Whereas most clubs make desperate attempts to airbrush out their insolvency events and cling on to the history of earlier incarnations as if it genuinely remained their own, one has to hunt very hard on their Official Website to find even slight acknowledgement that there was a football team in Halifax prior to 2008. However as we met them in that previous guise this guide will mention it.
Formed in 2011 Halifax Town AFC played in the Yorkshire Combination and the Midland League before becoming founder members of the Football League Division Three North in 1921. And there they remained, never troubling promotion, until restructuring in 1958. Though flirting with the need for re-election on six occasions during this time the closest the Shaymen came to dropping out of the EFL was 1954 when Wigan Athletic got within nine votes of them. They were doing better when the restructuring occurred and got placed in Division Three rather than Four.
After three decades of bobbing about between Divisions Three and Four their luck finally ran out in 1992-93, by which time there was a single automatic promotion place from Non-League, when finishing bottom of the EFL saw Halifax replaced by Wycombe Wanderers.
Already struggling financially Conference football was no economic help – in 1994-95 they only kept afloat by the skin of their teeth with a fire sale of players and fans digging into their pockets to pay HMRC – and by 1996-97 the Shaymen only avoided dropping further down the pyramid by a single point. It was the mid-season return of George Mulhall, who’d previously managed the club way back in the early 1970s, which did the trick and kept them up. The following campaign he, in a joint-managership with Kieran O’Regan, totally defied everyone’s expectations and Halifax Town were Champions by a comfortable by nine points.
Mulhall decided that would be his swansong and retired, leaving O’Regan as sole manager. Halifax weren’t a one man team, but undoubtedly Geoff Horsfield and his 30 league goals had been a massive factor in the club winning the Conference title and only ten games back in the EFL they couldn’t hold on to him when Fulham came calling, gone for £300,000.
A mid-table finish in League Three wasn’t considered good enough by the chairman Jim Brown and O’Regan was sacked. The club then got through seven managerial changes in three seasons as they finished 18th, 23rd and finally 24th to be relegated back to the Conference, this time being replaced in the EFL by the cheating Boston United.
Off the field they were again struggling. Director Bob Walker had taken over as Chairman after a boardroom vote on no confidence in Brown, and put the club up for sale in February 2002 stating the wage bill had doubled to £1.2 million under the previous regime and, along with the costs of a new stand development which was unfinished because the money had run out, the club was financially crippled. Unsurprisingly in these circumstances no buyer appeared and in April the club crashed into administration with debts of around £900,000 of which £220,000 was owed to HMRC.
Halifax began the 2002-03 Conference season with yet another new manager at the helm, Chris Wilder. Apart from two contracted players the administrator Peter O’Hara was hoping to sell for cash every other member of the 2001-02 squad had been released. With no players, no money for signings and not much to offer in wages Wilder wasn’t allowed to recruit anyone until a couple of weeks before the campaign was due to commence. And there was no chairman either, as Walker had resigned in protest at the way O’Hara was handling the administration. In these circumstances the Shaymen did well to start the season; and even better to finish it a solid 8th.
In 2003-04 things were even grimmer, with Halifax eventually finishing fourth from bottom in 19th. However, with Telford United going bust and folding, Margate getting kicked-out on ground grading issues, and the Conference restructuring to develop the North and South Divisions, in the end no one was actually relegated anyway. 2004-05 saw an improvement to 9th and in 2005-06 they reached the play-offs, only to lose in the Final 3-2 to Hereford United.
It was virtually the last hurrah. The financial problems had not gone away. In 2006-07 it was a 16th placed finish; and then in March 2008 the club was back in administration again. By this time going in to administration was an automatic 10 point deduction. Despite that they still finished above the line, by one point. Fans might have thought they had escaped again, but behind the scenes things were worse, far worse. The club’s administrator this time, Rob Sadler, failed to get an agreement with HMRC (which was getting increasingly fed up with repeat offender clubs like Halifax taking the proverbial, this time to the tune of around £814,000 to them and more than £2 million in total) over their debts and establish a Company Voluntary Arrangement. Without a CVA in place Conference rules would not allow them to start the next season, and despite an appeal the club was formally expelled in May.
