Monday, February 12, 2007

Mixing with the underclasses...

Took a trip to Salford yesterday, ostensibly to watch the rugby but also to take in some culture in the form of the excellent Lowry Centre on Salford Quays where a damn fine collection of the paintings of LS Lowry are displayed.

Had a quick half in the bar before hopping onthe tram to the rugby ground so didn't have time to view the paintings before the game and when we got back the effing gallery was shut, so bollacks to that then - we did get to see one painting which was outside the gallery so that was meagre recompense.

The Lowry picture (above) is "Waiting for the shop to open" and yes, Salford does still look like that.

But the title of this piece is nothing to do with Salford.

Mixing with the underclasses is what I did before we set off for Salford.

My travelling companion is in training for a very long running race that he is to compete in and needed to do a 20 mile run yesterday morning before we set off for sunny Manchester so as I travelled over to meet him he rang me to tell me he was running (haha, see what I did there) late, no problem thought I, I'll drop down into Bingley and have a coffee in one of the trendy cafe bars that exist everywhere in this country now.

Exist everywhere in this country except Bingley.

Bingley is fine for charity shops and travel agents, but trendy coffee bars it has none, in fact it has nothing of anything that opens at 11.30am on a Sunday morning.

Except the JD Weatherspoons pub.

Or as I came to know it, the JD Weatherspoons refuge for single men who dress like tramps and drag themselves out from under their saturday night hedgerow down to the JD Weatherspoon for a pint at 11.30am on a sunday morning, I've seen more sartorial elegance in a Salvation Army hostel.

The feckless wretchs who need alcohol and smoke at that time of a morning were packing out JD Weatherspoons, the air thick with smoke in what I thought was a no-smoking pub, shaking hands holding the first pints of the day furtively scanning the room for a recognisable face, eyes shifting around the room like a radar scanner, conversation at a minimum, the only desire being beer before noon, its an underclass of alcoholic need and JD Weatherspoon shamelessly cater for it.

I ordered a coffee and a blueberry muufin and tried to make it last for half an hour, I managed ten minutes and left, left the dregs of Bingley to spend the rest of their day drinking cheap lager and smoking knock-off eastern european cigarettes.

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