The eeriness of enjoying an egg muffin early doors at The Twelve Tellers

Over the last month, many of Reach Media’s local newspapers has given readers many Variations on an Early Morning Spoons Session articles. If you go to their Manchester Evening News website, we learned about The Water House at 9am. If you logged on to The Sheffield Star website, there’s every chance we’ll be told of how quiet that one in Hillsborough is on a school day.

Nothing piques readers’ interests better than a nosy parker’s view of their favourite pub on a work day. The beauty of ‘Spoons’ houses is the fact you could be coming off a late shift and fancy a bacon butty at 9am. If you have been working on nights, that pint of Wobbly Bob at 9am would be savoured as much as a 9 to 5 worker’s pint at 7pm.

If you’re staying at a nearby hotel which only offers Room Only rates, the nearest ‘Spoons is a godsend. (Unless Coco Pops or Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes are an absolute must in your breakfast time routine). If you have time to kill between buses, the local ‘Spoons is a belting bus shelter, and I know of a few which serve that purpose so well.

Unlimited coffee and a cheapo sausage muffin

If you go to ‘Spoons before 11.30 am, their breakfast menu is well priced. Even with VAT reverting to pre-pandemic levels. For £3.25 in most houses, you can get an egg and bacon muffin with unlimited tea or coffee. That’s right, unlimited tea or coffee. Even our favourite Canadian breakfast joint doesn’t do unlimited tea or coffee despite charging similar prices. (Full Time at The Twelve Tellers: Tim Martin 1, Tim Horton 0).

For what it is price wise, it is unbeatable. You can have a regular latte at Starbucks for £3.25 but food is sold separately, making a butty and a brew twice the price of your local ‘Spoons. With unlimited tea and coffee, “cheap and cheerful” becomes “cheap, cheerful and bouncing off the walls” due to your caffeine intake. If you have a bit of work to catch up on between buses or trains, the free WiFi comes into its own.

Meanwhile at The Twelve Tellers…

With my employer having a number of sites in the North of England, part of my work includes some travel across the North West. In many cases I get lifts off fellow colleagues. I sometimes get the train or tram. Near Preston, I sometimes work at a place called Stanley Grange. It is a supported community set around a village green near Samlesbury with support depending on each person’s individual needs. The Thirlmere Aqueduct from the Lake District to Greater Manchester skirts the edge of its grounds.

On public transport, the nearest bus stop is 15 minutes away at Hoghton Post Office (and the terrain on this short walk is pretty demanding). I have also been to the place on Bank Holidays, and it is on these occasions I have made use of The Twelve Tellers.

Good Friday 2022

I have often classed that Friday’s visit as my first trip to The Twelve Tellers. As a paying customer, that is true. I had had called in before then to use the facilities (which are downstairs from the back end of the pub).

Good Friday’s trip was a dummy run for subsequent Bank Holiday trips to Stanley Grange. That of walking to Stalybridge station for the Manchester Piccadilly train, for the 0801 train to Preston, then a slow walk to the bus stop for the 152. With Bank Holiday journeys on the 152 Hotline (for Burnley) starting at 10am, this made a longer ‘Spoons stop viable.

On Good Friday I went for the sausage and egg muffin (‘Spoons sausages in my Pub Food book can never be faulted) with two mugs of tea. Calling into The Twelve Tellers proved to be a good move, as I was able to build the playlist for that week’s edition of Fun Time Friday (the 86th one with guests from the Lancashire Team and a supported person who celebrated her 30th birthday).

Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday Thursday

My second visit was for reasons similar to Good Friday. The upside was having more than fifteen minutes to transfer between modes (and enough time to post a birthday card). This time, I went for white coffee (two mugs). On the English muffin (not to be confused with the Oven Bottom Muffins we know and love in Oldham and Tameside), bacon and egg with American style cheese, and a hash brown to go with it. All for just £3.40.

More to the point, what was it like on both occasions?

The Twelve Tellers was quiet as Hell. At that time (9.30 am), no kiddies running round part of the pub on Fruit Shoots. Being as both my visits were on weekdays, there were no early drinkers en route to a major sports event.

On both visits, it was quieter than some of the public libraries I have been to. What also helps is the building’s high ceilings and wood panelling from its previous use as a bank.

With the pub being in the midst of Preston’s nightclubbing quarter, The Twelve Tellers is probably a different beast at 9pm. It is the city’s second ‘Spoons house, with The Grey Friar being handy for University of Central Lancashire.

Just for the sheer hell of it…

We have a nice picture of a bus on Fishergate on Lancashire County Council tendered service 74 to Fleetwood. A smart vehicle, but rather small for a long journey via Cleveleys. (On both occasions, the author’s breakfast muffins were off camera, so a Blackpool Transport Enviro200 in Palladium livery would have to do).

S.V., 07 June 2022.

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