Sunday, 25 November 2012

A Compendium of Pub Games Images - Pt.11

Wellingborough in Northamptonshire has a number of very good pubs for the beer enthusiast (see below), in all honesty, the Volunteer is currently not one of them. No real ale is on offer at the Volunteer, and yet this is still one of my favourite pubs in the town, and well worth a visit if like me you have a love of unpretentious, well-run locals pubs. From the outside there's little to draw your attention to this Victorian (?) street corner pub, only the subdued light from within indicates that it is still trading as a pub. Inside is a different matter. Light, airy, and beautifully maintained by the current licensee. A clutch of locals propping up the bar beneath a photograph of the self same locals from an earlier time, all bike leathers and long hair. A sociable bunch, and seemingly proud of their long association with the pub.

The pub staples of Darts, Pool, and Cribbage are all played, but more unusually, an old Bar Billiards Table stands to the rear of the bar. In common with many of these older tables, the coin mechanism is unmodified and therefore still requires old 10 pence pieces for a game, which are available from the bar. The Volunteer hosts a team in the local Wellingborough Bar Billiards League.

The Burnaby Arms in Bedford is a classic back-street corner local, and has recently re-opened after a sensitive refurbishment with the aim of re-establishing itself as a proper community local. It's nice to see traditional pub games like these Dominoes still have a place at the pub.
The Cross Keys, Burbage, near Hinckley in Leicestershire, has an unspoilt interior of sufficient merit to be included on CAMRA's national inventory. The front bar is a lovely place to spend an afternoon with a pint or two, and what better way to spend it than shoving a few coins up the polished surface of this Shove Ha'penny Board. The board is kept in an alcove to the right of the fireplace, with coins available from behind the bar.

The Breweriana, and hundreds of pump clips which adorn the walls of the Coach & Horses in Wellingborough are testament to the role that beer plays in the pubs success. I'm pleased to see that there is still room for a Darts Board though.

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