Sunday, 22 May 2011

Staggering around Shaw Heath

There’s more of my deathless prose in the May edition of Opening Times – see Page 7 for my write-up of the Shaw Heath and Higher Hillgate Stagger. Sadly the licensee of the Plough passed away between doing the crawl and the publication date. In hindsight, I probably should have mentioned the fake but appealing coal fire in his pub.

The piece on the closure of the Woodman in Hazel Grove by Mike Wilson on Page 9 is also well worth reading, making the point that even if a pub seems “no great loss” now it may well have seen better days in the past, and it marks the disappearance of another part of our heritage and traditions:
The Woodman was the sort of pub you could easily wander into on your own, order a truly excellent pint and then chat to the locals. As corny as it sounds, there was often some extemporore singing in the snug, aided and abetted by Bertha and Jenny who sat conveniently close to the snug's serving hatch, thus ensuring a ready supply of free drinks as new customers arrived. At one point an argument broke out between Bertha and Jenny and they were never reconciled to my knowledge, with the result that Jenny then took residence in the other front room - but this wasn't nearly as effective for her supply of free drinks, no longer being visible from the main bar.

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