Friday, 10 September 2021
Thursday, 22 July 2021
So, what little remains of these historic gems is precious indeed, and well worth supporting with a visit and a pint or two. The beauty of Worcester is that all its rare pub survivors might conceivably be visited in a single day without too much trouble, and I'd have to say that they’re all well worth visiting. From Worcesters oldest pub, to a classic post-war estate boozer, all unique and attractive venues in their own very different ways. Having said that, it's perhaps worth mentioning that these are not mere tourist attractions, they are for the most part vibrant, sometimes busy locals pubs, in fact some might be regarded as being quite earthy in character, splendidly so in my view.
A classic urban all-day opener (10am Mon-Sat!) on the main road through St Johns, the only nearby competition coming from the Parish Church opposite now that the Bull Baiters micropub seems to have closed. Indeed the pub was originally established to serve parishioners as a Church House, the origin of many village pubs it seems. As much a social centre as beerhouse, though the predominantly local beers on offer are certainly worth sampling. The chat and banter in the bar is constant, sometimes loud, often rude, occasionally lewd, it's that kind of pub. A telly at the front of the bar seems to be reserved exclusively for horseracing, and whilst other sports do feature when requested, I wouldn't say the Bell is a particularly 'sporty' bar. If it's on it's on, if it's not, nobody seems particularly bothered, there's a lot of chat to catch up on.
Friday, 9 July 2021
Sunday, 27 June 2021
At the risk of employing a rather flimsy excuse as an introduction to this post, the game of Fives has been on my mind a little more than usual of late. My friend and fellow pub games enthusiast John Penny started it all off with a feature he wrote on the game earlier this year for Visitor Magazine. A much more in-depth and informative piece than I'll attempt here, and I urge you to follow the link and read it from page 20 for a better understanding of the game.
John is of course a Dorset man, as evidenced by his sometimes impenetrable Dorsetshire accent and a deep love of Dorset's national sport, Alley Skittles. John plies his skittling trade, with some success it must be said, at the famous Rose & Crown in Bradford Abbas, and more widely at away matches in Dorset and over the border in Somerset. So a rare pub gaming tradition almost unique to neighbouring Somerset was never going to escape Johns keen eye for long, even if it's now effectively an extinct tradition as far as the pub is concerned.
Saturday, 19 June 2021
Kildare Lodge, has been on my to-do list for some time now, so I was delighted to finally pop in for a couple of pints this year.
Monday, 3 May 2021
Pub gaming ephemera and equipment has long been a medium for drinks and tobacco companies to advertise their wares. Playing Cards, Dominoes, Darts Flights and Scoreboards were all commonly appended with Brewery names and Tobacco brands, and along with league sponsorship there are few areas of the pub games tradition that would have escaped the marketing departments attention.