Proper Pubs

Oxpete

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Retro pub review for Friday 9th August 2019, and a day trawling the delights of Chesterfield, which is a very agreeable town indeed.

The plan had been to tick the micropub that sits just up from Chesterfield FC's new ground at The Beer Parlour, 1 King Street North, Whittington Moor, Chesterfield BeerParlour , of which I'd read some very good reviews - but unfortunately I'd got my opening times wrong, and rather than traipse all the way out there again later in the day, I decided to leave it for when I'm back to tick CFC (whenever that might be). So instead I headed for another micropub closer to the town centre at...

Chesterfield Alehouse
37 West Bars
Chesterfield
ChesterfieldAlehouse


...which is an excellent little split-level micropub in an old shop a few minutes walk west past the main market square. Also in the town centre, I paid a visit to...

The Rectory
Church Way
Chesterfield


...which sits in an attractive building right next to the town's famous crooked spire of St.Mary's And All Saints. A thorough and imaginative range of ales and craft beers were on show in this beautifully renovated interior, though the sizable crowd in there included a thorough mix of food-eaters and lager drinkers.

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Oxpete

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However, my two favourite pubs were both close to eachother to the north of the town centre, close to the Stonegravels neighbourhood of Chesterfield. First up was...

The Chesterfield Arms
40 Newbold Road
Chesterfield
ChesterfieldArms


...a handsome and friendly street-corner local tied to the family-owned Everards Brewery of Leicestershire, and with an impressive range of guest ales. And just two minutes walk around the corner from here is...

The Neptune Beer Emporium
46 St.Helen's Street
Chesterfield


...a free-house that received a welcome renovation and change of direction a few years back. Between them, these two pubs now regularly have at least sixteen different ales on at any one time, and make a darn good pairing.

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Oxpete

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Retro pub review for Sunday 11th August 2019, and a surprise lunchtime trip to Sheffield, courtesy of the direct railway line between Nottingham and Lincoln being dug up - never again will I grumble about Sunday engineering works! With Sheffield Midland railway station still not having automatic ticket barriers, anyone passing through this fine city by train should always take the opportunity to jump off and explore possibly the finest beer and pub landscape in the UK, even if you don't get any further than The Sheffield Tap on platform 1b.

With a couple of hours to kill, I headed for two of the pubs down towards Kelham Island that I'd not managed on my previous visit in February, starting with...

Shakespeares
146~148 Gibraltar Street
Kelham Island
Sheffield
ShakespearesSheffield


...which joined the Kelham Island beer revolution when reopened in July 2011 by real ale and live music fan William Wagstaff of Bradford's New Beehive Inn, after the wassocks at pub.co Punch Taverns had closed it as excess to requirement in early 2010. A beautiful building full of nooks and cubby-holes that are ideal if you want to hide away with a quality pint.

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Oxpete

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One of my favourite pubs in Sheffield is...

The Wellington
1 Henry Street
Shalesmoor
Sheffield


...sometimes referred to as the Bottom Wellie, and sitting close to Shalesmoor tram stop on the line out towards Hillsborough, and just across the road from the centre of Kelham Island. This is the brewery tap for the Neepsend Brewery, with a carpeted interior that you could mistake for your nan's front room, and a much more peaceful atmosphere than some of the better known pubs in this neck of town. There's no denying that the nearby Fat Cat and Kelham Island Tavern can both be at times victims of their own success, but The Wellington always seems to make for a much more gentle visit.

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Ellisref

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Wrexham and a general look out for some of the friendly teams I've been observing at around the country.
One of my favourite pubs in Sheffield is...

The Wellington
1 Henry Street
Shalesmoor
Sheffield


...sometimes referred to as the Bottom Wellie, and sitting close to Shalesmoor tram stop on the line out towards Hillsborough, and just across the road from the centre of Kelham Island. This is the brewery tap for the Neepsend Brewery, with a carpeted interior that you could mistake for your nan's front room, and a much more peaceful atmosphere than some of the better known pubs in this neck of town. There's no denying that the nearby Fat Cat and Kelham Island Tavern can both be at times victims of their own success, but The Wellington always seems to make for a much more gentle visit.

View attachment 3567
I think the line was shut for the renewal of the flat crossing with the ECML at Newark.

Have only managed the Sheffield Tap so far.
 

Oxpete

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This week last year I was enjoying a few days stay in Lincoln, and several lovely pubs.

Two particularly good pubs were almost next door to each other, just outside the north-west corner of the city walls. First was...

The Victoria
6 Union Road
Lincoln


...a former Tynemill house now owned by Batemans, with ten hand-pumps spread over two rooms, and thirty-four years in the GBG. Immediately round the corner is the equally good...

The Strugglers
83 Westgate
Lincoln


...with up to eleven hand-pumps, and live music out in the beer garden on this Sunday afternoon. These two pubs make a great pairing.


