A FERRY FROM FLEETWOOD

 

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Another little bit of me tucked in there !

Another League 1 promotion candidate to follow Bolton.  I do hope the 26,000 folk of Fleetwood realise the achievement of Uwe Rösler and the team in guaranteeing a Play-Off place. That’s a bit like a small East Midlands team winning the Premiership by ten points.

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We took the slow train out to Fleetwood Ferry from Blackpool South. It’s an hour well spent, giving you great views of everyday seaside activities, most of them still illegal in Cambridgeshire. More of Accrington Stanley later.

I do like the Fleetwood seafront. Perhaps not in the April rain, but the memory of chucking stones at metal buoys from the seafront still resonates.

The town centre itself is scruffy but lovable, though lacking in those bizarre shop frontages that this blog loves. This combined cake and laptop repair shop is the best I could find, and even hear the apostrophe is in the right place.

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The Spoons, a GBG regular, was overflowing with BRAPA source material, which, combined with the impact of Fleetwood Freeport, leaves the rest of town a bit too quiet.

Mrs RM took refuge from the chill in the dreaded Outlet Centre while I ran to the Royal Oak , a particularly cosy place to hide from shops in.

I was taken by this comment on Pub Curmudgeon’s blog today rather beautifully describes “the theatre of mediocre normality” in pubs just after midday.  This was a cracker; it just happens to have great architecture and cheap (£2.80 a pint), high quality beer as well.

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To make sure I get the finest quality beer, I’ll ask the blokes at the bar what beer they’re drinking*.

Troll

Troll ?

Troll !”

It was (First) Trawl, but who am I to mock regional accents?

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The seating, banter and beer was so good you  could have been in Stockport.  The sight of Burnley’s finest gave me an unfortunate flashback to my Prosecco hell, but this was a fine cool beer (NBSS 3). I do like me beer cool (No, I don’t carry a thermometer).

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For 20 minutes I enjoyed those old boys attempting to answer the Fleetwood Folly Quiz;

The only player to score a World Cup hat trick”                  Silence

The Oxfordshire town where Mr and Mrs Average live”    Silence

The name of Phileas Fogg’s valet”                                           “Pass-part-tout”

Visiting places like the Royal Oak for the first time reminds you just how many wonderful pubs there are you haven’t heard of and will never visit.  Rather like the number of songs like “Silverline” or “Serpents” you’ll never hear.

The same is true of places. If it wasn’t for the Beer Guide I’d never have been drawn now to Knott End, via the Wyre Rose.

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Duncan wrote about his adventure to Knott End here, and the regularity with which the Pubmeister beats me to places is becoming a sore point.

Perhaps it was the cumulative impact of two quick pints (though Mrs RM had drunk most of those), but I was rather overexcited on the ferry (£2) over the Wyre.  The wind howled, the boat made the Woolwich Ferry seem like the QEII, and the Blitz spirit took hold among the dozen passengers for five minutes as we contemplated disembarkment onto a gangway with water sloshing across it.

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It felt like a different country, or Lytham St Annes at least. The walk along the promenade reminded me of the best of Essex’s marshes, except with the Lake District as backdrop.

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At the gates to Paradise itself, there was no response to the buzzer for at least 3 seconds and I feared the worst. Patience, Mr RM, patience.

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Smiling cone alert

Once in, my excitement in greeting the lovely lady from Bannockburn gave away my GBG ticker status, but also gave me a discount bringing the Cross Bay down to a cheery £2.65.  I’d left myself six minutes to drink the pint and catch the next ferry back. That’s not really long enough.

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Back in the real world, all the action was in the Ferry Café, with retired gentlefolk feasting on the best haddock, chips and mushy peas I’ve had in many months.

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Quite how I managed to fit a two mile dash, two pints, fish & chips, two loo stops in Spoons and a return ferry journey into the 90 minutes hours allowed by Mrs RM is still a mystery.  As you’ll have guessed, even two hours wasn’t quite enough for her own retail activities.

 

*Note to overseas readers. Do NOT do this in London.