Halifax Town AFC was wound up and a new legal entity and company formed: FC Halifax Town. This applied to and was accepted to play in the Northern Premier League Division One North for the 2008-09 season. In these circumstances there was one piece of slightly better fortune: at least the new club had a ground to play in. Back in the 1980s – during yet another financial crisis when the club was teetering on the brink – Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council (as it was then called) had stepped in and taken on the overall ownership of The Shay, the club’s home since 1921. It passed the lease from the now defunct AFC to the new FC. The local Rugby League side has also been based at The Shay since 1998.
Phoenix from the flames etc. etc. the new Shaymen, with Jim Vince as their first manager, finished 8th. He was then replaced by Neil Aspin who led them to back-to-back promotions as Champions in 2009-10 and 2010-11. Up to Conference North they failed in the 2011-12 season to make it three promotions in a row, defeated by Gainsborough Trinity 3-2 on aggregate at the play-off semi-final stage. However this only delayed Halifax by one year as in 2012-13 they were back in the play-offs, this time beating Guiseley and then Brackley Town in the Final.
Up to the Non-League top flight for the 2014-15 campaign they found Luton Town were miles ahead of everyone else that season, winning the league by 19 points; Halifax did make the play-offs but lost out to Cambridge United in the semi-final. Momentum was lost, and they finished 9th the next year and 21st in 2015-16. A poor start had seen Aspin sacked in September. His replacement, Darren Kelly, lost seven of his ten matches in charge before he too was sacked. By the time Jim Harvey took up the reins on a permanent basis in December it was all a bit too late, the Shaymen were playing catch-up and never managed to. Despite winning the FA Trophy through a 1-0 over Grimsby Town at Wembley, with the relegation of Halifax to National League North Harvey wasn’t retained.
Billy Heath came in and oversaw an immediate bounce back through victories in the play-offs over Salford City and Chorley. Since then Halifax has had a couple of changes on manager (currently Pete Wild) and finished 16th, 16th, 6th (lost out in first play-off round to Boreham Wood), 10th, and this season currently look very likely to be making the play-offs again.
We’ve Met Before
Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Halifax Town AFC
|21/09/2002||Home||CONF||W||3-0||2126||Crittenden 41, 73, G Williams 42|
|04/03/2003||Away||Conf||W||3-2||2222||Gall 51, 56, 90|
Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Halifax Town AFC
Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs FC Halifax Town
|07/09/2019||Away||NLP||W||2-0||2341||Omotayo 5, 69|
|07/12/2019||Home||NLP||W||2-0||2975||Duffus 35, 90|
|04/09/2021||Home||NLP||W||1-0||1899||Quigley 14 (pen)|
Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs FC Halifax Town
|26/03/2022||King’s Lynn Town||Away||NLP||L||0-2||921|
LEAGUE ATTENDANCE STATISTICS
Highest League Attendance: 3,334 v Wrexham, 23/11/2021
Lowest League Attendance: 1,547 v Maidenhead United, 21/08/2021
Average League Attendance: 2,113
CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS
|Games Without A Win:||1||Games Without A Home Win:||0|
|Games Without An Away Win:||4||Games Without Defeat:||0|
|Games Without A Home Defeat:||8||Games Without An Away Defeat:||0|
|Games Without A Draw:||2||Games Without A Score Draw:||2|
|Games Without A No-Score Draw:||4||Games Without Scoring:||1|
|Games Without Conceding:||0||Home Results Sequence:||WWWDWW|
|Away Results Sequence:||LLDL||Overall Results Sequence:||WWLLWDWDWL|
Address : The Shay Stadium, Shaw Hill, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2YS (though apparently one needs to enter HX1 2YT in to sat navs).
Telephone Number : 01422 341222
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman : David Bosomworth
Ground Safety Officer : Dave Micklethwaite
Club Secretary : Tony Allen
Team Manager : Pete Wild
Capacity : Currently 10,401 (The North Terrace, from where home fans got a close up view of the Kevin Gall second half hat-trick the night Sir Gary threw a carrot at the break when 2-0 down, is not being used these days)–>
Seated : 5,108
Covered Terrace : All terracing is covered
Record Attendance : 36,853 (as Halifax Town AFC) v Tottenham Hotspur, FA Cup 5th Round Proper, 14/02/1953; 8,042 (as FC Halifax Town) v Bradford City, FA Cup 1st Round Proper, 09/11/2014.
