Sunday, 11 September 2016

BRAPA - Padiham & Burnley

The 'cushion of controversy', Padiham (see below)
It was time for Hull City's annual visit to Burnley.  Seriously it doesn't matter whether or not we play in the EPL (spit!) or the Maidstone & Snodland District League Division 5, Burnley would still be in our division.

After a 17 minute bus journey, we were in Padiham.  It wasn't the sandstone hillside Pendle village I'd imagined in my mind's eye with a friendly witch stirring newt eyes into a cauldron, but just a busy road to Burnley with a bridge over a river, a few shops and random buildings on each side.  Still seems a strange place to have your hen-do, as my manager at work did.

Disturbed character waiting for pub to open.
The pub was off the main road, up a cobbled hill and we arrived dead on 12 noon to find the erstwhile Tom Irvin outside, soon joined by an old local at 12:01 anxious a late opening might stop his enjoyment of the Manchester derby.  Finally (well, 12:02), that happiest of all sounds as the door was unbolted from within......

Hare & Hounds, Padiham

The pub was suitably multi-roomed, dark and a tiny bit dingy despite the sunny morning - perfect!  A good range of local-ish ales were on (I tried the likes of Coach House, Worsthorne and Accrington's Clock) and Dad was swiftly admonished by the young barmaid for suggesting that a 7.3% stout was a  "bit strong".  She wasn't  joking.  I think this shows us that she isn't the kind of girl who'd fret about a sheep cushion being moved, but it didn't stop Tom trying to get me into trouble for moving it .... had I been 'barred' before my minimum 25 minute stay, there'd have been trouble!  As it was, she was looking for the remote control and with the Manchester derby on three screens, fresh beermats handed out to the customer's like a card game, and the smell of wet dog (lolloping at the bar) neutralised by cigarette smoke (it isn't 2007 in Padiham yet), the pub really started to swing into life.  When I say 'life', I mean the ever-so-slightly terrifying clientele.  Twilds who you wouldn't dare call twilds had mini mohawks and troubled stares, their parents all tattoos, fake tans, tracksuits and hooped earrings.  I didn't dare photograph them.  To ramp up the "local interest" element, someone on Twitter told me that this pub is known locally as the Stabbers Arms after the landlady's partner followed a customer home, stabbed him, customer then returned to pub (presumably for a last rites pint of 7.3% stout) where he died on the pub steps.  We speculated on whether anyone currently here might have been involved, and Dad whispered "they probably ALL have tags on and are out on day release".  After this story, there was no chance we weren't going to take part in the pub football team raffle (I chose Hull City & Hibs) but I haven't been contacted with my winnings yet.  Memorable pub!

After one of the more enjoyable 90 minutes at Turf Moor, I was walking away from the ground when I stumbled across this club looking like it was going to sell quality real ale, and despite a stern looking skinhead with folded arms outside the closed front door, I snuck in through a side door.

KSC 110 Club, Burnley

I suddenly had to set my expression from "94th minute equaliser euphoria" to "abject disappointment" as I saw the sullen faces of the Clarets packed into the room.  I revealed my Notsensibles band t-shirt (Burnley's finest early 80's irreverent punk band) and shook my head at a kind old man as if to say "HOW did we not hang on for victory?" and before I knew it, I was in the inner circle being served Reedley Hallows superb ales - easily my pint of the day and it'd be nice to think this club would get in the 2017 GBG when it is released on Thursday.  I perched on the end of the bar, a good way to see how ultra hard the army of staff were working and I don't think I've ever seen so many empties being returned to the bar in such a short space of time.  Robert Snodgrass did a lot for local beer industry yesterday.  I couldn't really move enough to leave the club (good excuse), so ended up staying for another where the kids and women started to disperse (the men said they were staying for just one more) and I finally got a seat for the last 10 minutes.

Back in the street, the football traffic had cleared and I had time to pop in to the Ministry of Ale for a final drink before the train back to York, via L**ds.  The Ministry was one of my original favourite real ale pubs, surprised it hasn't been in the GBG in recent years, and I was just starting to suspect a falling out with the local CAMRA (politics!) when on this occasion, my beer was rapidly descending into vinegar.  At least I got a nice chat with some stray Tigers.

So all in all, a pretty good day out and sat here 7:30pm on Sunday, still feel a bit hungover!  On Ripper Street this week, Drake asked Reid why on earth he'd leave his peaceful seaside town to return to the grime and seedy crime of 1890's Whitechapel?  "Because this is where life is!" and exactly why I'd take a million 'mild peril' pubs of East Lancs over a sanitised gastro buggy-friendly non-threatening place in South East London.

