One of the hazards of pubbing in London, apart from warm beer, is the impact of major sporting events.
I’d hoped to finish South-West London GBG entries in St Margarets, only to find out there was one of those dreadful Twickers “rugby” games on that mean you get squashed by Range Rover driving lager drinkers who have probably reserved all the tables anyway. So I have one irritating visit west of the Thames left.
Not a lot left to do in London this year, all the GBG action appears to be in Marple and Totnes, but as usual Greater Croydon comes up with a few surprises.
South Norwood, of course, is famous for this pub,
and thankfully the Joiners is still in the Guide.
The Shelverdine is some way from the Joiners, just outside Norwood Junction station.
Emerging from the station I was greeted by the unmistakeable sounds of drunk men singing “Don’t Look Back In Anger” from within the Cherry Tree, surely a future Guide shoe-in with its “Doom Bar on match days only” offer.
Yes, I’d forgotten that Crystal Palace All Stars FC had been playing the Potteries XI. When did football matches start being played on Saturday afternoons, anyway ?. What’s wrong with 11.30 am on Sundays ?
London gets all the best ephemera from visiting football fans, Alan Winfield may appreciate this piece snapped at great personal risk in the Gents at the Parcel Yard.
There were no Ultras in the Shelverdine, but I did have the slight worry it would still be restricted entry an hour after Palace’s late winner.
Plenty of security guards, but I look “mostly harmless” and was allowed to buy a half in a plastic glass, the only nod to the danger that warring Croydon and Stoke fans might pose to society.
Anyway, that’s where my whinge stops, as this is a lovely little Antic place with the benefit of good post-match beer throughput. I’m perservering with Volden; their Pale here shone through the plastic (NBSS 3.5).
And I found a table. Of sorts.
A thin posing table. Perfect for observation.
Palace fans were in good form for a team still adrift at the foot of the Prem, but they make a rare noise, and will always hold my affection for ending Stevie G’s dream in 2014.
You’ll know what an Antic pub looks like by now. Table football, clocks, beer menus.
Not much else to say about South Norwood, though fans of Ironmongers and street art will be well rewarded with a visit.
As I passed the Cherry Tree back at the station, they’d moved on to “Hi Ho Silver Lining“. Musical lot down here.