Colours : shirt, shorts and socks blue with white trim
Nickname : The Shaymen
Programme : £3.00
Aged 12-17: £9.00
Aged Under 12: £4.00
(* Appears to be State Pension age from what a couple of other visiting clubs have said, though can find nothing on the FCHT website that actually confirms that in black & white.)
CASH payment is strongly preferred, their ticket office stating there’s a poor Wi-Fi signal at the stadium and card payment can be very slow and make the queues lengthy.
Facilities for wheelchair users are available at 2nd and 3rd tier levels of the East Stand. Access for wheelchair users and their carers is via a lift inside the main entrance to the stadium (East Stand) where an official will collect admission monies and sell match day programmes. Catering facilities are at ground floor level in this stand so persons with mobility impairments, using the upper levels, may request assistance from an official at the entrance if they wish to avail themselves of these facilities. Adapted toilet facilities are available at both balcony levels. For further advice/assistance contact the Club Office on 01422 341222.
Official Away Travel
The Green & White Supporters’ Club is running away travel to Halifax on Saturday, April 30th, 3.00 p.m. kick-off.
Details are as follows:
Members: Adult £33.00; Concession £31.00
Non-Members: Adult £35.00; Concession £33.00
Coach departs Huish Park: 7.00 a.m.
To book, call Paul Hadlow on 07736 044570 or email him on email@example.com.
If you are getting in touch by email, please make it clear which match you are booking for and that you give your full name, the names of people that are travelling and a contact telephone number.
You may be asked to pay a £5 deposit to reserve your seat.
Directions To The Ground
Halifax is a town of something over 80,000 in the District of Calderdale in West Yorkshire. Its five miles off the M62 and a couple (depending on service) of train stops from Leeds.
The obvious route from Huish Park to The Shay is via the M5/M6. Exit the M6 at Junction 21A for the M62 (East bound). Stay on the motorway (it slightly bizarrely becomes the M60 for a few miles before going back to being the M62) across the Pennines (it’s really scenic in places) to Junction 24, exiting for Halifax on to the A629. Follow the A629 into Halifax (it’s mostly dual carriageway though a few sections aren’t). After five miles, at a set of traffic lights, turn right on to Shaw Hill. The stadium is around 150 yards along, on the left. Total journey 265 miles.
The stadium car park is at the southern end of the ground, but its pretty small. The most recent information we can find had it costing £5.00 (but we haven’t found any current mention at all about it on the club’s website).
There’s some on-street parking around the stadium, but it’s limited and tends to fill up early. There’s around a dozen public carparks stretching in a belt between the ground and the town centre. Prices vary slightly but they are mostly cheap, with a whole afternoon costing between two and three pounds.
While in theory this is (just!) about doable from Yeovil Junction and return on the day, there’s both a revised timetable on the Exeter-Waterloo line and a dreaded bus replacement service between Salisbury and Yeovil Junction on Saturday 30th April which in practice will make it problematic and probably not worth the attempt.
As is common, London and South-East based Glovers have a much easier time. There’s two trains an hour out of Kings Cross with LNER, all requiring a change at Leeds. The last return to Kings Cross with a single change (Leeds again) departs Halifax at 18.52. Anything later than that requires multiple changes.
The Shay is half a mile (10 minutes walk) south of Halifax Railway Station.
With the ground being pretty close to the town centre and the railway station buses aren’t likely to be a priority, but for the record the stop right outside the stadium is Shaw Hill which is served by the Nos. 348, 561, 562 and 563.
Some local taxi companies can be found here.
FC Halifax Town – Home of the Shaymen – there are better Official Sites at this level but also worse ones. Rather light on useful information for away fans.
FCHTOnline – Official Twitter account of the club.
Shaymen Talk – podasts on You Tube.
There is a forum at theshaymen.net but as appears one has to create an account to even see what is being said not many fans of other clubs are likely to bother.
Halifax Courier – dedicated section for FC Halifax Town with regular coverage.
Food & Drink
Whereas some of our destinations this season are definitely in the backwaters of the beer world, struggling with the decline and closure of ‘traditional’ tied and chain pubs and finding no alternatives, the scene in Halifax appears vibrant, with a healthy mix of the old and the new.
