I had a drink of Harveys Bitter which was very nice. I quite liked this pub, one I will revisit if in the area.

I had already decided to do two areas of London so it was a walk to Aldgate East tube doing a couple of pubs while heading there.

7: Oliver Conquest

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A small single room pub with only one real ale on. I had a drink of Timothy Taylor Landlord, which was decent enough but expensive at £4.80 a pint. Glad I only had a half.

A very short walk and I was in pub number 8.

8: The Black Horse

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

Seemed too modern for my liking. The downstairs room only had tall tables and chairs, so I hope the room upstairs was more comfortable. Three real ales on here, and I had a drink of Windsor & Eton Knights of the Garter which went down well.

It was a quick walk to Aldgate East tube passing some pubs I had done in the past. I eventually got off at West Brompton tube after one change.

9: Lillie Langtry

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A fairly large pub and one of four pubs close to the station, so not much walking in the very hot sun. No real ales on here, so it was a drink of John Smiths Smooth crap, a very disappointing pub.

10: The Atlas

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A nice looking ivy-clad pub, the best pub in West Brompton in my opinion. Bare boarded and four real ales on,  I had a drink of Otter Bitter which went down well.

A very short walk and I was in pub number 11.

11: Imperial Arms

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A small and basic pub with no real ales on. I had a drink of John Smiths Extra Cold which was crap. I liked looking at the table tops which had different maps of the world on them. I did note there are not that many pubs left like this one in London, and sadly The Imperial Arms seems to have closed since my visit due to redevelopment of the area, what a shame.

12: Prince of Wales

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A fairly large pub that is almost opposite West Brompton tube station. Three real ales on here, and I had a drink of Jennings Cumberland which was not that good unfortunately.

A shortish walk in the very hot sun and I was in pub number 13.

13: The Pembrook

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A typical-looking London corner pub, now painted in the awful battleship grey. I only noted one beer here which was Hogs Back TEA which went down well. This was the only pub in the area that was empty on my Wednesday afternoon visit.

14: The Bolton

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A very large corner pub with four real ales on. I had a drink of Doom Bar which went down well after a walk in the, by now, very hot day.

A bit of a longer walk and I was in pub number 15.

15: The Drayton Arms

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

I liked the look of this pub from the outside and was not disappointed once inside. Three real ales on the bar, and I had a Harvistoun Afterglow which was a very nice drink.

It was a very short walk to the next pub.

16: Duke of Clarence

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

This pub looked too modern for my liking, but I had to do it. Not too bad inside but my notes say a bit to twee and fussy, not really my sort of pub. Three real ales on here, and I had a drink of Youngs Bitter which was decent enough. One plus point for the pub was that it was air conditioned which was a blessing on this very hot day.

17: Bumpkin

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

This pub was not on my list to do, but when I noticed it I had to do it. No real ales on here, so I had a drink of keg Whitstable Bay Pale Ale which set me back £2.50 for a half of cold crap.

I was now walking towards Chelsea and got slightly lost and was also having to check for pubs I had already done in the area.

18: Builders Arms

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A decent looking backstreet pub with three real ales on. I had a drink of London Beer Factory Chelsea Blonde which went down well. The pub was packed on my it late Wednesday afternoon visit.

I had to almost retrace my steps to do pub number 19.

19: The Crown

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

Another pub that was packed, maybe the sun had brought everybody out. Two  real ales on here, and I had a drink of Doom Bar which was decent enough.

A walk down to the Kings Road to pick off one of the few pubs I have not done on it yet.

20: The Trafalgar

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A large pub with a gawdy purple painted frontage. It was far better inside than I was expecting and to my surprise three real ales on. I had a drink of Knops East Coast Pale Ale which was a decent drink.

A short walk and I was in pub number 21.

21: The Phoenix

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A back street pub off the Kings Road. It looked very orange from the outside,and was decent enough inside with three real ales on. I had a drink of Youngs Bitter which went down very well. This pub was packed on my early Wednesday evening visit.

A short walk back across Kings Road, up another side street and I was in pub number 22.

22: Queens Head

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

A very nice looking back street corner pub that was packed. Two real ales on here. I had a drink of Sharps Atlantic which went down well.

I was now heading back to Victoria Coach Station which was a good walk via Sloane Square. I passed a few pubs that I had done in the past before going in my last pub of the day.

23: The Belgravia

(c) Photo taken by Alan Winfield.

Formerly the Red Lion, what looks like a 1960s built pub which is under a block of flats. Two real ales on the bar, and I had a drink of Doom Bar which went down well.

A great crawl on by far the hottest day of the year. 23 new pubs done and only two keg only pubs. The Bumpkin was by far the worst pub of the day and the most expensive.

Next crawl will be an old one, then after that my first crawl of 2016.