Category Archives: Cycling

Another of my favourite sports

Ale Trail - Sinclair's Manchester

Ale Trail

This week concluded with 3 of us heading off on Friday afternoon on the Ale Trail.

Warren, my brother Rob & I headed over the boundary towards Yorkshire from Piccadilly train station on the 12:27 with our 1st stop being Dewsbury.

If we were to follow the Ale Trail that Oz and James Drink to Britain took on BBC we should have headed out to Batley 1st however Warren had taken some advice from some of his work colleagues who suggested that we miss out Batley.

The trip from Manchester to Dewsbury was not the easiest as we had no sooner left Manchester than we were being advised that the train would be stopping at Stalybrige but as this was unscheduled stop we would not be allowed off the train! The train then stayed at Stalybridge for over half an hour – most annoying as we were looking forward to our 1st pint! Then the guard announced that it was impossible for us to continue with our trip and that we would be returning to Manchester and thus our Ale Trail was over.

Then again without warning the Ale Trail was back on track and we were heading in the direction of Dewsbury 🙂

So as I said our 1st stop was the West Riding sat within the confines of Dewsbury Station only 1 hour later than predicted. The pub was a traditional Yorkshire pub with a fine selection of cask ales a great place to start our Ale Trail. 3 pints came to just sort of £7.00

Within the time it took for us to sink our 1st pint we were back on the platform waiting for the train to Marsden, again Warren had been advised that the stop off in Mirfield was not recommended & so we were now off to the Head of Steam in Huddersfield, actually the Ale Trail recommends the Kings Head however more intel from Warren meant that the Head of Steam was the right choice. We stood outside & soaked up the late afternoon sun.

Again we were off this time on the train to Marsden missing out the stop in Slaithwaite. As we got off the train in Marsden we headed over the road to the Railway not The Riverhead Brewery Tap & Dining Room for some strange reason. Whilst we were waiting for the beer to be drawn on the hand-pull Warren’s First Aid skill was called in to help an elderly lady who had fallen on the cobbles outside the pub. While Warren helped out & waited for the paramedic Rob & I managed another pint before walking back to the train.

This time the train managed a 5 minute stint up the track before it too stopped & was held for 10 minutes, then back to Marsden we headed again. With 30 minutes wait for another train we sneaked back into the Railway for another pint before heading back to the train only to find that it was not going anywhere. The guard did offer to sound the train horn if we wanted to go back to the pub, who on an Ale Trail needed telling twice?

However no sooner had we taken two mouthfuls than the horn sounded so the pint was swallowed very quickly 🙂

By now the time was ticking by & we elected not to call at Greenfield or Stalybridge but to head back to Manchester.

To end the day we stopped at Sinclair’s before heading home.

if you want to do the Ale Trail look it up here lets hope you have better luck than we did with the trains!

Also this week its been hot & sunny in Manchester as can be seen in the following photo’s taken from my office near Piccadilly

As sit & type this we’ve had an excellent afternoon with Helen, Laura, Matt & mark who called round even though it was cooler than recent days we sat in the garden with the chiminea burning.

Chris Froome of team Sky has also won this years (100th) Tour de France with a fantastic 3 weeks of cycle racing.


This week was a testing time being a CAD Manager & could  easily be described as a CADmare week at work.

We have finally been allowed to move our users over to the ARCADIS CAD servers. I was the 1st to go over as a test & a couple of issues were identified, these were corrected by our wonderful IT team & the green light was given to move a select few over as a trial run.

After the first group got moved some further issues were identified & again these were cured by the IT team.

We then went for the full move & 2 phases were created, it was then that the CADmare really got a grip. Some users migrated successfully while others didn’t. This on its own wasn’t the problem, however the CADmare problem was that our own licence server was time limited & due to expire on the Friday. A discussion was had with our customer services manager at Autodesk & he offered to get a new licence file sent over with an extension added.

All day friday myself & our IT team worked through the CADmare issues with out a 100% resolution to these issues, so Monday & Tuesday next week will be more of the same.

I also received some very sad news this week in that an ex colleague who retired about 6 years sadly passed away last Sunday. He always had time for everyone in the office, always smiled & was a pleasure to have known for the past 15 years, Rest in Peace Mike you were a star.

Only family issues this week were that the youngest lost his iphone at school which was never handed in. We discussed with our insurance company who advised that it was insured, however there was a £200 excess on the policy! You can imagine the youngest ones face 🙁

The new car is great to drive, it seems to be nippy when required yet economical with the diesel I’ve managed to get 52 miles per gallon this week out of her 🙂

Last games of the season today & Fergie was still breaking records with United even on his last game in charge as West Brom & United played out a 5-5 draw the 1st ever in the Premier League.

Bradley Wiggins had to pull out of the Giro de Italia this week part way through week 2 due to a chest infection. This does not bode well for Le Tour that starts in about 6 weeks,

So here’s to a better week at work this coming week & a hope that the CADmare will be over.

Not many sleeps until Christmas now

Christmas is fast approaching & for a change we are not ready for it!

The shopping for Christmas gifts still needs to be completed, then they will need wrapping & tagging before putting under the Christmas tree.

All of my Christmas parties have now been & gone with the last of them being the main office party at the Macdonald Townhouse Hotel on Portland Street, Manchester ( The whole night was a great success & hopefully enjoyed by all as much as I did? I stayed in Manchester over night as did a number of us from the office. My room-mate was a rather noisy colleague who went back to the hotel before I did & when i arrived back at 01:40 he was already snoring very loudly! Then to cap it all he woke me at 06:00 puking in the bathroom! I was then up & showered & back in the office for 07:40 while my noisy room-mate slept his hangover off. Yet again I was in the office well before all of the other youngsters who started to creep in to work from 09:30 onwards. LIGHTWEIGHTS.

The youngest of my brood has also had 2 parties this weekend, but not Christmas parties, they were 13th birthday parties for girls in his school.

Mrs C has her Christmas party this week. Then she finishes work for Christmas on Thursday, while I’m still in work until Christmas eve.

Not managed to see my grandson Harry for a couple of weeks as everybody seems to be busy, however really looking forward to a Christmas Day cuddle with him on Christmas Day. 🙂

Just settling down with Mrs C to Watch BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Predictions as follows

Sports Personality of the Year 2012 – Bradley Wiggins

Sports Team of the Year 2012 – Team GB (Olympics)