The central district of town is nicely compact – about 0.4 miles north to south and the same east to west – containing the cultural, entertainment and administrative functions, and an abundance of pubs, cafes, restaurants and fast food joints. Conveniently located are the railway station on the eastern and the bus station on the northern edges of the town centre. Over a dozen car parks ring the centre. A whole afternoon and evening in the Council run ones varies between £2.00 and £3.00; and even most of the private sites will be under a fiver. Thankfully the town’s Football / Rugby League Clubs have not been banished to some remote industrial estate or retail park. An easy walk of around ten minutes southwards from almost anywhere in central Halifax (or you could catch a bus) takes you to The Shay.
Note: In the town centre four pubs supporters may have been aware of and used previously have gone in the last few years. The Pump Room Micropub, which was in the 2019 Good Beer Guide, has disappeared as the site it stood on was scheduled for redevelopment. The Regionally Important Historic Interior listed Gundog, closed suddenly on 29/05/2019. Three years on it has still not reopened. The Alexandra Beer House (along with sister outlet The Lantern) which was one of the places we used on the 2019 visit both closed down permanently in November 2021.
Club Bar :
The Shay has a clubhouse called the South Stand Bar located under what is now the home terrace. It’s open to away as well as home fans, but with a 200 capacity often fills up quickly. Inside the stadium away supporters were historically often in the Skircoat Stand.
If there is a smaller away following (like us) the club often switches its visitors to a section in the Main (East) Stand. An apparent advantage is there is access to a bar there, but any enthusiasm will probably soon dissipate – reports suggest only bottled and canned Carlsberg is available. Food supplied is the standard limited fare seen in most football grounds: burgers, hot dogs, pies, sausage rolls, chips.
Local Pubs :
Barum Top Inn: One of two town centre Wetherspoons in Halifax – not the usual redevelopment of an old post office, bank, department store, cinema, or corn exchange, this one was a former garage apparently! (The other, The Percy Shaw, is towards the northern end of the town centre in Broad Street Plaza and thus an extra third of a mile from the stadium – same opening times.) Large open plan design, as most Spoons are, with an upper balcony area and restaurant zone. Step free access, children welcome (this is usually until around 7.00 or 8.00 p.m. in Spoons, but branches do vary), TV screens, an outside area. Food: breakfast menu served 8.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. noon Monday to Thursday, and main menu 12.00 noon – 11.00 p.m. every day. Ten hand pumps, with two from the Spoons stable of ‘house’ beers, Abbot and Ruddles Best by Greene King, and eight changing options. Does a real cider – in Spoons that’s most commonly something from Weston’s. Opening hours: from 8.00 a.m. every day, closing at 12.00 midnight Sunday to Thursday and 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Towards the western edge of the town centre, it’s 0.4 miles from the railway station for those arriving by train, and half a mile from The Shay.
The Barum Top Inn, 17 Rawson Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1NX. Tel: 01422 300488. Map: Barum Top.
Bow Legged With Brass: About twenty yards from the Barum Top (above), so also half a mile from the ground. Owned by Amber Taverns, apparently the name’s a Northern idiom suggesting someone who’s so wealthy their legs are bowed by the weight of the money in their pockets…with the implied insult that they aren’t keen on spending it. Five hand pumps, with John Smith’s and Tetley’s Bitters the regular ‘house’ beers (though some evidence these may have switched recently to offerings from Marston’s) and the other three occupied by changing lines from small independent local(ish) breweries. Sky and BT Sports. Small outdoor seating area at rear. Opens from 10.00 a.m., closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, midnight Friday, 1.00 a.m. Saturday.
Bow Legged With Brass, 21 George Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 5DR. Tel: 01422 340534. Map: Bow Legged With Brass.
Cross Keys: A little further away, across Hebble Brook, from The Shay than Shears Inn (below) at 0.4 of a mile (so under 10 mintes walk), but the same route to the ground, passing the Shears on the way. A longstanding tied house back street wet led local, after a period of closure it reopened at the end of 2012 as a Free House with a back to basics theme: there’s no TV, jukebox, fruit machines etc. Eight hand pumps cycle through changing beers from many small independent brewers, principally focusing on the North but also occasionally stretching down into the Midlands or up into Scotland. The keg lines are of continental European origin: the likes of Warsteiner, Kaltenberg and Erdinger. Aspall’s Suffolk from Molson Coors is the cyder [sic]. The only food on offer is pork pies to soak up the beer. Has a beer yard to the rear. Opens from 3.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 2.00 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday and Sunday, closing at 11.00 p.m. every day.
