As some of you may know, I like beer and I like to go to (selected) beer festivals.
In this case, Jenks and I travelled by train to the first Carnforth beer festival. (Last October, OK, I know, I’m behind on posting…)
There’s a couple of story’s here; first off, Carnforth has a rich railway history. It’s perched in the north west of England, part way up the west coast mainline between Manchester and Scotland. However, some years ago, carnforth occupied a position as a strategic location for train travel and had a very large junction and numerous platforms.
Of course things change, not least under the Tories and Beeching, who decimated the railways during the 60’s and the subsequent lack of investment is something we’re still recovering from.
Carnforth station itself is a piece of architectural genius; the curved platform and its roof, is a great pull for photographers and its interesting to note that the curved roof is a single piece of concrete, which was delivered and installed to complete the then, bustling station.
Nowadays, lack of investment condemned the station to a seemingly rusting doom, but a preservation society sprang up, which not only maintains the station buildings, but also has an active section which refurbishes old railway rolling stock.
So much for the station itself; Jenks and I however, were travelling today to support the first anniversary of the Carnforth beer festival and in particular, the microbar.
The station today, whilst supporting local stoppers, has to endure the Virgin intercity trains blasting through without the courtesy of a stop. Thus, the activity is limited to a very impressive heritage centre, which has a wealth of history of the station as well as old films portraying the stations activity during its heyday. However, over on platform one, an old waiting room, has been converted into a microbar. For the uninitiated, a microbar is a very small bar which encompasses – a bar- obviously- but also the cellar arrangement for the beer AND somewhere for the customers to sit and drink. This it accomplishes very well and we had a splendid day strolling between the heritage centre, converted for the event into a bar, and the Micro bar, with its Marble brewery hand pumps.