On a trip to a venerable institution CAMRA finds no peers but many beers...
The Lord Raglan pub at Nangreaves near Bury is just as much a piece of English tradition as the palace of peers in far-off London, although somewhat harder to find. Travelling from north west, the first bit of the journey is straight forward enough, but once off the motorways and A-roads one encounters a bewildering array of unsignposted minor roads, with the journey culminating in an ear-popping ascent up a steep cobbled street. And suddenly, closer to heaven than their lordships are ever likely to get, there the pub lies, as welcoming and brightly lit as a galleon in a dark sea.
Twenty-eight Lunesdale CAMRA members and friends paid a visit recently to this public house dedicated to the old fashioned virtues of friendliness, efficient service and value for money. Oh, and exceedingly good beers. The Lord Raglan is home of the Leyden Brewery and has been run by the same family for fifty years. Tradition and continuity make themselves felt in the sprawling pub’s comfortable seating and décor, and in the atmosphere, which encourages conversation and doesn’t include bawling in competition with a juke box or live band.
The beers on offer, all kept in tip top condition, included several from the Leyden portfolio and other northern micros, including Pictish. The party enjoyed good food cooked by brewer Brendan Leyden, who, when his chef’s duties were over, took us on a tour of the brewery and provided a succinct, lively and informative commentary.
It was an evening to savour, and one that provided ample evidence that the great traditions of rear ale and hospitable real pubs remain strong and healthy today. Our thanks to the Leyden brothers for making our visit so enjoyable and to Cedric Morris in Nangreaves for his invaluable organisational role.