Thursday, 19 January 2012

Thirsty in Wigan, Hungry at Preston!

The 46 to Warrington is unusual in being operated by a publicly-owned bus company. Warrington Borough Transport is one of the few remaining council-owned bus companies out of almost 100 in existence before the 1986 Transport Act "encouraged" local authorities to privatise them. So I'm pleased to report it was exactly on time, clean and comfortable, with a smart and courteous driver and that it was well patronised. The route crosses the Weaver by swing-bridge twice - in Northwich and at Anderton, passes the southern portal of Barnton Tunnel (twice) and just allows a brief glimpse of the Anderton Lift as it climbs up from the river to the canal level at Anderton. Not only that, it also also crosses the Bridgewater Canal at Stockton Heath, the Manchester Ship Canal a bit further on and finally the River Mersey in Warrington itself.
Another quick connection at Warrington saw me in Wigan by 16.45. I'd intended to carry straight on to Preston on a 113, but I was distracted by this enticing sight at the entrance to the bus station.
The Anvil, Wigan. A welcome sight after six buses and eight hours on the road.
I didn't know it at the time, but the Anvil is in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide and serves an excellent pint (oh, all right then, two) of "All Black" Mild from the AllGates Brewery just around the corner. It doesn't serve food, however, so I was on the next bus to Preston, where I planned to eat. I'm not a big fan of Wetherspoon's pubs - too much like supermarket drinking, but at least you can rely on them for a decent (if unexceptional) pint and they always do food. Except they don't.  Tuesdays at 'spoons are Steak Nights, with special deals on steak and beer, but at 7.15pm, Preston's Wetherspoons at no real ale, no steak and precious little food of any sort. Thwaites' Lamb and Packet, just along Friargate had a board outside: "Food All Day" and menus on all the tables, but when I asked if they were serving food the barmaid giggled and said "No, Not Really!"
So with the next bus not for another hour, I gave up, hiked across to the railway station, got a train to Lancaster and ate in Lancaster's Wetherspoon's instead!

1 comment:

Martin said...

Title inspired by the "Daleman's Litany" perhaps?