Friday, 20 April 2012

Tollemache Arms, Harrington

Attractive thatched village pubs like the Tollemache Arms can so easily be ruined as pubs by an insensitive hand. Often, all it takes is a change of ownership, and out go the accumulated artifacts and images of genuine local interest, to be replaced with a mish-mash of bland bric-a-brac, a marketing man's idea of what makes a 'local'. The recent gastro fad may be a London restaurant critics dream, but clearly it has also ruined many a good pub in the process.

This continued gentrification of our rural pubs is something I view with great concern, not least because the true locals are becoming marginalised, and needless to say there is little room allowed for the social pastimes which the very best of our pubs have been built on, and which are still an essential part of community life.

The Tollemache Arms is a true local in every sense of the word, and it is to the credit of the current owners that they work hard to be at the centre of their community with events, functions, and of course by fielding teams in several Northamptonshire Table Skittles leagues throughout the year.

The skittles table is located in an extension to the original pub, which is also the main entrance from the car park. You can't miss it. The mat in front of the table helps to dampen the clatter of a poorly thrown cheese on the tiled floor. 

Winter league matches are cosy affairs thanks to the adjacent wood-burning stove. The throw at the Tollemache Arms is notoriously long in comparison to other venues, all part of home advantage.

No comments: