Monday, 24 September 2012

Two Skittle Alleys in Loughborough

A surprising taste of West Country Skittles can be found in the Leicestershire town of Loughborough. The Swan in the Rushes was one of the first pubs taken over and thoroughly revitalised by the Tynemill Pub Company (now Castle Rock Brewery of Nottingham), and has maintained a reputation in the town as an excellent traditional ale house ever since.

If there's perhaps one thing lacking from the otherwise excellent traditional interior of the Swan, it's a range of traditional pub games. The current licensee is keen to change this situation, and is on the look out for a decent Shove Ha'penny Board for the pub. Nevertheless, upstairs there is a well appointed function room featuring a short West Country style Skittle Alley. The alley is set with what appear to be nine pins of a style used in the Bristol area. It's a popular game for functions, though unlikely to be the venue for league play given the Swan's distance from the game's West Country home.

Other than the excellent purpose built alley at The Beacon already featured on this blog, I know of only one other traditional Long Alley for Skittles remaining in the centre of Loughborough. There would certainly have been more at one time, and I would be delighted to learn of other surviving examples in the town.

The Peacock Inn is one of the more 'locals' oriented pubs in the town. Located slightly off the beaten track in a residential area, but still close enough to the centre to include in a crawl of the town, and certainly worth the effort. It's a good alley which doesn't appear to be currently in league use. It's perhaps the pubs location slightly out of town which has helped this alley survive where others have fallen victim to fashionable development. Darts is popular at the Peacock, with several boards dotted around the bar.

No comments: