The Fourtharch annual September outing is in Liverpool this year, our featured pub the Lady of Mann was chosen and announced by Rhys from India at last years featured pub in London, next year’s featured pub will be revealed at this year’s featured pub in Liverpool by proud Yorkshireman Chris – we are all desperately racking our brains trying to guess which county we might be heading for in September 2017.
I have visited Liverpool many times and have always received a warm and friendly welcome; this once Second City of Empire has regenerated over the last decades and continues to do so alongside the burgeoning interest in our country’s recent social history and industrial heritage.
Liverpool has much to offer such tourists but we are a group of beer and pub enthusiasts and this is the Fourtharch weekend so after our featured pub lunch, AGM, chairman’s speech, next year’s announcement and Mann Connoisseur Ales Brewery tour in St Helens I have put in a request to visit the Empress, a pub in the Toxteth area of Liverpool. The Empress is very much like our own much loved Albany here in Cardiff, both pubs were built towards the end of the 19th Century and are surrounded by similar Victorian schools, churches, libraries, parks and corner shops, the Empress sits in an area known as the Welsh streets while the Albany the Scottish streets.
That dear reader is where this incredible ordinariness ends, for some 60 years ago the barmaid in the Empress was a lady called Elsie who lived nearby with her only son and second husband Harry, Elsie’s son Richard with his three friends John, Paul and George had a common interest in the new music of the time, Richard would go on to change his name to Ringo and as the Beatles became the “Four lads who shook the world” How on earth did it happen – I want to sit in the Empress with a pint and see if I can feel the vibes.