2018 World Cup of GM Bus Routes: Pendle Hills or Pennine Foothills

Third Place Play-off: 343 v. X43

Almost a month has gone since the 2018 World Cup of Greater Manchester Bus Routes began. There has been some surprises in the group and knockout stages. Especially the X43’s defeat in semi-finals to the V1 route. Equally surprising was the 343’s defeat of the 192 service.

This brings us to our penultimate game of the 2018 World Cup of GM Bus Routes. The Third Place Play-Off. Which as we have found in real life, in Russia, is England versus Belgium. If in the unlikely event that Gareth Southgate is reading East of the M60, we pass on our hearty congratulations. Congratulations for reaching the semi-finals, to everyone in Team England.

A pint of Millstone Stout

Lovers of real ale will find the 343 bus route a palatable proposition. Oldham has The Ashton Arms nearby whereas Mossley’s joys include The Fleece Inn (opposite the Top Mossley bus stops) and The Dysart’s Arms. Stalybridge’s delights along the route include Stalybridge Station Buffet Bar, The White House, and The Old Hunter’s Tavern. Close to its terminus in Hyde is The Cheshire Ring.

The 343, due to its early finish, is fine for a dinnertime or Saturday afternoon session. Its ‘after hours’ equivalent the 340 less so: you may need a taxi back home.

Or a pint of Pendle Witch

From its most southerly terminus, Manchester city centre is not without its notable boozers. Sinclair’s Oyster Bar, two decent Spoons houses and the Station Tap at Victoria Station among others. To trump them all is the only Temperance Bar in existence. The only one on a bus route as well. If there is one excuse to make a short journey on the Witch Way, Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar in Rawtenstall fits the bill.

Further north, the X43 takes us into Moorhouse’s territory: Burnley. Yes, the makers of Pride of Pendle, Black Cat Mild, and Pendle Witches’ Brew. If you stay on till Skipton, you can have a pint in The Cock and Bottle (Matron!).

Full Time Score:

343 [Oldham] 1 – 2 X43 [Skipton]

Neither side threatened each other in what was a well mannered fixture. The X43’s double deckers, free WiFi, and frequency gave The Witch Way route its Third Place spot.

S.V., 14 July 2018.

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