Thursday, 2 July 2020

Favourite places to drink (part two)

In 1977 I spent a couple of months living in Cross Green, Leeds.

I think this is the house

Temple View Terrace, to be precise. In an unmodernised back-to-back. Which meant to get to the outside bog you had to walk out onto the street. Lovely in the winter. All a bit grim, really.

In compensation, there were plenty of pubs in Cross Green, most of them pretty good. If you liked Tetley's. It was one of the few areas in Leeds where the handpulls were never ripped out and replaced by electric pumps.

Handpulled Tetley's meant one thing: use of a univac (or economiser). That is, an apparatus which automatically recycled beer from the drip tray back into what was coming up from the cellar. You couldn't get the proper creamy head without slopping loads of beer over the top of the glass so a univac made sense.

Univacs were also the reason the handpulls were removed in the first place, after health inspectors ruled them unhygienic. Which I guess they were. It's just that Tetley's never tasted right served any other way. Not sure why they were allowed to reintroduce univacs.

Cross Green was absolute heaven for the drinker. As long as you were a fan of Tetley. There was I believe, one Bass pub. No idea what it was like because I never went in. Why would I? Bass XXXX was way inferior to Tetley's Mild. Which was what anyone sane was drinking. Most of the pubs had the beer in amazing condition. It literally threw itself down your throat.

Even after I'd moved away, we'd travel over to Cross Green every month or so for a pub crawl. The beer was really that good. And one of the biggest concentrations of pubs outside the city centre.

One of the closest pubs to my house, whose name I can't remember for the life of me, was a former Hemingways pub They were a tint brewery in East Leeds. When Tetley bought them in 1967 they owned just five pubs. Which was doubtless what Tetley were after.

It looks as if all the pubs have disappeared. The Cross Green Tavern is now an American diner. The wonderful little Spring Close Tavern is boarded up and derelict. Of the elegant 1930s Black Dog and Fisherman's Hut not a trace remains.

A sad-looking Spring Close

All very sad. Though it was when loving in Cross Green that I got to know the Cardigan Arms. My favourite Leeds pub of all. And that's still going strong.


Tim H said...

I'm related to the Hemingway brewing family, always being meaning to research into the brewery more. Did you ever drink their beer?

Ron Pattinson said...

Tim H,

no, I was born a few years too late for that. Would have loved to, though.

qq said...

Prospect Inn, Upper Accommodation Road maybe?

Ron Pattinson said...


I think this may have been it: