Sep 19

Away day to Winsford

My second away trip of the football season saw me following Darwen AFC  away to Winsford in the North West Counties League. My first ever visit to Winsford which lies an hour or so away down to M6.

The Pub – The Red Lion (1 Wharton Road CW73AA)

I had checked Untappd to find a pub or two in Winford where I might find interesting, local beer and The Red Lion didn’t disappoint.

It had beers on from 3 Cheshire Breweries including Front Row and Bear Town from nearby Congleton. There was a mix of regulars on stools at the bar and folk stopping off to eat. There was a family inside playing boardgames. A pleasant hubbub without feeling cramped. I sat outside on the terrace overlooking the River Weaver.

A good place to while away half an hour with a good book and a beer. I would have no hesitation in returning here.

The Beer – Pause (Chocolate Stout from Front Row Brewing, Congleton)

Difficult choice. To go for the Bear Town Pale or the Pause Stout from Front Row. Both made locally in Congleton. I plumped for the stout as we have our own Big Bertha stout out in a couple of pubs at the moment and like to keep abreast and compare things. Front Row began in 2012 and Pause is their 4.5% Stout and one of their original 4 beers.

It poured with a superb head and I made my way outside to sit overlooking the River Weaver. It was canalised very early and was the inspiration for Lord Bridgewater. A good place to sit. The Pause was quaffable and soon slipped down. I could easily have stayed for another but I was determined to head off into Winsford and find something to eat.

The Pie – Home made Steak Pie (JD Finney & Sons 232 High Street CW72AU)

I turned right out of the Red Lion, crossed the river Weaver and headed up the hill towards Winford looking for a pie. I couldn’t believe my luck.

I passed JD Finney & Sons chippy with a big sign in the window advertising their home made pies. It was the custard tarts that caught my eye and I bought a large one for later.

I had a chat with the woman behind the counter. They are rightly proud of their traditional pies and I grabbed a steak pie to eat on my way up to the ground.

The Ground  St. Luke’s Barton Stadium (off Kingsway, Winsford)

A few minute way to the Barton Stadium. First impressions is that ground is big and wide. Probably harking back to the days when it also had a greyhound track.

Winford started life as Over Wanderers in 1883 playing in the Welsh Combination. After financial difficulties, the club reformed around the time of the first world war. The ground is named after chairman R.G. Barton who led them through that period as they became a founder member of the Cheshire League.

I was straight into Deb’s cafe for chips and a cup of tea. £2.50 well spent. Then over to the far side of the ground to settle in amongst the crowd behind the dug outs.

The banter was good, pretty clean fun. Mostly centred around our manager’s enthusiasm for the game. Game ended 2:0 to Winsford.

Next up: Trips to Glasshoughton Welfare and Runcorn Linnets