steamy night in bury …

We’ve just had a short break in Bury – not because we were desperate to go to Bury, but to be fair it’s alright. We visited because my daughter and her husband bought us tickets for a trip on a steam train along with a four course evening meal.

We decided that rather than drive home afterwards we would book a place close to the rail station and take some time to have a wander around Bury.

We stayed at the Premier Inn, which was decent enough – you know what you’re getting when you stay at one of those places and importantly it was less than a 10 minute walk to the rail station from which our train departed.

The weather was cold but dry and after wandering around the local market and having a bite to eat we visited the Bury Museum and Sculpture Centre.  It’s a fabulous Edwardian building right in the centre of town.

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There was a first class (in our opinion) photographic exhibition and a small but interesting local history section which we both enjoyed, but the sculpture exhibition highlighted to me the reality of the interpretation of what is art as being an interpretation of art being very much in the eye of the beholder.

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The sculpture displays were basically an assortment of metal welded together and for the most part painted in bright colours.  I found them neither particularly interesting or impressive – but the rooms they were displayed in were bright, airy and impressive in their own way.  Each of the exhibits was numbered and I picked up an accompanying leaflet which gave the name of the work along with its reference number. I suppose the fact that each of the items was named/described as Untitled – Painted Metal told its own story, although the dimensions of each display were also provided, maybe that’s useful to the keen art viewer, frankly it was lost on me.

When we did eventually make our way to the rail station we had  a decent beer in the  station bar – a bastion for real ale fans, and then boarded the train for the 19:30 departure.

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The overall evening was first class – good food with good service and an event that we thoroughly enjoyed. It’s run by the East Lancashire Railway and they do a whole range of different events throughout the year  – we did the Red Rose Diner that is described as the crown jewel of our dining repertoire, combining fine food with superior service … and to be fair that’s a reasonable description.

After the best part of three hours on the train it was back to our hotel for an evening nightcap – it had been a splendid day.

After breakfast on Saturday we headed to Ramsbottom to visit the annual Chocolate Festival that I gather is now in its eighth year.  If over indulging on all things chocolate is your thing then you could do worse than visit the festival and the dozens of small stalls set up to trade their wares on the main street.

We were in no particular rush and so wandered around the stalls and antique/currio shops before heading home.  We did pass the sign for the Last Drop Village – and having seen it signed for many years and having never been we decided to call there … but to be honest unless you’re looking for a wedding venue/conference venue it didn’t strike me as a particularly interesting place at all

All in all we had a fine couple of days.

Some pictures are posted below and clicking on the first, will open a scrolable gallery.