Comments From The Cosmos


Slow pub crawl


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These are some of the comments that spaceman has received, with the latest first.  Please continue to email spaceman with your comments, suggestions, etc.

"Hello spaceman, I wondered if you knew of anyone with a good knowledge of Manchester who could show me round the best spots.  I've been there twice this summer and just seem to end up in Night & Day or Matt & Freds [sic].  Preferably someone who likes a drink.  I'd be willing to foot the bill - I'm kind of looking for a drinking buddy/guide for 3 days - December 30th until January 2nd.  I enjoyed your website - very amusing!!  This is a sincere request.  Regards." - Martin Jackman

spaceman responds: "Um, thanks but no thanks."

"Love the cheese-on-toast instruction manual, spaceman - useful and funny at the same time!" - Adam, 26/11/07

spaceman responds: "Thanks man."

"Thank you.  For many years I have been telling out of towners (non-Mancs) about the many great (and not so great) pubs in Manchester Centre.  Finally now I have the proof.  I have frequented many of these Hostelries and would have to say that your opinion is correct at least 99.9% of the time.  It was a dirty thankless task but somebody had to do it.  If you need an assistant Researcher (unpaid of course) give me a shout.  Top job well done.” – Mike W, 24/8/07

spaceman responds: “Thanks Mike – nice to know it's appreciated.  Feel free to submit your own pub review and I will publish it on the website.  It was a dirty, thankless task, but there are many worse things to do in life!”


Hello, I enjoyed going thru most of your website, it's refreshing to see someone who has eating, drinking, and having a good time as priorities.  My girlfriend is from Fleetwood, but has been in the states (Texas, USA) for the last many years, and I'm coming there (with her) to meet my future mother-in-law in about 10 days.  She likes curry dishes, and I like spicy (jalapeno-hot), and I like drinkin’ (lighter beers like Red Stripe, Sol).  And if I can get it on the cheap, I love seafood, excluding oysters or crabs.  I dunno squat about England, I'm just a poor country boy, I can't do fancy or expensive, it just ain't us (we're also 40-50'ish in age).  So where can we go to eat and have a few drinks and not spend a ton of money?  The woman says eat in pubs, but if pubs are like the bars are in Texas, they aren't all created equal, know what I mean?  [Er, not really.]  If you wanna know anything about Tex-Mex, grilling, smokin’, pit (in-ground) cooking, I do know how to cook, ask away – as far as drinkin’, you got that under control, bottle to mouth, raise arm, duh.  And my name is Scott.  Have a wonderful day (you could be in Texas where it's 90 degrees already).” – Scott, Texas, 6/6/07

spaceman responds: “Cheap, spicy food sounds like Rusholme (south of Manchester), where there are nearly 50 curry houses in a mile stretch of road.  For seafood, there's Livebait on Albert Square in the centre of Manchester.  As for places near Fleetwood, I'm not sure!  Good to know that all reaches of the world are visiting the Melon Farm.”


Hi spaceman.  Hope you are keeping well.  Just a lone to point out that the reciprocated link you have to my website under your "Favourite Links" section is now a little out of date and still carries an old title " 'Manchester 2003' Guide".  Can you please update?  The website has actually been known as "Manchester UK" for several years now, and I'd appreciate it if you could amend your entry to reflect this.  The actually URL is the same.  Keep up the good work.  Best regards.” – John, 5/5/07

spaceman responds: “I'm doing fine thanks.  I have perhaps neglected my website for a few months and apologies for having an incorrect link.  Consider it updated - I used the opportunity to update the wording on the front page, which was woefully out of date.  Given that I think you are heavily responsible for my website leaping up the search engines (when you kindly put a link on your site), I am only too happy to make such changes!”


