Monday 18 March 2013



Hebden Bridge, situated in the metropolitan borough of Calderdale, where Yorkshire and Lancashire merge, betwixt Halifax on the East and Rochdale on the West. A picturesque haven of yoghurt weaving bohemian tranquilty, where people travel by canalboat, sausages are made from quorn and where the men don't wash their hair and the women love eachother. Great! My kind of place and not everybody looked straight out of Chumbawamba either, which was an added bonus.

Bandit country ahead!

Moloko Plus...

Joking aside, I really enjoyed this place for a first visit, just two stops from Manchester's Victoria, but about five on the way back, it put me in mind of the great little towns and villages on the Transpennine Ale Trail, the old towns still thriving against the current climate. I do enjoy these kind of towns, the sort of place you aren't 100% sure what to expect, local towns for local people, walking into a pub could bring you bad 'Remember the Alamo...' vibes from weary locals, but it's all good.
It was great to see such a buzzing place. I stuck my Barbour camo on, and ill advisedly the lightest, most beige pair of suede shoes I had (Weavers) and took it to the very muddy Rochdale canal for a stroll.

CAMRA vibes.

'We were running around Hebden...'

The subject of a terrible flood just late last year, when the River Calder burst it's banks, you could see the effects in the first boozer we visited, The Fox and Goose, twinned with a Sacremento bar a long way away, notably the first on my ever reliable (and incredibly geeky) scrap of pubs to visit, paper. 
They soldier on here though, and a nice pint in a slightly larger than the norm pint glass went down a treat, despite the smell of dampy dirtyness. A proper pub.

This was superb, most town buskers are piss-poor indie kids or irritating mime artists, or just plain and simple mithering twats, this guy was a 'stone stacker', totally new to me but mightily impressive. It was hard to capture exactly what he was doing from the other side of the river, but it was a gravity defying greatness which was still standing a few hours later after dark. No special blue-tack, glues or nails, just pure brilliance and a fuck load of patience, I gave him a deserved shiney two pound coin.

Not imitation.

100% Pure Wool by Casual Godfather Phil Thornton - available soon at all good bookshops, and our shop too! Pale Ales and Sahara nuts sold separately!

After visiting as many pubs as we could, the drink soon kicked in and as dusk settled we started to ever so slightly stutter, so decided to bid the place farewell going back the way we originally came over the very sloppy Canal, treading carefully. 
All we needed now was some takeaway chips/hard drugs and the night was a good one. I liked Hebden Bridge, I'll be back again some day, probably. DC

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