YOU’VE NOT had one too many if faces behind the bar at The Railway pub in Greenfield look familiar…
But it’s a double worth raising to as it’s not often a village is book-ended by pubs run by the same people – in this case the Saddleworth Family Robinson.
But it was an obvious decision for Mel and Ann Robinson to add to their portfolio when landlady Paula Duddle and John Barnes pulled their last pints at the Shaw Hall Bank Road hostelry just before Christmas.
So, now Greenfield’s renowned Ale Trail and live music venue is in the same hands as mine hosts at the Clarence Hotel on Chew Valley Road.
Daughters Michelle and Pippa plus son Neil regularly take the 10-minute stroll between taverns to ensure the smooth running of their business ventures.
“Everyone locally knew Paula and John so we’ve got big boots to fill,” says Michelle. “But between us we will work really hard to make sure we do.
“We will keep the charm and magic that makes the Railway so special but with a few twists of our own.”
Ambitious plans for the historic pub include an end of year refurbishment, the starting up of Railway football and pool teams, introduction of eat-in or takeaway pizza service and ensuring the hills will always be alive with the sound of music.
That’s why, in addition to regular Thursday night live gigs plus jam nights on Friday and Saturday, Michelle, a prolific violinist and pianist, is “hoping to create an exciting new event” in the Spring.
“We want to thank all the musicians for their continued support and love of the Railway,” she said.
“There’s so much musical talent in Saddleworth and we want to give a chance to up-and-coming bands and singers to play their own music. So, the plan is for the Railway to have its own music festival.
“And we will be putting a piano in the lounge area during the week for anyone who fancies playing.”
Michelle is also contemplating the suggestion of Clarence regular and former frontman of Twisted Wheel, Jonny Brown, to hold a weekly night for vinyl junkies to play their favourite 33’s and 45’s.
And for thirsty enthusiasts visiting an establishment with a 15-year unbroken stint in the Good Beer Guide, Millstone Brewery’s Tiger Rut will take pride of place among a well-kept, good selection of cask ales.
The Robinsons, former landlords at the Bull’s Head on Ripponden Road, took over the Clarence in February 2014.
It has since gained a Certificate of Excellence two years in a row and is now rated 13th out of 237 Oldham pubs and restaurants on TripAdvisor.