The Valley – Collyhurst

Glendower Dr, Manchester, Greater Manchester M40 7TD

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The Vine – became The Valley.

A pub by the River Irk, on the edge of an estate.

The Valley it seems ran dry, there was little or nothing to be said:

“When I visited this pub it was called The Vine, this pub is on an estate that seemed fairly quiet when I went here. This pub is a typical estate type pub with a bar and smarter lounge I had a drink in the bar and this was a decent enough room to have a drink in.

This pub used to be a Boddingtons tied house and there was only one real ale on the bar this was Boddingtons bitter and this was a decent enough drink.

This was one of the better pubs I have visited in collyhurst.”

Somebody was dead:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/stabbed-man-dies-after-pub-888756

The doors closed.

 

Wednesday 4th April 2017 and The Valley has returned once again as The Vine, new manager, a fresh coat of paint, very much open for business.

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The Clarendon – Collyhurst

27 Pinehurst Rd, Manchester, M40 8QB

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I’m turning a corner.

I’m turning a corner in my life, I’m turning a corner.

Into Pinehurst Road.

The Clarendon is a shock and a pleasant surprise, an open elevation of slabbed precast concrete, exterior steel spiral staircase attached.

A central residential block, with single storey lounge and bar extensions, surrounded by sufficient space to circumnavigate, marvel and snap with consummate ease.

Laura the current tenant comes out to chat, she’d worked there for some eighteen years, and when the pub fell empty just before Christmas, she decided to take it on. Determined to maintain continuity for a community pub which she, and hopefully others valued.

Never an easy undertaking.

We went inside, a clean orderly and cared for interior, warmed by a single Calor Gas heater.

“It’s too dear to put the heating on all the time.”

Good luck Laura.

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The Queens Hotel – Collyhurst

Sedgeford Rd, Manchester, Lancashire M40 8QU

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Geologists use the term Collyhurst Sandstone for the soft red sandstone, which occurs in North West England. It is a sedimentary rock, created from desert sands blown into dune formations during the Early Permian period, when the area was within the desert belts to the north of the equator. The rock is not very resistant to weathering and erosion and disintegrates relatively quickly.

Historically Collyhurst provided much of the stone which built Manchester.

The Collyhurst Quarry is now gone, landscaped and badged as Sandhills, something of a misplaced, forlorn inner-city country park.

The area is literally built on shifting sands, walking the streets on a Wednesday in deep Winter, one can’t help but be minded of those wind blown Permian deserts.

Collyhurst was once at the very centre of industrial Manchester.

Large tracts of social housing were built in the area, for a workforce that fuelled and fed that City’s steady beating heart.

That industry and heart are now elsewhere, the Sixties estates and their inhabitants however, prevail – the pubs that prospered during the good times are just about hanging on.

The Queens, brick and concrete palace, boasting an Alan Bosyon mural, and bold, modernist, rectangular volumes on an expansive site.

Stop look and listen, to the wind.

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The White Horse – Eccles

110 Gilda Brook Road, Eccles, Salford M30 0DX

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This was a pub, now it isn’t.

This is a pub with history.

Beverly Callard her story:

A make believe Coronation Street Rover’s Liz MacDonald, in a real life bar.

Situated at the head of a seriously urban dual- carriageway, hard by a motorway roundabout, a quintessential Sixties Boozer. Pale brick two-storey heart, with lower level lounge extensions.

Once a Robinson’s house, now like so many of their estate, divested of lustrous gold branding, festooned in the Sainsbury’s Local colours of burgundy and orange.

Their orange is a mix of two Pantones – 60% Pantone 021 and 40% Pantone 804.

They seem less forthcoming about their background shade of red.

Things didn’t work out for Bev – as the Manchester Evening News, so sympathetically reported.

“Bev Callard took over the pub in 2005 and later bought the Gallery in Hale Barns.

But she was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2008 after the pubs went bust leaving the couple with debts of £150,000.”

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/eccles-pub-white-horse-once-6836584

Subsequent tenant Bernadette Harvieu fared little better, she took over the pub after winning £250,000 with a National Lottery scratch card, however –

“I couldn’t afford the prices Robinsons were charging for their beer and brought in beer so they have told us to leave.”

The Queens Arms – Audenshaw

Guide Lane, Audenshaw, Manchester M34 5FF

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A survivor – The Queens.

Despite the addition of several porches, pergolas, hanging baskets and assorted picnic tables, its solid brick two storey soul, and lower level bar areas, remain intact – unrendered and unwhitewashed.

The northern elevation clearly retains some sense of its original self.

Branded now as “Manchester’s Finest Carvery” – it was busy on my early afternoon visit, gaggles of grey-pound clutching customers spilling out of serviceable saloons, coupés and shooting-brakes, into the waiting warmth, of this timeless temple to heated meats.

“Never fails in giving excellent food at reasonable prices. The vegatables for the carvery are kept in hot water so the do not go hard and dry from standing under hot lamps. The roast potatoes are devine. Give this restaurant a try.”

I went in once – once upon a time.

Dog and Partridge – Heaton Mersey

Didsbury Road, Stockport, Cheshire SK4 3AG

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Just down the road from my home on Didsbury Road, stands a pub on Didsbury Road.

The Dog and Partridge once an estate pub, clean lines, bare brick, fur coat no curtains.

You know the score.

Over time a boozer gets ideas about itself, ends up getting rendered and whitewashed by the Brewery’s guileless gentrifiers, who possess the unwholesome taste of a past their sell by date bag of pound shop crisps.

Not satisfied with the Farrow and Ballisation of our culture, we now have to contend with the Argosifiers too.

Where will it all end?

I’ve never been in, thieves have though!

A masked gang were frightened off from a Stockport pub by the landlord and landlady. 

Officers describe the gang as wearing dark clothes and balaclavas and carrying large knives.

Detective Sergeant Geoffrey Machent said: “The landlord and landlady were understandably shocked to be confronted by these three intruders in balaclavas. Thankfully neither of them was hurt, but we want to stop these men from doing this again.”

The Peaks Hotel – Ashton Under Lyne

Gorsey Lane, Hazlehurst, Ashton u Lyne OL6 9AU

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The land beyond beyond – where Greater Manchester almost, but not quite, gives up.

But not quite.

Quiet.

On the edge of the Pennines, high atop an almost hill – stands the appropriately named Peaks Hotel.

A boozer I knew as a lad, an ever open off licence serving cider to miscreants, who thought nothing of jumping their fence, to steal empty bottles, exchanged for pence, from the very place whence they came.

A boozer I knew when older for an evening pint with my Mam and Dad, waiter service from the ever efficient tall and slim, white coated Les – complete with free and easy organ accompaniment.

Drinking undrinkably fizzy glasses of Toby light and Brew X.

Now white faced, blank eyed and alone it stands with its back to Hartshead Pike.

A proud brooding building.

Useless.