I’d been waiting a long time for a reason to return to Cleethorpes,  a town I’d never been to when the sun came out.  In sympathy to local sensibilities, I’m going to try to refrain from mentioning G*****y in this post; it’s bad enough to have your town marketed under a “Greater Grimsby” banner by North East Lincs Council.

The highlight of a trip to Cleethorpes was always Pleasure Island (R.I.P.), though there was always the feeling that the locals were getting the better deal with their 90% off vouchers from the Grimsby Target.

Just down the coast at Donna Nook, the baby seals are the only other thing to drag us up the A15.

Of course, there’ve been a few trips to Blundell Park over the years, though rarely with a sky as blue as this one last Friday.  A proper football experience (i.e. old fashioned and slightly unnerving for the away fan), as long as you buy your pie and chips outside the ground at Gr8 White Fish.


The town has rarely looked as attractive as it did in the morning.  I’m not a natural fan of beach resorts, they’re too flat, but the seafront looked gorgeous in the sun.


Oddly, Mrs RM wasn’t sharing in this beauty, being otherwise engaged in some demonstration or other in a small southern city of no consequence.  So I got to stay in a proper seaside B&B on my own (Mallow View, very clean and cosy for £30).

As usual, the new Beer Guide offered just the one new tick, the first newbie for a while.  Since it wasn’t a micro, it had to be a new Spoons.


That suited me fine; if you want to see life in all it’s glory, visit a Wetherspoons.

The only problem was, the Coliseum was just a bit too lively at 7pm; I couldn’t hear a thing.  That may have been a blessing.

Even without complex coffee orders, staff were really struggling, and a group of us decided to “adopt a barman“, making sure we got served in order. Goodness knows what would have happened if I’d ordered via the app while standing by the statue, probably ended up with a prosecco.


The best I can say about the beer is that it was cheap, £1.55 for the Robinsons Red’n’Black 5.8% version of Trooper (NBSS 2).  There were detailed tasting notes, but all I was getting was headache.  I left over a third of it, but there’s no point buying halves when there’s Spoons voucher deadlines looming, is there ?

Bouncer,Coliseum, Cleethorpes

Cleethorpes was bouncing.  I’ve no idea how a Spring Friday night in Grimsby compares, perhaps Tom Irvin, its most famous resident, can tell me (if Alan can’t).

If I hadn’t paid that £30 to stay, I’d have headed straight for a Chinese takeaway and a night watching Russia Today.  But having invested so much I felt obliged to revisit the other GBG pubs in town, walking past a keg bar called “Bobbin” and the “Swashbuckle Pub” on the way.

Uniquely, two of them are at the railway station (NOT the train station).  Here’s the 7.32 bringing Patricia Hodge back home for the weekend.


No.2 is a gem, though possibly not for the reasons that won it local Pub of the Year or 3 stars in my unique beer scoring system a decade ago.


The beer (Otley Boss and Springhead) was good enough for the Guide, but a bit Spoons-like (foamy and frothy) for my exacting standards.  You can tell from the photos this isn’t a cutting edge free house, but that suits me. Most folk were going for Sharps Two Tides, perhaps grumbling about the lack of the new, revitalised Doom Bar.


If you look closely, you’ll see the bloke behind red-jacket man with a yellow Post-It on his head.  I think it said “Pint of Carling”.  Not even a “Please”.

Actually, most folk were on the Carling, which is quite exotic round here.  A group of lads on the next table took it in turns to go to the bar, return empty-handed because they were a few pence short for a round, then spill progressively more beer over the floor as their functions were impaired.  Carling really is all you need for a great night.


That and a soundtrack of “Xanadu”, “Sound and Vision” and “Elenore”.  One of those is a classic, of course.

My notes say “very Liverpool”, which is a great compliment.  The Globe springs to mind.  It’s rare to get such a mix of old and young in a pub.


A shame the No. 2 only provided the one urinal, necessitating a trip to the ladies that ended in tears. What’s wrong with unisex toilets, northerners.

Part 2, including a Top 100 pub, tomorrow.

25 thoughts on “CLEETHORPES – A THRILLER (PART 1)

  1. The tide certainly goes out a long way at Cleethorpes; almost as far as it does at Greatstone.

    Glad to learn that Mrs RM was on last Saturday’s demo. I was unable to attend, having just got back from Cologne, but such were the blisters on the backs of my heels, from wearing a pair of unbroken-in shoes, that I wouldn’t have been able to march out of Hyde Park, let alone all the way to Westminster!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. £30 for a B&B is an excellent price. How was the breakfast? Red & Black is another I have in the refrigerator. It also may be a 2.


    1. Breakfast good, though.I could only face scrambled eggs and mushroom. Shared bathroom, though. Really pleasant.

      Beer in bottles cannot be given an NBSS score ! You can only say whether it was awesome or not. Would have to try it in the Robbies Visitor Centre, or take Mudge’s view.


      1. I usually share a bathroom with brother Dave. Pleasant? Hmm…

        I was actually using a Beer Advocate style score! Which does rate it > 3.


      2. I’ve had excellent Red and Black on cask, for example in the Baker’s Vaults on the pub crawl of Stockport with Paul Mudge that I wrote up last autumn. It’s a good beer – I’d say your experience is down to indifferent Spoons cellarmanship.

        IME even the best beer in Spoons is always a bit lacking in condition, as though it’s been drawn through a *very* long pipe.


      3. I’d say that too. One of the things I enjoy on the Stockport Staggers is the honest critique of cellarmanship, rather than beer. That long pipe analogy is probably close to the truth.


      4. The Red & Black is a surprisingly interesting heritage beer when on form, I was very pleasantly surprised when I had it. You can tell it is based on an old recipe, almost Bretty notes in it. Made me wonder how many more interesting recipes are hidden away in brewery archives.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Shows that it’s still possible to find beer in the on-trade that comes in below the suggested 50p a unit minimum price. Red & Black at 5.8% and £1.55 a pint is 47p a unit 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If you go to Grimsby Freeman Street is the place to go,there used to be loads of pubs on it and most pretty down to earth,i liked it that much i have walked up it twice and the Smokers Arms was a great name for an estate pub which was off Freeman Street.
    I was not that struck with the middle of Grimsby though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Central Grimsby is, er, Grim. There used to be at least one good ale house but the Barge in the water would be my suggestion now, and Spider’s Web for a basic pint. I knew you’d have done Grimsby, Alan !


  5. I went in the Barge back in 1983 when it was a North Country tied house.
    My last visit to the town in 2007 and no real ale in any of the new pubs i did,but i did get a bus to Louth and did all open pubs in the town,The Wheatsheaf was the best of the Louth pubs done.


    1. Spot on again. You need Carling drinkers, flavoured cider drinkers and prosecco drinkers for a proper pub. And folk of all ages.

      just been in a multi-award winning micro pub where 10 of the 12 customers were blokes aged 50-65, all drinking ales. no fun at all.


      1. The sort of blokes who go to micropubs are the type you see at beer festivals sitting on their own talking to each other about beer, I can be quite sociable but always draw a blank when I try to talk to groups of visiting CAMRA members at beer festivals, which is why I don’t bother with them. You can always get someone to talk to you in Nuneaton !


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