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Showing posts from November, 2019

Smokefest 2019

It was a Saturday morning in November and my face was drained of all colour. I clung to the nearest pillar on platform 4 of Manchester Piccadilly. I casually wondered whether 16-year-old me had been right all along; that I would indeed die from too much Irish stout. Whilst the majority of my matter was silently screaming for my bed, my heart wished it was on the now-departing train to New Mills that I had been watching from several platforms away.  It was the first morning of Smokefest 2019 , hosted by Torrside Brewery, and I'd been looking forward to the event ever since I purchased ticket numbers 3 & 4 as they went on sale. (I am still not sure which rascal snapped up 1 & 2.) My only saving grace, that kept me going as I continued to feel very sorry for myself for the next 24 hours, was a ticket for the following day and a determination to be well enough in time for it.  I've never made much of a secret of my love for smoked beer. From pre social me

Football and Pubs Part 2 - Ashton-Under-Lyne (Vs Brackley Town)

The more that I visit local towns for a few pints, the more I realise just how much reputations of these places have influenced other people over the years. There isn’t an area I can visit without a worried voice warning me of being attacked, bottled or assaulted in some way. I imagine this would be applicable to any area within 20 miles of Manchester that isn’t Alderley Edge. We are quite a prissy nation really, or certainly the country of Manchester is. One area that was never going to be immune to such criticism was Ashton-Under-Lyne . Another town in Tameside, following on from a visit to Mossley to begin with , Ashton could be considered the borough’s capital. It houses the only real shopping centre, the only real shopping precinct, the multi-screened cinema complex that dominates the area’s film-going public, the main hospital for miles and, of course, it has IKEA. On a personal level though, Ashton formed much of my underage drinking experiences, in the early no