“I write with reference to your pub guide, and the fact that my pub, as yet, does not appear to have been covered for said guide.  Having read your slow pub crawl, and seen the not exactly glowing remarks made with reference to my pub in that, I wish to extend an invitation to you to come and give the place another try.  My pub is the Castle Hotel on Oldham Street in Manchester, and your pub crawl entry was as follows [recounted in email].  I note that it was some time ago when you visited the pub [four years or so], and wish to point out that there have been some changes since then.

The pub is now, amongst other things, a little smarter than it has been for many years. Some things have yet to be changed, as I am waiting for the smoking ban to come in before I install new seating and carpets, as I don't see the point in doing it now and have to do it again in a few months, as obviously most of the furniture has extensive smoke damage from approximately 240 years of people smoking in the venue!  The pub is also now a music venue, with regular gigs taking place, usually with 3 or 4 bands playing on a night and admission to all gigs is free of charge.  More information on this can be found at

The pub is also Wifi enabled, which allows people to lap-tops in the bar for free, and we are working on setting things up so that we can broadcast all of our gigs LIVE as video streams on the web-site.  The customers, certainly the regular ones anyway, are the friendliest people you could meet, and will make an effort to make anybody feel welcome. If you're at the bar and want to talk, there is always someone to talk to on any subject. If you prefer to keep yourself to yourself, this is also not a problem as people will not bother you in general.  The room that you sat in on your last visit now has bookshelves set up, with books that have been donated by the widow of a customer who died last year.

All in all, every effort is being made in the coming months to make the pub much more welcoming than it may have appeared in the past, although as I am tied to a small brewery as opposed to a big multi-national corporation, these things take time as finances are restricted. 

I feel that if you were to pay another visit to the pub you would leave with a more favourable assessment of the place than you apparently gained on your last visit, and am always open to suggestions for improvements by customers if approached in a respectful manner and the ideas are reasonable.” – Damien Smethurst, Licensee, 19/2/07

spaceman responds: “That is one hell of an email to which spaceman never actually replied (how rude).  Barney thinks that it is quite sweet and observes that Damien is obviously making an effort and cares about the place, before suggesting that we go back because he won’t know who we are.  Perhaps it can be an inspiration for our next pub stagger evening (whenever that might be) – Day 6: Storm The Castle, or something.”


“Dear spaceman.  I hope you can help.  Do you know what the pub was called, that became Bar 10, and is now Prohibition - next to Kendals?” – Andy, 16/1/07

spaceman responds: “Possibly Bar Coast barney reckons.  That certainly rings a bell.”

Andy responds: “That's right – it was Bar Coast before becoming Prohibition, but before it was Prohibition, I think it had more of an Irish name (could be wrong).  It was a pub, rather than being a bar.”

spaceman further responds: “Well, in between Bar Coast and Prohibition it was Bar 10, that spaceman does know.”


"Hi spaceman.  I'm doing an A-to-Z pubcrawl around town on Saturday for my birthday and all I was missing was an I (because the Ibis doesn't count), but now thanks to your site I have found 'If bar'.  I'm also going to print off your list just incase any places aren't open.  Thanks again.” – Jamie B, 8/11/06

spaceman responds: “And you'll presumably have found that If Bar is one of those that has closed (see the Definitive Manchester Pub A to Z).  Did you try the Ibis Hotel Bar instead?

Jamie B responds: “We went to O'Sheas and put it down as an Irish bar instead, slight bit of cheating but it was the only way to get it done.” - 28/11/06


"Hi spaceman!  I've currently been looking through the site for 3 hours, and I think you have achieved the greatest achievement since the invention of cheese on toast (recipe for which was also amazing).  I have to say, though, I've lived in Manchester for all my life and cannot even claim to have been to half the pubs on the list.  But I'm now inspired to do so...  So my friend and I are going to attempt the same feat but at an even slower pace!  We will keep you posted on our progress!  Cheers." - GT, 3/7/06

spaceman responds: "At a slower pace than our pub crawl?  That is going to be some achievement given that it took us 2 and a half years!  Because of the constantly changing face of the Manchester pub scene, you will probably never finish, but that's no bad thing.  It will be interesting to hear of your progress.  Happy drinking!" ... and later... "Did you every do your super slow pub crawl?"

