You may recall that a couple of weeks ago we went on the trip from The Rock to the Milltown Brewery in Huddersfield. Following a thoroughly entertaining explanation of the brewing process (and before a thoroughly enjoyable sampling session) I got talking to the Head Brewer, Neil Moorhouse about the challenge of coming up with names for his frequently changing seasonal beer specials. He likes to maintain a link with mills and the textile industry - it is the Milltown Brewery after all - so I suggested "Bobbin Ligger". A bobbin ligger was a person who worked on the machines that filled empty bobbins with spun thread. Specifically their role was to carry (or "lig") the empty bobbins to the machine and carry away the full bobbins. My father started work as a bobbin ligger in a mill in Bradford in the 1920s and my mother also worked in the mill at the same time. Neil liked the name and said he would use it for his next seasonal special and I agreed to design a pump display card for it.
For the display card I used an old family photo which shows a group of mill workers and which, I think, features my mother (she is the one on the left of the group). It will have been taken in Ickringill's Mill in Bradford, and whilst the women would not have been bobbin liggers (a job normally reserved for young men just starting in the mill), the atmosphere of the old sepia shot seemed to match the name perfectly. I was thus delighted to discover, on entering the pub on Friday evening, that Bobbin Ligger is now available and to celebrate I bought a pint or three. As the picture features my mother, Gladys, by the second or third pint I was walking up to the bar and proudly proclaiming "A pint of Gladys please". I know that some of my "beery" followers will be wanting tasting notes but I have to admit that I was so caught up in the celebratory mood that all I can tell you is that it is a thoroughly refreshing hoppy fusion which at 4.1% ABV achieves a perfect balance of strength and flavour. I am not sure that description does it justice so, in the interests of research, I have decided to go back to the Rock tonight for another "pint of Gladys".