Beer festival will relieve budget blues

Pete Waterman at a previous beer bash
Pete Waterman at a previous beer bash

AN Atherton beer festival has found the remedy for the recession in more ways than one.

The quirky 22nd Bent and Bongs, which bursts into life at the end of this month,

Last year’s three day long charity beer festival raised a record breaking cellar full of more than £24,700 cash for The Meningitis Trust/Cardiac Risk to the Young.

And festival chairman Paul Hodson is confident that this year’s sessions at Atherton Formby Hall will smash that remarkable total.

Organised in association with Wigan and Leigh Campaign for Real Ale (Camra), drinkers can look out for 80 special brews set to include 20 warming winter ales, a dozen different ciders and a large selection of draught and bottled beers.

There will be plenty of foot tapping between the supping, including trad Irish folk band Quare Craic on the Thursday, rock tribute band Juke Box Heroes on the Friday, Cracked Flag (folk and fun) on Saturday afternoon with five piece blues rockers The Spider Monkeys on Saturday night.

This year’s main beneficiaries will be The North West Air Ambulance and Childflight.

Entry fees included a commemorative inscribed glass while Camra members enjoy a £1 discount.

Mr Hodson, of Hindley Green, said: “Last year’s event attracted record crowds from as far away as Indiana and North America.

“We even had the pop impressario Pete Waterman down and he enjoyed himself so much that he is promising to become a Bent and Bongs regular”.

Organisers Atherton and Tyldesley Round Table and festival chairman Paul aren’t expecting the recession to halt their progress.

Some members are predicting even more enthusiastic elbow-bending as festival-goers try to forget about their woes.

Opening times: January 27 (6 - 11.00pm); Jan 28 (5 - 11.00pm); Jan 29 (noon - 4.00pm); Jan 29 (7 - 11.00pm).