Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Railway Inn, Oakham, Rutland

Oakham is a town blessed with a pretty decent variety of pubs and bars. My favourites include the Grainstore and White Lion for their wide range of interesting ales, and the recently opened Lord Nelson for a more upmarket food and beer experience. If it's an unpretentious locals pub I'm after, and I usually am, I often end up in the comfort of the Railway Inn, a stones throw from the rail station itself. What sets pubs like the Railway apart from some other town centre boozers, is the effort which the owners put in to keep the pub in good order, and the bar ticking over with a loyal local trade. Functions, live music, televised sport, and the familiar pub games of Pool and Darts are the bedrock of pubs like the Railway.

Dominoes and cards are also played at the pub, with several green felt table toppers dotted around the bar for the purpose. One curiosity of pub gaming, and the only one I've come across in the area outside of Stamford, is a well-worn Shove Ha'penny, a Jaques of London board, sadly little used these days. A collection of old Ha'pennies are kept behind the bar for the asking, though they could do with a bit of a polish to be honest. It's a nice board in a nice pub, in need of a little more use I'd say.

The Grainstore has a well used Darts Board, though like the Railway and White Lion, it's use is confined to the pubs own competition as no league is currently in operation in the town.

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