Ale Trail 2017

Annual pilgrimage

The annual city of Liverpool Rotary Club Pennine Ale Trail got off to an earlier than usual start this year to accommodate the Lions succumbing to the All Blacks over a hearty breakfast at the Crown. Fortunately, or perhaps not, our train was slightly delayed so we got to watch to the bitter (see what I did there?) end. All aboard at Lime Street, first stop the Station Buffet Bar at Stalybridge station which was absolutely ‘rammed’; having made it to the bar, halves were the order of the day in order to make the next train – quite surprising how many halves you can get through under time constraints! Next stop the Railway Inn at Greenfield – a relatively small pub but with a decent selection, so a couple here, then onwards to the Riverhead Brewery Tap at Marsden and lunch. They brew their own here & pretty damned good they are too. Lunch is invariably pie of some description with chips / mash. Post-lunch, (self-appointed?) Sergeant-at-arms Kershaw PHF held court administering forfeits for various misdemeanors ranging from not wearing Rotary polo shirts to being on the phone instead of drinking - £39 raised for the charity account! We also got a whistle-stop tour of the micro-brewery before departing. It’s usually post-lunch that things start to go pear-shaped & this year was no different; president Alison had to leave early as she had a party to attend, & Steve & Dot did the sensible thing & called it a day. The rest of us headed out to Slaithwaite & the Shoulder of Mutton, which is probably the longest walk from station to pub on the trail. Once done, PPs / PHFs Connolly, Kellaway & Kershaw opted for the correct platform to head back to Stalybridge whilst the rest of us didn’t… & missed the train by a matter of seconds once we’d realized. Most remained on the platform, but a couple of ‘troopers’ headed back into the village for a quick one in between trains. Got back just in time for the train & back to Stalybridge to be re-united. Just about time for a quick one before the final leg back to Lime Street. Until next year…