GT responds: "Yeah, well of sorts, we started and it's been a hard couple of months, and we've managed on average about 3 official days of drinking in the establishments, but about another 30 undocumented ones!  Need to pace myself I reckon.  But at this rate it will be 2011 before we finish based up on the current progress." - 10/10/07


"Just wanted to say that I had happened upon your site from a search engine and have spent most of the evening engrossed in reading your reviews of the pubs on your slow pub crawl in Manchester.  I notice that there are no reviews for a while, have you given up or had liver trouble?  Only joking... great website, please keep it going." - Martin (22/6/06)

spaceman responds: "The pub crawl has more or less finished now, although barney and spaceman are always on the look-out for new bars to possibly take in a reprise pub crawl day.  The new project is the Manchester Pub Stagger (see below).  Unfortunately, spaceman is a bit lazy and Day 2 is taking a while to be updated on the website."


"Loved the Tipsy 100 index; came across it while filling in the latest pension application and practically had to gag myself as in office." - Kevin (5/4/06)

spaceman responds: "Wow, it had been a long time since spaceman had checked out the Tipsy 100.  Maybe it's age (it is), but spaceman doesn't quite drink quite as much these days.  The amount of socialising done was crazy!  Ah, those halcyon days."


"Hi.  Came across your website by Googling for "Mumbo", the former tea bar near King Street, and discovered your interesting Slow Pub Crawl and Curry House reviews.  Although I live in Holland, I lived in Manchester for 3 years (1999 to 2001) so I'm very interested in reading about new developments regarding this subject.  Last month I was back for the first time in 4 years, and hopefully will be back again more frequently in the future.  Keep up the good work!" - Ari, Holland (7/3/06)

spaceman responds: "Thanks for checking out the website.  The next project is the Manchester Pub Stagger, whereby barney and I diarise nights out to a handful of pubs (a lot less than 8 or 9 basically), whilst taking a few photos and getting information for the Manchester Pub Guide.  It will be off and running in April hopefully.  Good to see there is a European following too!"


"Dear spaceman, I really enjoyed reading about your slow pub crawl exploits.  I was a denizen of Manchester for 5 years (1998 to 2003) and miss it dearly.  I was pleased to note that you also enjoy Cord and Night & Day as these are my favourite establishments in the city.  Being of the unfortunate "Southern" persuasion, I found your pub diary extremely useful for filling me in on all the pubs I passed over - i.e. those I was too scared to go in!  As for my suggestion on where to go next - I am not sure if it lies within the crawl catchment zone, but have you tried Arch Bar on Hulme Walk?  It is an interesting looking building and attracts a real mish-mash of people.  Keep up the good work, spaceman.  Regards" - Ben, aka the West Country Ninja (1/11/05)

spaceman responds: "Alas, it is just out of our reach, being on the wrong side of the Mancunian Way, but thanks for the info."


"Alright spaceman!  Had a read of the slow pub crawl site - very enjoyable.  I found it when doing a Google search for "A-Z pubs Manchester", because as you've probably noticed [from the attachment], I'm planning such a pub crawl for a friend's stag day/night in December.  I've attached the proposed itinerary for your perusal if you'd like.  Any comments or words of advice would be more than welcome.  The plan is to start between 1 and 2 on a Saturday afternoon in Atlas.  Move around in groups of 5 or 6, staggered by about 5 minutes in between.  Alphabetical order (with maybe a couple of exceptions, probably go T-X-U-V), half in each, probably of the house bitter, but this is open to variations depending on pub/brewery.  Sounds possible on paper, just about.  Thought an oracle of drinking such as yourself might be able to provide a bit of insight." - Andy, Manchester (25/10/05)

spaceman responds: "The planned route looks good, I hope it goes well.  I note that there are several pubs in Fallowfield on the route which would be outside our own crawl zone."


