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It therefore made a good venue for our latest Beer & Pubs Forum Proper Day Out.
It was a poignant thought that my last interaction on social media with the late Richard Coldwell had been discussing arrangements for this trip, which he hadn’t been able to fit in anyway.
Compared with many other towns and cities, Preston perhaps doesn’t make much of its river, and you could easily visit the centre without realising it had one at all.
However, our walk to the next pub took us along an attractive promenade on the northern bank of the Ribble through Miller and Avenham Parks.
Of four handpumps, the only one in use dispensed Marston’s EPA, a beer that seldom rises above lacklustre; on the reversed pumpclips were Cumberland Ale and two Rosie’s Pig fruit ciders.
Indeed, for the next three hours, England were averaging no less than three wickets per pub.
There were four beers on the bar, including Timothy Taylor’s Knowle Spring, White Rat, Bombardier and Reedley Hallows Beer O’Clock.
The Lancashire city of Preston is well-known for celebrating its Guild Festival every twenty years, and it occurred to me that the last time I had been drinking there was in fact nearly twenty-four years ago.
Back then, it still had numerous Thwaites pubs, and it wasn’t that long since the other major local independent brewer Matthew Brown had been taken over, but a great deal has changed on the pub scene in the intervening years, although one or two things refreshingly hadn’t.
We met up just after 11 am on the morning of Friday 23 August in the Old Vic, a large four-square pub conveniently situated right opposite the railway station.