Saturday, 3 November 2012

The Black Horse, Aylestone, Leicester

The Black Horse was my own local for many years, back in the days of Formica table tops, harsh strip lighting, and outside toilets. It was also a time when it was still perfectly normal to visit your local most days of the week, Friday nights and Sunday lunchtimes being particularly busy.

The pub has changed quite a bit since then, though still has a very traditional feel and retains the separate Bar, Lounge, and Snug layout of old. Only the tiny Off-sales room at the front entrance has been lost, my first introduction to pub culture when sent on regular errands for 'Ten No.6 and a bar of Milk Tray' as a youngster.

The Black Horse has always been a locals pub, tucked away on what is now a no-through road in the old part of the village. The nearby Union Inn, also very much a local, had the distinction of housing a Leicestershire Skittles Table as I recall, but the Black Horse was home to Darts, a Pool Table upstairs, and a good Long Alley for Skittles out the back. The Darts board has moved from its original location adjacent to the bar, but the Skittle Alley is still where it's always been in a separate outbuilding at the rear of the pub. The alley is not currently in use for league games as far as I'm aware, though it certainly was back in the 80's. Nowadays it's a popular venue for functions, and has hosted the annual Everards Brewery/Leicester CAMRA Skittles Challenge on a few occasions.

*Update: I'm pleased to say that Thursday Winter League Skittles is still being played at the Black Horse.


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