Sunday 15th March 2020, 4.50pm (day 3,125)
Somehow it seems to be a time to say hi to old friends. It’s been a while since Mr B appeared on here.
Having finally arrived, at least to some degree, winter sustains its grip. I was not in this pub (the Old Gate) at just after noon, I can assure you — but I took advantage of the shelter offered by its outside awnings as another revolting hail storm swept by. While there, I mused on what a too-literal interpretation of the sign might indicate: a dry world beyond the present one? Hmmm.
This picture is out of focus, yes — but it is as good a portrait as I can offer of this particular friend, on this day. I have had a run of portraits recently, but the weather is so crappy outside that it seems best to concentrate on things close to hand.
A night out, in the company of (for a change) Joe, who wanted to see one of his former schoolmates, Isaac Hughes-Dennis, perform his songs in the Fox & Goose pub. And well worth the walk it was. I am no great judger of musical talent (if I was, I’d be richer) but it has to be said that for a 17 year old he sure knows how to do his thing. Raw material still but he could make it. If he does, we in Hebden saw him first.
Stalybridge railway station’s buffet bar is perfectly preserved in its early 20th-century state, with no sense of tweeness or fakery: it is also provides the best beer for miles around. As a result of both these things it is locally, and perhaps even nationally, famous. You will not find a better pub at a railway station anywhere else that I know of.
Which means you can experience the best of Stalybridge without ever leaving platform 4 of its station, because it’s not really a place one wants to get to know better. Trust me.
Not the greatest photograph I know, but the year isn’t ending very excitingly. Nor can I raise a great deal of enthusiasm for the prospect of 2020, a year whose number bounces pleasantly off the tongue and once seemed fabulous and futuristic in the anticipation, but now promises stagnancy and a sort of darkness. I will do my best to keep documenting it (or my little part of it anyway) but there wasn’t much to see today.
Gaz is a Railway regular, and given enough time and my patience probably all who drink in there regularly have been, or will get, on here at some point. I like this shot, with the glasses behind. It does him justice I think; he’s a nice chap.