The Cross Keys, 3 Whitegate, Siddal, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX3 9AE. Tel: 01422 300348. Map: Cross Keys.
Dukes: Delayed by a year because of Covid this town centre craft beer bar finally opened in April 2021 with three or four cask and eight to ten keg beers plus a couple of ciders. There’s a beer board for what’s on and what’s coming here. Has some external seating in the arcade. Food is Pizza, available Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Open from noon Tuesday to Sunday; closing at 10.00 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 11.00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8.00 p.m. Sunday. However, it does apparently have a maximum number of days a year it can trade built in to its licence terms so it may be worth double checking on its Facebook Page ahead of a visit that it isn’t shut that day. Ten minutes (0.4 of a mile) walk from the ground.
Dukes, 16-18 Market Arcade, Russell Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1NX. Tel: 07305 100054. Map: Dukes.
Grayston Unity: Micropub founded in 2016 in a Grade II listed building opposite the Town Hall towards the northern end of the central district, 0.6 miles (around 13/14 minutes walk) from The Shay. Stocks four cask ales, focusing on small independent Northern breweries, with Chinook Blonde by Goose Eye Brewery (Keighley) the ‘house’ beer, and five craft keg lines. The goal is for a balanced range: so, a Bitter and a Dark are almost always on along with the ubiquitous Goldens/Pales/IPAs. The keg range also looks to cover Pilsner, a Wheat, something high up the ABV scale, a cider and often a Sour. Food is limited to pies and vegetable samosas but you’re welcome to bring your own in from outside if wanting something more substantial – and they will provide a plate and cutlery. There’s a courtyard to the rear and seating out the front in summer. Children welcome until 7.00 p.m. It should have switched from Winter Opening Hours (states the change over happens “in April”) so expect: closed Mondays (except for Bank Holidays when it opens 1.30 p.m. – 10.00 p.m.); 4.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 4.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. Thursday (and 11.00 p.m. on the 2nd and last Thursdays of each month); 2.00 p.m. – 11.30 p.m. Friday; 12.30 p.m. – 11.30 Saturday; 1.00 p.m. – 8.00 p.m. Sunday. They have subsequently open a second place, the Meandering Bear (see below).
The Grayston Unity, 1-3 Wesley Court, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1UH. Tel: 07807 136520. Map: Grayston Unity.
Kobenhavn: Danish in terms of design and décor craft beer bar (what else did you expect in Halifax?) it does do some Danish (including Mikkeller) and more general Scandinavian beers, but most of its 6 cask and 24 keg lines dispense a changing range of output from small independent British ‘craft’ brewers. From the same people that run the Victorian Craft Beer Café (below), it opened in August 2019. Three tiers of seating inside and a large (covered) outdoor area in the arcade. Disabled access. Opens 11.00 a.m. every day, closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday. Ten minutes walk (0.4 of a mile) from The Shay.
Kobenhavn, 4-6 Westgate Arcade, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1DJ. Tel: (none published). Map: Kobenhavn.
Meandering Bear: Another town centre micropub (owned by the same people as Grayston Unity – above), which opened in September 2019 fifty yards from Kobenhavn (above) and a walk to the ground of 0.4 of a mile, 9 minutes. Very different décor from the Grayston but much the same beer approach: a mix of five hand pulls and five keg taps all from small independent ‘craft’ breweries. The featured Brewery Of The Month for April is Marble Brewery – which is good news as they are excellent – so some of the lines should be dispensing their beers on our visit. The food options are rather more substantial, in the “sharing platter” style. Closed Mondays, opening every other day is 1.00 p.m. except Saturday when an hour earlier, at noon. Shuts at 8.00 p.m. on a Tuesday, 10.00 p.m. Wednesday, 11.00 p.m. Thursday, 11.30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9.00 p.m. Sunday.
The Meandering Bear, 21-23 Union Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1PR. Tel: 07807 136520. Map: Meandering Bear.
