Nine of us met at the Grey Horse on Saturday 30th June, at 09:00, for our much anticipated Trans-Pennine Pub Crawl. We wandered up to Kirkgate Railway Station for the 09:30 train to Huddersfield, where we were due to meet another four of our clan. We had to purchase our tickets on the train as quite unbelievably, Wakefield Kirkgate, despite being a mainline station, is unmanned (that is to change however as at long last, work is finally progressing to restore the lovely Grade 2 listed railway station to it's former glory, and not before time !!!).
We purchased a day return to Stalybridge, which allowed us to get on and off the train en-route (fairly essential for visiting all the pubs), for the princely sum of £13.70. We arrived at Huddersfield, met our other four members, and only had a short wait until the non-stop train to Stalybridge.
Whilst at Huddersfield, Sue dished out our name badges (you can tell she's a nursery school teacher, and we were all taking bets who would be on the naughty step first !!!!).
We arrived at Stalybridge at 10:45, where the pub was open for breakfasts, but not for alcoholic refreshment until 11:00. Our first port of call, the Station Buffet was a gem.
A Victorian buffet bar on the platform, crammed with railway memorabilia, and with plenty of excellent ales on offer.
We settled down with our first drink of the day and completed the first nine questions of the pub crawl quiz that Sue had set for us.
Before we knew it, we were on the train for our next stop, Mossley, and the Britannia Inn.
Not quite next to the station, but a mere stones throw away. We occupied the undercover outdoor seating area for our next pint, and the next round of the quiz. We were two pints in and we were already getting boisterous !!!!
Back on the train for stop No.3, Greenfield and the Railway Inn. We hit this one badly as it was rammed and it would have taken us an hour to get served. Instead, we went on the hunt for another pub, and as luck would have it, we stumbled across the Kingfisher.
This pub was more of a restaurant, which was quite perfect as by now it was lunch time and we were all quite peckish. For those who didn't fancy a cooked meal, there was a Tesco's next door for sandwiches .... Result !!!!
We picked a nice table outside, in what was then decent(ish) weather, just had time to do round 3 of the quiz, and just before the food arrived, the heavens opened, so a quick dash inside before we got well and truly soaked.
Following a bite to eat and a pint of Sunbeam, we rejoined the other half of our intrepid explorers and returned to the Railway Inn, which by this point was far less busy.
A pint here, then back onto the train and our next stop, the er, Railway, at Marsden.
There are actually a few pubs to choose from at this stop, so we tactically watched where most of the crowds went, and chose the least busy pub, which just happened to be The Railway, smack next to the station. Time then for more quiz questions to accompany yet another pint of delicious foaming ale.
As the day was progressing, the trains, and pubs, were getting progressively more packed, so we were rather glad we had made such an early start of it, and (theoretically), were ahead of the worst of the big crowds heading Eastbound (the theory fell flat of course, as lots of people were also heading Westbound on the same crawl, so you bumped into them in the same pubs).
By now we were getting used to being on first name terms with the bar staff, courtesy of our little name badges.
Back on the train after our pint in the Railway and we (re)discovered Lorna's fetish for men in uniform as she chatted up the policeman (and not for the first time in the day as well, we hasten to add !!!!).
Next stop on our alcoholic adventure was Slaithwaite. No pubs here meet the strict criteria of being on or next to the station, but we headed for the Swan, on the advice of a local, which was a mere 5 minute walk.
Not a particularly picturesque public hostelry, but the choice of beer more than made up for the surroundings. A much shorter route back to the railway station, which was packed, then onto the train to Huddersfield, and the Kings Head.
We avoided the nearby Head of Steam as a rather boisterous stag party headed into there just before us (when they are more boisterous than us, you just know how loud they were !!!!). A pint in the Kings Head, then we made our way home, with a few staying in Huddersfield to go for a curry. The original intention was to continue onto Dewsbury, but most of us were far too knackered by this point, as it had been a rather long (but immensely enjoyable) day.
We arrived back in Wakefield ten and a half hours after leaving that morning. Another fantastic Wakefield MAG event and a huge thanks to Sue and Lorna of our Social Committee for organising it. Everyone we met was in excellent high spirits and all were having a laugh with each other, especially as you kept meeting the same faces all throughout the day.
We most definitely will be repeating this event later in the year. Highly recommended so try not to miss it !!!!