More properly known as Stan's Birthday Do
(Thanks for organising it again, Stan, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) this is another leisurely visit to a few pubs and a good chance to meet up with former colleagues many of whom I hadn't seen since, er, the Woolton Pub Crawl last week.
So, on a warm and intermittently sunny Saturday afternoon, we started in the imposing building which is the Patten Arms Hotel, conveniently located next to Bank Quay station. When I first attended this do, back in 2002, the interior was decidedly threadbare and tatty, but more recently it was given an excellent refurbishment and has been well looked after since then. It's primarily a residential hotel, but we convene in the wood-panelled lounge bar. No real ale so a pint of yellow fizz had to suffice.
On towards the town centre and the White Hart, another real-ale-less venue unfortunately, although they did have a couple of hand pumps. A rather good, totally fake, wood panelled interior in here.
Number three is the Barley Mow, slap bang in the centre of Warrington. We were a little concerned that the market square was occupied by a large stage for the Warrington Music Festival, but luckily the speakers were facing away from the pub, which didn't seem any busier than on previous years. Unfortunately the festival meant we had to have plastic glasses for our excellent pints of something from Robinson's. Dating back to the sixteenth century the pub appears somewhat out of place surrounded by much more modern buildings.
Wetherspoon's Looking Glass was previously a Yates' Wine Lodge. On one of the previous trips I asked the young barmaid in Yates' for an Aussie White and she hadn't heard of it, which made me feel rather old.
The balcony (Mostly obscured by the tree in this picture.) was pleasant in the warm weather.
Next, just round the corner to Porter's Ale House, a small multi-roomed pub which always looks a little scruffy to me. The first pints we were served were severely off, so they were quickly replaced with something different. I was pleased to see the pump clip for the offending beer was immediately turned round, it always annoys me when they apologise for the off beer and then try and sell it to the next mug to come in.
Our final destination was the other Wetherspoon's, the Friar Penketh, for a last drink.
One of the unusual traditional features of this annual event is the early finish due to the last train home being at twenty past seven, so it was soon time to head back to Bank Quay Station. As always, an enjoyable day out - See you next year.
P.S. Some of the pictures above were taken in previous years.
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