"Hi there!  Just wanted to let you know how much I adore your website!  I look on it every time we're off to a new Manchester bar to get the real deal on it!  Just thought you'd like to know!!" - Hayley, Manchester (5/9/05)

spaceman responds: "Shucks, Hayley, good to know you appreciate it.  It's been a bit neglected recently but spaceman is sure that some new ideas will provide inspiration in the near future.  If you have any comments on any Manchester bars then please let me know."


"It's not really a pub but did you know that there is a bar in the Exchange Theatre which is open nearly all the time?  PS, your site is top, I've just spent about the last 45 minutes reading it even though I'm supposed to be doing revision." - Andy, Chorlton-cum-Hardy (25/5/05)

spaceman responds: "Yes - and we went!  Check out this link.  Thanks for your comments, though.  Good to know you have your priorities straight."


"Enjoyed your tour of the pubs in Manchester while enduring 95 degrees in Texas, USA.  Very cooling.  From an ex-Mancunian from Ardwick." - Nigel (25/5/05)

spaceman responds: "Nice to hear that the website is so far-reaching."


"You gonna have time to finish this before you move to Leeds, barney?!  Still my first point of call and I don't care much about the Corn Exchange or wherever Yorkshire scum drink!" - Rob, Manchester (24/3/05)

spaceman responds: "Ah, the old war of the Roses has started already.  Nothing wrong with a bit of cross-pennine competition.  Spaceman, born and bred in Greater Manchester, knows which side to be on.  Come on you Red Rose!  But, with barney's traitorous move across to Leeds imminent, we have reacted by stepping up our quest to finish off the pub crawl once and for all.  Rumours of a slow Leeds pub crawl are completely unfounded."


"Any chance of having a link to a slow-pub-crawl generator that works off a given postcode or, better still, one that uses only the pubs that you have reviewed.  Perhaps you could star-rate all the pubs you have and an option could be to only generate a pub-crawl including 3-star (or above) rated pubs." - Rob, Manchester (24/3/05)

spaceman responds: "Oh dear.  It appears that you have spaceman confused with some techno-web-page expert type thing.  It's a sign of the times, too, that whatever you give people, they always want more.  Eventually, the pub guide will provide ratings and more factual information (admittedly there is a lot of work to be done yet, though), and this will hopefully satisfy your craving for knowing how good a pub really is.  The slow pub crawl diary is meant to be more entertaining than informative.  If anything is historically accurate, it is purely coincidental.  Keep on reading and emailing, though, Rob.  Cheers."


"Just come across your page - fantastic.  I work a couple of nights in The Bank (used to be the Forgery and Firkin) and you'll be pleased to know that the tattoo pics have gone!  But yeah, not the most exciting of pubs!!  Anyway, try the Fringe Bar on Swan Street, used to work there as well, brilliant place, does Belgian beer.  Cheers." - Ros (10/2/05)

spaceman responds "Good to hear about the tattoo pics and thanks for info on Fringe Bar.  It might, however, fall on the wrong side of the fringe of our pub crawl.  Sounds like it is worth trying out, though."


"An admirable project.  Are you aware of The Bay Horse?  On Thomas Street, used to be Creative Consultants, now a pub, opened last weekend.  Red pool table, concrete floors, interesting toilet décor, flock wallpaper." - Tim (8/11/04)

spaceman responds: "Why thank you.  Spaceman had not heard of that, and spaceman hasn't been told by the pub research expert (i.e. barney).  It will be put on the list of those to do - cheers for the info.  It will presumably make it on to day 26, hopefully (although it will be missed) the final day of the pub crawl.  [It did make Day 26 (see The Bay Horse Inn), but it wasn't the last day of the pub crawl.]"


