BEER BOTTLES… There’s another venue to add to the list of ever-growing craft beer emporia in Altrincham with the opening of Batch Bottlestore in King’s Court. The shop is the brainchild of Chris Bardsley and Will Brown, the former management of Pi bar just up the road, and features six keg lines as well as one cask, as well as all sorts of beers to take away. It’s another addition to the town’s booming beer scene along with Libero, also on King’s Court, a football-themed craft beer bar that was originally a pop-up before becoming a permanent fixture. THING remembers when the only place you could get a half-decent pint in Alty was the Old Market – or maybe the Malt Shovels if you were in the mood for a Sam Smith’s – so it’s good to see more options for boozing sensible alcohol consumption.
YE OLDE MAPS… Here’s one for the history buffs and map nerds, which includes us at THING. Cheshire’s 19th-century maps are being brought to life mixed with modern-day aerial photographs, using data held by the Cheshire Archives, and are being made available free-of-charge. The search engine shows the 1800s tithe maps for Cheshire, which are searchable by place, person, and plot, and can be compared and contrasted with how the sites look in the present day. Covering both Cheshire West & Chester and Cheshire East, the maps are available here – definitely worth a play around to see what’s changed, and surprisingly, what hasn’t, in the last 200-odd years. The aerial data has been supplied by Bluesky and Getmapping, as part of a contract with the Geospatial Commission.
DOODLE DASH… Manchester’s love of doodle art continues, with the latest commission created by illustrator Dave Draws completed at Exchange Quay. The 2m x 3m wall mural is in the refurbished ICE building, and shows more than 20 landmarks and buildings across Manchester and Salford, including Exchange Quay, Victoria Warehouse, the cricket ground, White City retail park, The Lowry, ITV, Imperial War Museum, and Ordsall Hall. See what you can spot, while pondering which reception will be next to jump on the doodle bandwagon…
ARTS TRAIL… If you find yourself up in the rather beautiful Morecambe Bay area at the end of June, you can get involved with the Silverdale & Arnside arts trail. Running between 28 and 30 June and now in its 15th year, the trail includes 28 venues and more than 70 exhibitors, including artists, crafts, music, a bit of flower arranging, ceramics, jewellers, metalworkers, and plenty else besides. Plus, many of them are interactive with workshops so you can have a stab at painting, crafting, book-making and lots more. THING can recommend Arnside and Silverdale as a good place for a hike and a pint, so it’ll definitely be worth making the trip up at the end of the month.
HIGH SPEED… While the future delivery of HS2 remains a matter of debate in Westminster, with the contenders for new Prime Minister split over whether they would back or bin the long-running infrastructure project, details of the route and train designs are getting closer to being pinned down. As the Department for Transport consults on the details of the route from Crewe to Manchester, as well as confirming a connect to Liverpool through Northern Powerhouse Rail, images have also been revealed for what the trains themselves could look like. The bidders for what would be a cool £2.7bn contract are Alstom, Bombardier/Hitachi, CAF, Siemens and Talgo, and will cover the design, build and maintenance of at least 54 HS2 trains.