Reddish Stagger

Previously tonight's stagger would have started approximately half way along Gorton Road as you travel towards Debdale Park and Gorton. With the closure of the Fir Tree, even this is not the case, with there being nothing north of Holdsworth Square along Gorton Lane. What a situation when the whole of North Reddish is now devoid, not only of real ale pubs, put of any pubs at all.

To find the current starting location make your way along Broadstone Lane and you soon reach the Grey Horse as the road kinks left to pass over the (former) canal. The current structure was built in 1909 and has had an expensive refurbishment after being purchased by Holts in 2007 (before that it was a Boddington's house and before that Richard Clarke). The substantial and comfortably decorated lounge has TV sport on most days and features entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings. Meanwhile the next door vault is a more down-to-earth room. Holts brew a range of beers these days but, along with the Holts Bitter, the Grey Horse serves only one other from their portfolio. The photo shows that, in days gone by, Watkin's Dublin Stout was also available from what is reputed the oldest brewery in that fair city!

We now need to cross the road and head towards the impressive bulk of Houldsworth Mill where we will find Bottle Mill. This bar and off-sales shop-cum-café is on the second floor retail village in this warren of a place (just follow the signs through the many corridors). It's all been skilfully done, using reclaimed materials and fittings (a fireplace comes from the now-closed Jolly Angler in central Manchester). Although quite small there's plenty of seating out at the front of the unit, so a decent number of people can be accommodated. They serve 5 changing beers from membrane kegs, so some from the fundamental wing of CAMRA may well give the bar a miss!

Stockport Photo Archive - Union Inn

Our next port of call is back on Broadstone Lane where you soon reach the Union. Owned by Robinsons and serving Trooper plus Unicorn, the Union has been opened out into a single room layout, but dividing partitions still offer some distinct areas. This includes a vault like area with a TV for the sport and there is a very pleasant well tended garden to the rear. If any young people plan to join us on the stagger there is an over 21s policy on selected Friday and Saturday nights when there is entertainment on.

Stockport Photo Archive - Broadstone Road

Next up is the new kid on the block, Reddish Ale. Converted from a former restaurant and opened on 9 September 2022. In the picture right, of Broadstone Road in 1972, the person in white is just about stood at the front door. This small bar is fronted by a modestly sized room with mostly refectory style seating. This is supplemented by shelf-style seating around the perimeter of the room, and even some in the window that affords views of the busy Broadstone Road. For sunny days there are cafe tables and chairs at the front, but not tonight. Decor is a mix of framed beermats, and a wall of varied mirrors. The bar at the back through a large aperture in the wall is supplemented by a fridge offering bottled and canned beers and ciders.

Making our way back to Holdsworth Square and the Holdsworth Arms but as it has been for years free of real-ale so we will give it a miss.

We now take to the back streets to find the Thatched Tavern. If you didn't know it was there you certainly would not discover it. The Thatched Tavern has a traditional 'street corner boozer' layout [and it actually is on a corner!], with the posher lounge to one side and the more basic tap room to the rear. Both are filled with friendly locals who will make us feel welcome. Though owned by Punch Taverns, it still has the feel of a local's pub and not the usual corporate identikit. This however is not to be as no real ale is available!

Stockport Photo Archive - Canal adjoining Spur Mill

We should now embark on a voyage of discovery in to the industrial heart of Reddish to visit the Ventile Brew Tap Room, which is housed in Spur Mill on Broadstone Hall Road South. A no-frills interior with picnic tables-cum-refectory style seating in which to enjoy the rustic ambience of the place. The modern well-maintained brew kit can be examined at close quarters. The Ventile name is a nod to WWII history in Manchester. It was a cotton fabric invented in the city that found favour for fighter pilot's flying suits that extended their survival chances should they ditch in water. As I said at the beginning, should, but they are currently closed because they are providing maternity cover at the Station Hop in Levenshulme, Oh well, c'est la vie.

Stockport Photo Archive - Carousel in 1980

Whichever way we approach, tonight's stagger ends at the Carousel, 156 Reddish Road, about halfway between Lancashire Hill and Holdsworth Square. Food is a major part of the set-up because the Carousel is part of the Flaming Grill chain, but real ale is not neglected. Real ale has been available for a number of years, with usually 3 from the Spirit Group's range on offer.

Below, clicking on Map will call up a Google travel map with that location automatically set as the destination. Insert your current location (post code?) as the start and choose a travel mode (public, car, cycle or foot) and discover your travel options.

Following THIS LINK will take you to the Transport for Greater Manchester website for current travel information.

WARNING Reddish South rail service: The station does have a service, but be forewarned, it is only served by "parliamentary" trains! Currently the 'service' starts in Stalybridge at 8:30am, dropping you at Reddish South at 8:45am, but only on FRIDAY morning. If you rely upon this you would arrive a little early and have to wait a week before being able to depart! — Best use the bus.

Reddish Stagger


Pub Name


Bus & Rail


7:30pm Starting point

Grey Horse
99 Broadstone Road


Bottle Mill
Houldsworth Mill

8:30pm Mid-point

93 Broadstone Road


Reddish Ale
14 Broadstone Road
Reddish South
Houldsworth Arms
1 Houldsworth Square
Reddish South
No Real Ale
Thatched Tavern
54 Stanhope Street
Reddish South
No Real Ale
Ventile Brew Tap Room
Unit 4, Spur Mill, Broadstone Hall Road South
Temporary closure?

Finishing at

156 Reddish Road


View Stagger in a larger map


Updated April 2023

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