Old Post Office: Guess what? It was Halifax’s first Post Office from 1790. But not a big enough one for Tim to turn into a Spoons it seems. After that flurry of craft beer joints this is a more traditional outlet with B&B offered. The ‘house’ beer is Wainwright by Marston’s, with five additional hand pumps offering a changing selection. Real cider is usually available, particularly in the summer months. Did have Sky Sports (but that’s no longer mentioned so might have gone), a Pool table, quite a large tables and benches area out the front. Opening is 12.00 noon – 10.00 p.m. “or later” (if it’s still busy/the landlord likes your face/his mates are in – who knows?) every day. If you’re someone who struggles to navigate around strange towns this pub couldn’t be a simpler choice as Winding Road becomes Smithy Street becomes Charles Street becomes Square Road becomes Church Street (going past the railway station) becomes South Parade, by the end of which you are almost on top of The Shay – 0.6 miles, so about 12 minutes walk.
The Old Post Office, 55 Winding Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1SJ. Tel: 01422 362855. Map: Old Post Office.
Plummet Line: Stonegate Group hostelry on western side of the central district 50 yards from Barum Top Spoons (above), so 0.6 of a mile (12 minutes walk) from the ground. Disabled access and adapted toilet; Sky, BT and Amazon Prime Sports with HD screens; Pool table and darts; beer garden and smoking area. Seems to have fairly recently stopped doing food and has introduced an Over 18s Only policy. Has six or seven beers on hand pump (the house beer is called Plummet Line Blonde and is brewed by Stod Fold) generally sourced from independent fairly local breweries while the keg lines are from the multinationals. Opens from 11.00 a.m. every day, closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday.
Plummet Line Hotel, 19-21 Bull Close Lane, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2EF. Tel: 01422 353620. Map: Plummet Line.
Royal Oak: Towards the southern edge of the town’s central district, just over third of a mile (8 minutes walk) from The Shay. Grade II listed, but not nearly as old a building as it looks, only dating back to 1931. Used to be called Dirty Dick’s Ale House until a change of owner and of name some years back. Changed hands again more recently and is now a wet led pub having given up on doing food. There are eight hand pumps, with beers sourced from independent regional breweries. Acorn Brewery (Barnsley) badge what we assume is their Yorkshire Pride Pale Ale as the House beer under the name ‘Royal Oak’; and expect to see several other offerings on from that brewery. The keg lines in contrast are offerings such as Carling, Fosters and Strongbow from the multi-nationals. Sports TV and a Pool table. Opens at noon every day, closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
The Royal Oak, 1 Clare Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2HX. Tel: 01422 362692. Map: Royal Oak.
Shears Inn: Along with the Three Pigeons (below) this is the closest hostelry to The Shay, situated just under a third of a mile (five to six minutes walking) south-east of the stadium. A family run Free House that also does B&B, there’s always beer options on by Timothy Taylor’s (Keighley), with the total of five hand pumps usually completed with offerings from other northern independent breweries. Food, including the home-made ‘Pie-of-the-Day’, is served 12.00 noon – 2.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. – 8.00 p.m. on weekdays, 11.30 a.m. – 9.00 p.m. Saturday and 12.00 noon – 7.00 p.m. Sunday. Outside there’s a terrace, beer garden, unheated smoking shelter, children’s play area and parking. Opens 11.30 a.m. (except Sunday when it’s half an hour later at noon) and closes at 12.00 midnight every day.
Shears Inn, 1 Paris Gates, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX3 9EZ. Tel: 01422 362936. Map: Shears Inn.
Square Chapel Café & Bar: Let no one say we don’t cast our net widely to bring you suggestions on where to find good beer. This is in the Square Chapel Arts Centre, around 150 yards from the exit of Halifax railway station, and so half a mile from The Shay. In a Grade II* listed former Georgian Chapel, the Café Bar was added in 2017 to a complex hosting a theatre, cinema, live music and comedy and workshop spaces for artists. There are five Real Ales on tap, seven keg lines and a real cider. In 2021 Seven Bro7hers Brewing (Manchester) struck a deal with the Centre and now supply the bulk of the beer range, though there are still guests. The kitchen aspect (small plate snacks and burgers) operates Wednesday to Saturday 5.30 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. (last food orders 9.00 p.m.) and Sunday 5.30 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. (last food orders 8.30 p.m.). The bar opening times are: 4.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; noon – 11.00 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday; noon – 9.00 p.m. Sunday. Disabled access throughout, family friendly and has an outside terrace.