 

35 thoughts on “A FERRY FROM FLEETWOOD

    1. I’m glad I knew where Ashprington is, Duncan, even though I’ve no idea about the pubs. One for camping weather. Incidentally, your comment appeared at about the same time as a visitor from Azerbaijan registered. Surely not !

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  1. You’ve been unbelievably lucky if the common answer to “What are you drinking?” isn’t “Mine’s a pint, cheers”.
    Why don’t you carry a thermometer? I’d have thought meteorological conditions would be an important consideration in beer scoring, along with regular cellar visits to ensure correct cask storage & stillage.
    I may have had a couple of pints in the Royal Oak during an afternoon that included watching the England-Switzerland Euro 96 match in the Steamer. Which may or may not have also been the evening I ended up in the transvestite chippy in the middle of Blackpool.

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      1. Footnote. We were in Prague watching the final in Charles Square. Much beer and sausages. Handful of German fans very bravely celebrated their Golden Goal winner. Mrs RMs favourite football moment.

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  2. I think we have been following your advice. I, for one, cannot remember speaking to anyone in a London pub. I would like to add that Chicago is the same but since I have been to London much more frequently in the last few years, I really do not know.

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    1. Very off piste with this one Dave,
      In my distant memory i used to watch a comedy programme that was set in Chicago and the nice looking female actress always called it Chic a go.
      This is off the top of my head as i never google anything when commenting,i would love to know the name of the programme,it was back in the 80s if that helps.

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      1. All I am coming up with is the Bob Newhart show, but that was 70s. And for the record all the Chicago nobs drag out the “a”. Part of the Chicago charm.

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    2. That depends on where you drink in London,
      I drink in some right shit hole areas and have had conversations,try Hommerton or Plumstead Common,not many outsiders drink there.
      I did have a conversation with two suited blokes in a pub near Farringdon when i was well pissed and in my Forest sports shirt,i asked them the quickest way to get to St Pancrass station as i was short on time,they said walk there you will be quicker,i replied dont talk crap,they were right and i regret what i said to them.

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      1. Great point Alan. And you’re right about Plumstead and Hackney/Homerton.

        I was mischievously implying most Londoners don’t drink the real ale so no point asking them

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  3. I went to Fleetwood with the wife when we were on holiday in Blackpool,we made a big mistake and went on bus when we should have got the tram,then the day went from bad to worse as the rain got harder the longer we were there,but we did all pubs in the town,this is when Higsons had a pub there.
    This was in the middle of summer,we were so cold after our dinner session there we went back to Blackpool to our hotel and to bed to warm up.

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    1. Me and the wife have never had a Mcdonalds meal or in any other joint like Burger King,Kentucky Fried Chicken,the only fast food we eat is Fish and chips,the wife also never eats any takeaways or any what she calls foreign food,but we do have plenty of home cooked food that we both prepare,so tonight we are having a home made corned beef hash which i will do,i can not make pastry or cakes,stews and full Sunday dinners are what like doing along with corned beef hash,plus other dishes i like doing.

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  4. The fit young woman was a dizzy blonde and she was very fit,i am sure it was set in a tower block or as the yankees say apartments,all of her comments were wrong in the context of what they should have been,and she always called Chicago Chic a go.
    Sorry if i am confusing you,it was when Chicago came up it came to mind.

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    1. Cooking Lager reckons it might be Married with Children.

      And I need to reprimand you for your language Alan. My wife is Blonde and she’s not dizzy, though she likes the beer of that name 😉

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      1. Cooking Lager might reckon correctly. Were there 3 guys that would frequently visit the family? The big heavy one of the three was a high school friend of mine. The blonde was Christina Applegate. Very fit, I might add.

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  5. Yes very tempted by a Fleetwood Mac,quite good that was,i love their music.
    Sorry for the dizzy blonde comment i would never call anyone over their hair colour,but the actress was very dizzy and blonde,i like the comment the she likes Dizzy Blonde,so do i.
    Married with Children is the programme i was thinking of and those mates did turn up quite a bit.
    Thanks all for your help and making some good comments on this off piste topic.

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