I'll be back in South Yorkshire tomorrow evening for more pre-emptive fun, and will write it up on Tuesday.  Have a good week and get down t'pub!



  1. You're clearly joking about KSC 110 Hip Hop Club being Beer Guide credible, so presume the Reedley Hallows being decent also meant as parody.

    I've just slagged off Burnley on my Halifax post, think I need to re-evaluate.

  2. "That's why I'd take a million 'mild peril' pubs of East Lancs over a sanitised gastro buggy-friendly non-threatening place in South East London."


  3. Funny how you only seem to see these scary people in pubs when there's a big match on.

    If that club gets in the GBG I'll go to the foot of our stairs!

  4. I plead not guilty to the charge of treason. As my own star witness, I wish to state, under oath, that the it I saw the barmaid looking as if she had lost something in the area where one of the goat cushions was situated. I immediately thought that she thought the one you had moved was missing, so I wanted to reassure her that it had only be innocently moved to a different bench. There was no intention of accusing any patron of theft of the said cushion.

    Have you made sure that your manager and the murder are unconnected?

    I didn't take part in the raffle name card thing. The whole thing will be rigged. Actually you're probably a good bet to win as you would be considered unlikely to go back and collect whatever the prize is.

    You should get your £30 back for the trip to Turf Moor. Trips to Pennine football grounds shouldn't be enjoyable. They should be miserable. There should be few if any positives. The football should be ugly. You should get pissing soaked through. The referee should be shite. You should be grateful that it isn't worse than it actually is. If none of that applies then you have been robbed. Well you were anyway, £30 is a disgrace.

    I would love there to be a proper south east London locals pub in the guide. I have high hopes of all the ones in Dulwich, I suspect they will be gentrified and I shall be disappointed.

    We hate Allam
    We hate Duffen
    They both steal
    They're made for us

    1. Tom - the proper locals pub near C.Palace is the Joiners Arms in South Norwood. Don't miss it if you do a non-football football day there. I hope it's in the Beer Guide.

    2. Tom, the panel has decided you are "not guilty". I cannot believe it. Is it a goat and not a sheep then? If so, third time I've made that mistake in a BRAPA pub!

      My manager wasn't in top chatty mood today so tomorow I need to tell her all about the Stabbers and see how she reacts.

      Definitely rigged. How many of these do I get conned by? Best was in Junction in Otley where you had to pull keys out of an envelope and even if you got the right keys, you then had to go through a second stage but no one had ever got that far. My manager lived in Otley. Pattern emerging.

      Ben asked how many games you thought you'd get in for under £30, you named two I think, perhaps 3. Am predicting zero but we will see.

      Martin, thanks for the Palace heads up. Almost makes me want to go but not sure I am! NFFD's are usually Lancastrian affairs (at the moment).

  5. Who is on the panel. Is it Bertie?

    There is a pub quiz in the Wheatsheaf Ember, Bargate, Grimsby, whereby if you win the quiz you have to go to the stairs and pick a box. There are about 10 boxes, each with differing contents, which you win. From memory, some of the boxes are empty, and all but one almost might as well be. That one used to roll over if (ie when) nobody won the jackpot. I can only remember one person ever actually winning. There is another quiz they run where the contestants get a bingo card, and the answers are read out in a random order, and you have to get the numbers on the card like a game of bingo. It is actually possibly to get all the answers correct and lose to a jammy git with more wrong than right. You may know begin to know why I hate that pub.

    I think Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion are likely to charge less than £27. I think Arsenal will charge exactly £27, which I should refuse but I am tempted to be lenient and accept the gesture of it not being the maximum allowed. There could well be a surprise, I'd like to think the likes of Sunderland and Bournemouth, maybe even West Ham United with their massive glorified new Withdean Stadium won't be rip off merchants, but sadly I don't think it likely. Given potential for television interference, assuming the robbing Egyptian bastards remain at the club I'll be pleased if I manager to attend one competitive first team game all season, plus perhaps 5 U18 matches. I have Arsenal recorded as a London NFFD, but I may appeal to the committee that we attend if the club do the decent thing.

    I think the non gentrified London pubs could be a threatened species, even if they stay in the guide post gentrification. If it isn't suitable for Palace, we could always do South Norwood for the Chelsea NFFD, which I have marked down on my paperwork as a London day.