Square Chapel Arts Centre, 10 Square Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1QG. Tel: 01422 349422. Map: Square Chapel.
Stod Fold Dean Clough Mills: This, formerly just known as Stod Fold Brewery Tap but then rather swanked up around 2019, is here for the beer geeks who love going to the source as it’s the furthest venue listed from The Shay at just over one mile (20 minutes walk). Permanently stocks all five of Stod Fold’s core cask beers plus whatever seasonals/specials it is doing at the time. Disabled access, family friendly, outside seating area. Food served noon – 8.00 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, noon – 3.00 p.m. Sunday. Opening hours: from noon every day, to 11.00 p.m. Monday to Thursday, midnight Friday and Saturday, 10.00 p.m. Sunday.
Stod Fold Dean Clough Mills, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX3 5AX. Tel: 01422 355600. Map: Dean Clough.
Three Pigeons: Just over halfway along the route from the railway station (0.3 miles) to The Shay (0.2 miles), this is the closest pub to the ground, along with The Shears Inn (above), with the stadium just a couple of minutes walk away. As such we’ve found it gets absolutely rammed near kick-off, but is clearly geared up for it as service remained efficient and relatively swift. One of around 25 pubs owned by Ossett Brewery from Ossett near Wakefield, it usually has four or five of their own beers on hand pump plus three or four changing guests from other small independent breweries. A real cider is also available. An unusual octagonal main bar from which five smaller rooms branch off, its interior has CAMRA’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors status. It doesn’t do food, but shows live sports, has a paved outside area to the front and some parking. Children allowed (to what time not specified). Opens 3.00 p.m. weekdays and noon at weekends, closing 11.00 p.m. throughout.
The Three Pigeons, 1 Sun Fold, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2LX. Tel: 01422 347001. Map: Three Pigeons.
Upper George: This is a Greene King pub, but fear not – like many GK pubs these days it stocks the minimum number of their beers it can get away with. On the eight hand pumps there’s likely to be no more than a token Greene King IPA or Old Specked Hen and the other seven are taken up with beers from regional independents and local micro-breweries. Keg is the likes of Carlsberg, Strongbow and John Smith’s Extra Smooth. Sky and BT Sports, Pool room and darts, jukebox, regular live music, outside courtyard. Over 18s Only policy. The CAMRA WhatPub entry claims it does lunchtime and evening meals, but checking around elsewhere am pretty convinced it doesn’t. Opens at noon, closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. In the town centre 0.6 of a mile (so around 12 minutes walk) from the stadium.
Upper George Hotel, 35 Crown Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1TT. Tel: 01422 353614. Map: Upper George.
Victorian Craft Beer Café: Opened 2014. Claimed to have the widest selection of beer in Halifax, and with ten hand pumps, eighteen keg lines and over a hundred different bottled and canned beers it’s likely they did… until this may have been topped when they opened a second venue, Kobenhavn (above), in 2019. Focuses almost entirely on the beers of smaller independent brewers from Britain and Belgium with an ever changing range from some of the top ‘craft’ breweries. A couple of draught ciders are also stocked. Food is pies (with the occasional pop-up kitchen take over). Children allowed until 8.00 p.m. In the town centre, 0.4 of a mile due west from Halifax railway station, behind Victoria Theatre; and it’s exactly half a mile (ten minutes walk) south to the stadium from here. Opens at noon every day, closing 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday.
The Victorian Craft Beer Café, 18-22 Powell Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 1LN. Tel: no land line and don’t publish a mobile number. Map: Victorian Craft.
Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You : We think them talks all peculiar; them thinks we do talk funny. Mutual incomprehension rules…
Top-Tip : Enjoy Halifax. It’s a likeable place – and there’s not many former industrial Yorkshire towns we’ve visited, such as the Barnsleys, Doncasters & Rotherhams, would be saying that about. In fact it’s so likeable and “up and coming” it features in things like Sunday Supplements and Lifestyle Magazines as somewhere Oop North it would almost not be horrible to live.
Other Points Of Interest : Lots of moderately famous people were born in Halifax (according to Wikipedia) but only one has a pub in the town named after him as far as I know: Percy Shaw who invented Cat’s Eyes.
[No responsibility is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]