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Further up the hill near the cathedral, the pubs seemed a little more expensive and with perhaps a little less character than the Victoria and the Strugglers. However, there were still a couple of decent pumps on the bar and a beautiful view of the spires of Lincoln Cathedral from...

The Prince Of Wales
77a Bailgate
Lincoln


...even if it did fancy its chances more as a gastro-oub. Heading on into the flatter area of the city to the south of the railway line and the station, Lincoln's first micropub can be found at the far end of the long strung-out High Street at...

The Imp & Angel
417a High Street
Lincoln


...and not too far from LCFC's Sincil Bank football ground.

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Oxpete

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It's understandably a lean time for getting in visits to new pubs, but I did manage a new tick last week in Reading, with a pint of Moondance from the Triple FFF Brewery of Alton at...

The Butler
85~91 Chatham Street
Reading

ButlerReading

...an attractive-looking music venue and genuine free-house on the edge of the West Reading area only a ten minute walk from the main Reading railway station. It's also not too far away from two other GBG entries: the excellent Nag's Head and Castle Tap pubs. The only notable downside of the place is its location hard up against the dual-carriageway spur road that funnels quantities of speeding traffic off of the main A329 ring-road, which made the outside pub garden a bit noisy. The pint, however, was spot on.

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Ellisref

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It's understandably a lean time for getting in visits to new pubs, but I did manage a new tick last week in Reading, with a pint of Moondance from the Triple FFF Brewery of Alton at...

The Butler
85~91 Chatham Street
Reading

ButlerReading

...an attractive-looking music venue and genuine free-house on the edge of the West Reading area only a ten minute walk from the main Reading railway station. It's also not too far away from two other GBG entries: the excellent Nag's Head and Castle Tap pubs. The only notable downside of the place is its location hard up against the dual-carriageway spur road that funnels quantities of speeding traffic off of the main A329 ring-road, which made the outside pub garden a bit noisy. The pint, however, was spot on.

View attachment 3588
From memory the Butler used to be a Fullers pub?
 

Hoddy1.

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Crewe Alexandra.
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For you pub tickers. 2 of the best 3 in Crewe are no more.

Beer Dock (1 + 2) are no more, closed. Ceased trading.

Hops is closed (until Covid goes away or they find a way around problems of opening under current guidelines)

So that leaves The Borough, but only open at 17-00 M - Th

A poss newcomer, not been recently but the Raven getting good reviews but again tea time opening M - Th.
 

Hoddy1.

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3 from 4 in Crewe..... You forgot The Gaffers Row.
I know you jest, when last open a few years ago it was never worthy of a place at the top table.
 

Kirby Knitters

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Interesting point you make about that cracking pub Hops. Any idea what problems they are encountering with the current guidelines? It could explain why a couple of popular real ale establishments in Leicester have not yet reopened.
 

Hoddy1.

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Think its fina
Interesting point you make about that cracking pub Hops. Any idea what problems they are encountering with the current guidelines? It could explain why a couple of popular real ale establishments in Leicester have not yet reopened.
Think its financial , doing whats necessary then government changing the goal posts every week.

Some ordinary pubs don't even ask for your name anymore around here, so the good drinkers of the world aren't going far nowadays just the can't do without brigade.

Crewe is a total mismatch at the moment. My club still insists on name /phone/ your club number and NO guests.

We're struggling CC.
 

Oxpete

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Retro pub review from Monday 12th August 2019, and a day out on the ale in the delightful town of Newark-on-Trent. They're pretty proud of their pubs in Newark, with the local council and railway company combining to make a useful leaflet boasting of the best couple of dozen in the area - however, I only manged to reach four, starting at the excellent...

Just Beer Micropub
32a Castle Gate
Newark-on-Trent
Nottinghamshire
JustBeerNewark


...one of the very first micropubs to open in the country back in 2010, after the owner had attended a talk by Martyn Hillier, the founder of the original micropub the Butcher's Arms in Herne Bay. Located in an old stable block close to the banks of the Trent, Just Beer now have a track record of having served nearly 5,000 different beers in the past ten years. Next Up was...

The Organ Grinder
21 Portland Street
Newark-on-Trent
BlueMonkey


...which is one of five pubs tied to the Blue Monkey brewery of Giltbrook near Nottingham, the other four pubs being in Arnold, Nottingham and Loughborough. Their Chocolate Orange Stout was pretty attention-grabbing.

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Then it was on to...

The Prince Rupert
46 Stodman Street
Newark-on-Trent


...a creaking old Tudor-beamed building with historic links to Newark's role in the forefront of the English Civil War. Plenty of character, and has one of the most beautiful little beer gardens I've ever had the pleasure to sit in. And finally there was time for a last pint before the train back to Lincoln in...

The Castle Barge
The Wharf
Newark-on-Trent
CastleBarge


..a floating pub in an old grain barge, converted in 1980 and now moored to the banks of the River Trent just downstream from the bridge close to Newark Castle railway station. Really enjoyable.