"Hi Mr Spaceman.  I link to you from [although not any longer, it seems].  I am surprised that Mulligan's is not part of your pub crawl, since it's so near you.  I really like your site.  If I was an American then I'd say keep up the good work.  I'm from the UK so I say I'm booking a room at the Lord Atterbury at £25 a night.  Sleep well." - Jarod (7/11/04)

spaceman responds: "Thanks for your comments.  We have gone to Mulligan's (on day 22) - although the A to Z didn't work, strangely (it does now).  Spaceman has had a quick look at your site and have placed a recriprocal link on my home page.  Spaceman likes its dry, wry style [although it now seems to be a random phone website]."


"For some reason I found your 'slow pub crawl around Manchester' site and I just felt compelled to drop you an email saying that I think it's fantastic!  I used to live in Manchester and miss it so much!  Nostalgia ain't what it used to be... <sniff>." - Marc, Dundee (13/8/04)

spaceman responds: "All part of the service, Marc.  There's nothing like a pair of rose-tinted glasses with which to read these pages."


"Just to let you know that Tmesis is now re-opened after its refurb.  Call in and see us sometime." - Kat (29/9/04)

spaceman responds: "Thanks for info, Kat.  [In fact, it was refurbed again, to become Audio in Day 27.]"


"Hey spaceman, just stumbled across your site by way of the slow pub crawl and I thought I'd email you to tell you that it's great.  Are you gonna make your way round to Fallowfield, etc?  Best had.  Incidentally, I think I may have met barney's crazy toothless old friend.  She's great, came on to 4 of my mates while we were out, kissed one on the cheek, hilarious." - Beth, Fallowfield (11/4/04)

spaceman responds: "Shucks, Beth, spaceman can't take the compliments, y'know.  Unfortunately, the slow pub crawl is limited to within the inner ring road.  However, spaceman is working on a new project - a Manchester pub guide - which will encompass a wider area.  Spaceman is currently compiling a list (slowly but surely) to put on the website, and readers are welcome to submit their own entries (e.g. the Queen Of Hearts).  As for the toothless old woman, it's a delight to hear that she's still got her teen-lust in full working order."


"Can you get a review of Beluga on please?  The site above is now my first point of call when assessing a pub I haven't been to but you are falling behind!  Beluga is next to One Central and used to be Citrus Bar.  Come on man, keep up!!!" - Rob, Manchester

spaceman responds: "Thanks for your continuing support, Rob.  Please be patient with the slow pub crawl - it will cover every pub in our target area eventually.  Honest."


"I think the pinball machine in Corbiéres could do with updating.  I suggest Adam's Family or Medieval Madness.  I can't believe you didn't pick up on this!" – Rich, Somewhere in Ireland (22/10/03)

spaceman responds: "Apologies for not being well up on pinball machines, Rich.  Spaceman has now subscribed to Pinball Monthly and in future will be much more knowledgeable on the subject."


"Fridays In The City is open from 11-6 on weekdays and from 8pm to midnight Friday and Saturday.  During the weekdays we sell pints for 90p, making us the cheapest in Manchester.  You will have to deal with the kind of people those prices attract, though, and we have to play about 7 CDs (if that) to play, so it gets mind numbingly boring fast.  Anyway, hopefully that should help you out in the future." - Martin (8/9/03)

spaceman responds: "Sounds like a cracking venue, and one which we should look forward to.  Job satisfaction, huh?"


"Why aren't you going to any places in Salford??  Is it cos you're scared??" - Gary, Salford


"What a great idea this pub crawl is.  Are you going to do a 'curry crawl' afterwards?" - Harold, Sale


"I think guys that drink loads of beer are dead sexy.  Do you want to meet me and my sexy twin sister for a skinful?" - Lisa, Didsbury


"You two can have a free beer when you get round to Bar 38.  But only if I can have your autographs." – Mark, manager of Bar 38


"Barney, I think your mate is lovely, please arrange for me to meet up with him." - Toothless old woman, Manchester


Please note that some of the above comments are "extremely genuine" (i.e. they're a pack of lies that barney made up).