Sunday 3rd December 2017, 5.00pm (day 2,292)
Not an eventful day today (and don’t expect one tomorrow, either). It was either this pic of Gareth having a fag or some okra. The okra were cute, but let’s go with Gareth.
Joe’s first appearance on this blog was on its 9th day, September 3rd 2011, in which he was pictured in this room doing much the same thing as here, drinking a fruit juice (always still — Joe doesn’t do fizzy drinks). He — and the room — look somewhat different now, 2,094 days later.
I should count up how many photos out of the 2,094 published so far have been taken in or around the Railway Inn, Hebden Bridge. I imagine it must be pushing three figures by now, making the rate one every two or three weeks on average — and that allowing for the two long hiatuses caused by the floods, with it having been closed for the second half of 2012 and pretty much all of 2016. For ten years from about 2005 this was the only pub in Hebden Bridge I drank in (ever) — more recently I have diversified a little, but in the end this is still ‘my local’. Long life and good health to it and all who drink there.
As March becomes April and it turns into spring, it’s nice to be able to sit outside the Railway, in reasonable warmth and evening sunlight, for the first time in about a year and a half. John: meet the blog. Followers of the blog: meet John.
The Railway pub was shut for nearly a year after being mostly destroyed in the flood of 26th December 2015. It has reopened in what feels like a few separate stages; the latest arriving today, when seating finally made a reappearance out at the front. Matt enjoys this fresh luxury, while trying not to mark his coat on the wet paint of the new battleship grey facade.
I did say there was going to be little to get excited about this weekend (or for the next few days, come to that). In fact this picture is taken in the same place as yesterday’s. Warmth like this was much needed today, a grey, chilly day. About that point in the winter where you really start getting fed up with it.
It’s nice to travel, but it’s also nice to come home. So the family can feature on the blog for the first time for a while (as a duo, anyway). Not much is going to happen in the next few days, and it doesn’t look like we can expect the sun out, so I foresee more of this kind of thing.
We approach the anniversary of last year’s floods on December 26th, which took out most of Hebden Bridge’s town centre. Prior to that, this place, the Railway pub, had probably featured at least once a month for the four and a half years I’d been doing it, so say about 50 times…. But none since 22/12/15. I think this has been the last of all the businesses in the town to reopen after that day, but here you are…. One year to the day since last we drank there. Welcome back.
Since the Boxing Day floods took out 95% of the town centre four months ago, five of Hebden Bridge’s pubs have reopened: the White Lion (which never shut), the Old Gate, the Crown, the Trades Club and the Fox and Goose. However, this leaves seven that remain closed: the White Swan, the Shoulder of Mutton, Nelson’s, the Sports & Social, Stubbing Wharf, the Albert and the one that I and many friends feel most keenly, the Railway. Martin and Shelley, pictured here, are members of the Railway diaspora, drinkers in exile (in this case in the Old Gate). Perhaps we will all return home some time soon but to be honest at the moment there is little sign of it.