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Oxpete

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Another retro pub review, this time from Tuesday 13th August 2019, after catching a the train from Lincoln to Boston for a final visit to York Street for the Pilgrims' fixture against Leamington. First was a pint in Goodbarns Yard at 8 Wormgate, Boston, which had an ordinary choice of beers, but with an attractive garden leading down to the bank of the tidal waters of the River Witham and views of the huge tower of St.Botolph's Church, affectionally known as the Boston Stump. However, there was a lot more personality and character to...

The Eagle
144 West Street
Boston
Lincolnshire


...a rather anonymous-looking little building on a busy street corner close to the railway station. The Eagle is tied to the excellent Castle Rock Brewery of Nottingham, so has a thorough range at bargain prices. I really rather liked this one.

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Oxpete

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Not a proper pub as such, but pre-kick off I had a fine pint from the Fenland Brewery of Little Downham near Ely, while sat in the Pilgrims' Lounge at York Street football ground, Boston.

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Ellisref

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Wrexham and a general look out for some of the friendly teams I've been observing at around the country.
Retro pub review from Monday 12th August 2019, and a day out on the ale in the delightful town of Newark-on-Trent. They're pretty proud of their pubs in Newark, with the local council and railway company combining to make a useful leaflet boasting of the best couple of dozen in the area - however, I only manged to reach four, starting at the excellent...

Just Beer Micropub
32a Castle Gate
Newark-on-Trent
Nottinghamshire
JustBeerNewark


...one of the very first micropubs to open in the country back in 2010, after the owner had attended a talk by Martyn Hillier, the founder of the original micropub the Butcher's Arms in Herne Bay. Located in an old stable block close to the banks of the Trent, Just Beer now have a track record of having served nearly 5,000 different beers in the past ten years. Next Up was...

The Organ Grinder
21 Portland Street
Newark-on-Trent
BlueMonkey


...which is one of five pubs tied to the Blue Monkey brewery of Giltbrook near Nottingham, the other four pubs being in Arnold, Nottingham and Loughborough. Their Chocolate Orange Stout was pretty attention-grabbing.

View attachment 3605

Then it was on to...

The Prince Rupert
46 Stodman Street
Newark-on-Trent


...a creaking old Tudor-beamed building with historic links to Newark's role in the forefront of the English Civil War. Plenty of character, and has one of the most beautiful little beer gardens I've ever had the pleasure to sit in. And finally there was time for a last pint before the train back to Lincoln in...

The Castle Barge
The Wharf
Newark-on-Trent
CastleBarge


..a floating pub in an old grain barge, converted in 1980 and now moored to the banks of the River Trent just downstream from the bridge close to Newark Castle railway station. Really enjoyable.

View attachment 3606
When we went there pre-lockdown the barge had sailed away. Not sure if it's gone or it needed shipbuilding repairs. Haven't been back yet.
 

Ellisref

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Wrexham and a general look out for some of the friendly teams I've been observing at around the country.
The train resumes its journey.

Bath is only used for changing to buses to get to a number of grounds. The staging post is:

Graze Bar, Brewery & Chop House, 9 Brunel Square

Situated above the bus station, very much geared towards food but plenty of room for drinkers. Mainly Bath Ales but St Austell beers were starting to put in an appearance following the link up. Just a shame there isn't a direct link to the platform and I do like the white farmyard animal statues on the patio.

After one of the bus rides and a long walk up the hill:

Fromeway, Frome Road, Radstock

Small two bar local, just around the corner from the ground, a GBG regular. Absolutely stunning painting of a 9F on a freight train at Radstock hangs on the wall in the lounge.

Next stop is Keynsham (also a changing point for a bus to a few grounds).

I have two favourites:

Old Bank, 20 High Street

It is what it says, an old bank. One room bar which also features in the GBG on a regular basis.

Down the hill from the station is:

Brassmill, Avon Mill Lane

A Vintage Inn with the emphasis on food, but usually a couple of beers on, mainly St Austell.

Here ends the journey, experiences in Bristol have been soured by poor beer quality and high prices in Bonapartes on Temple Meads station.

Next will be pubs from my time on the Wessex League.
 

Oxpete

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Retro pub review for Wednesday 14th August 2019 and the last day of my East Midlands holiday. This started off with the catching of the B13 bus from Boston to Spalding, a quick look at Spalding United FC's Winfrey Avenue ground next-door to the bus station, then the 505 bus on to King's Lynn.

In all honesty, I did the county of Norfolk a real disservice with my lack of planning here. With an hour to kill before the train to Cambridge, but without a map or any proper thought-out plans, I managed to walk straight past The Nip & Growler Micropub at 68 High Street without spotting it, and then proceeded to get lost in a tangle of back-street without finding the reputedly excellent Crown & Mitre on Ferry Street. So instead I made do with...

The Maids Head
7 Tuesday Market Place
King's Lynn
Norfolk


...which is attractive on the outside but only average on the inside.

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