My Love of Holt’s Pubs

Subtitle: Oh great, if my grammar wasn’t bad enough I’m going to struggle with possessive apostrophes.

Search Holt’s Pubs

Only 12 Holt’s pubs are Cask Marque apparently.  Good, ignoring those chancers is one of my fanciful whimsies I get when I go drinking.

I don’t treat Holt’s pubs the way that some would a Hard Rock Cafe, then again if each pub did their own pin badge then I might consider the pilgrimage to every one, I’ve already got their “bee glass” and my Untappd history seems to suggest I’ve had every beer they’ve done (give or take).  Make it happen Joey.

Now I can’t say I’ve been in a vast range of Holt’s pubs and as my previous post alluded to, the city centre pubs, like The Old Monkey and Ape and Apple just don’t do it for me, not because of the pub itself but because of the location.

If you want a list of my main visitations then it would be:

Tamar (Leigh), Mort Arms (Tyldesley), Atherton Arms (er, Atherton, pronounced a-THE-er-tun), Cart & Horses (Astley), Rosehill Tavern (Daisy Hill), Edington Arms (Hindley), The Crown (Horwich) and a few others more out of the way (i.e. not a simple bus/train ride).

I used to go in The Park in Monton, replete with fish tank and bench seating.  Then they gutted it and made it a mimic of the micro bars that sprung up in “the new Chorlton,” way back when every little enclave just outside of Manchester was “the new Chorlton.”

Now I could bang on about another of my whimsy annoyances which is purely of Holt’s own making and that is their pricing.

They are cheap as chips across the board for all their wares but don’t expect a menu saying 4.5 or 3.0 as a price guide, just some well trained bar monkey going £2.57 or £9.52 all together.

Yep, you’ll be coming home with pockets bulging of coppers to stick in your empty, over sized Bell’s whisky bottle.  Unless you wish to tip the weird amounts “no, you keep the 8p, luv.”

The beer isn’t half bad either but this isn’t about the beer it is about the pubs. “Always a warm and friendly welcome;” carpets, except around the bar area, strategic coat hooks (or full on hangers/stands), bench seating, the right temperature, nice toilets, very well trained staff, TVs at the right volume that can still be easily ignored if need be, cubbyholes, etched glass, etc.

You get the picture.

To conclude this post, I’ll finish with two quotes which sum up with brevity what I’ve drawn out to pass the time; one from Martin:


Sam Smiths pubs most easily convey that sense of peace and contentment that justify getting out of your sofa to visit pubs…”

Except at Holt’s you can still use your electronic devices, should you so wish.

The second from my mum:

“If you’re old and can’t afford the heating, just go and sit in the Athy Arms.  You wouldn’t really have to buy anything and you’ll be as alone or as talkative as you want.”


Thanks for reading.

9 thoughts on “My Love of Holt’s Pubs

    • Yes, places like the Fiveways, Platform 5 and the Girffin (Heald Green) are now a long way from the Holts pubs of yore, with prices to match. And the traditional Griffin in Heaton Mersey is now a shadow of its former self and often very quiet.

      Neither are they the stonking bargain they used to be. For that – and the old-style Holts atmosphere – you’ll be better off in a Sam’s pub nowadays.

  1. I have been to The Crown in Horwich although I imagine I might not have bought anything in there as I ended up watching all the Morris Dancers in their car park at the end of their annual parade.

      • From my study of Morris dancing very few do this anymore although many paint their faces many different colours (with much skill and artistry) to make the “black face” less of an issue, in my mind, although it is still a divisive issue and a FB Morris group I follow is presently tearing itself apart on that issue. But the answer to your question is definitely yes.

        The Britannia Coconut Dancers (folk dancers, not Morris dancers, of Bacup) holds onto that tradition and “tradition” is the word I’d underline as their costume involves a kilt, a strange hat, and the nuts which they bash. There’s even one guy (a whipper in) with a whip which I was disappointed to learn wasn’t to control the crowd. Nothing much of it makes sense but it is what it is. Also seeing them in situ that year on their home turn, doing their annual boundary dance, they are also rather magical. Bacup is an odd isolated (Brexity) type of place which I postulate is necessary for such traditions to form and survive to become discovered by wider society. I would say it’s very white there, their own FB account is very UKIP, but I detected no racist vibes at all about that day. There was even one celebrity none-white person there that day (who I won’t name, obviously) and he seemed to be enjoying it.

        You need to look up pictures, and the grease paint they use makes them look very SAS combat mission (helped by the fact that the lead guy then looked the spitting imagine of Daniel Craig), but whilst I thought the notion of their makeup not a race issue that day in Horwich there were some hicks who turned up and were startled by them and had an argument amongst themselves about whether they were black men. So there is always going to be different opinions.

        My own local folk group I’ve discovered are a mumming group called Pace Eggers. One of the few surviving (just about) groups of Pace Eggers. They still black their face, as was the traditional disguise to go unrecognised in the community, with a coal dust effect. A very different look and I am 100% behind this even though it’s clearly still an issue to some. In many cases, I believe, the baby is being thrown out with the bath water.

        • I’ve seen the face painted ones in Wigan, they look like giant crows if anything.

          We do live in times where a picture of people fresh up from the coal mines can lead to accusations of racism. Its a minefield.

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