Having started writing-up Sheffield yesterday, I may as well finish it before it becomes a distant memory (by Friday).

A Tuesday afternoon in Sheffield’s Valley of Beer with Roger Protz, BRAPA and Beer Leeds, followed by a Dad/Son curry near the Uni.  And a £30 IBIS room near the Arena. What’s not to like ?


Only the sure and certain knowledge that I could write off the rest of the day week after a session with Mr Coldwell.  And the slight irritation that I wouldn’t be able to add to my collection of South Yorkshire GBG ticks, with the inevitable irritating bottle shop not opening ’till Wednesday (it is in Hillsborough, I suppose).


One bottle shop that is open all the time is Bates off licence, where I bought Messrs Protz, Everitt and Coldwell a beer for their train home, to bribe them into taking photos of my best features.  It was worth a shot.


T. Bates is the sort of place they’d use in the new series of “League of Gentlemen” (which should never have been resurrected).  Four packs of every cooking lager, but sadly no single cans of Tetley, so Richard had to make do with a can of Stones. Roger and Si got a bottle of Kelham Island Pride of Sheffield. I’m sure Si can remove the top with his teeth.

Rather like The Fall, Sheffield fits the description “Always changing, always the same“.  Some new high rise to replace the old high rise, some charmingly old school street art, and the same dozen or so top pubs as I first visited at the start of the millennium.

That Sheffield

Never noticed this classic piece of brutalism before though.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court

Industrial history at its best on the way to Alma Street, with Exchange Brewery looking particularly majestic/sad depending on your context.

Well done, Whitbread

A first visit to the Fat Cat for at least 5 years, but a place we used to bring the boys to regularly on trips north, when the best way to entertain a five year was a trip round a giant Bessemer engine and a soft play area that pressed you into smelted steel.

Fat Cat, Sheffield

Roger had suggested we meet up in “Dave Wickett’s pub“, and there is no better or more appropriate place to meet up on a Tuesday afternoon, as Roger’s own tribute to Dave (here) illustrates.

Flood level markings

Mrs RM is in the Scottish borders at the moment, but was immensely jealous; the Fat Cat is one of her favourite pubs in the world.  If you’re lucky I’ll bring you her review of the Oxford Bar when she gets back tonight.

Traditional, cosy and cheery, and with some of the best quality beer (and cheap pub grub) anywhere.  The main bar was still busy at 1.30, so I bagged a table in what I think of as the lounge.

Left hand bar, Fat Cat

I was starving after a fraught journey from Cambridge.

Are you still serving that lovely vegetarian food ?”

“Oh yes”

I’ll have the steak pie please

And you wonder where BRAPA gets his material from.

Proper pub grub

I tried to finish lunch before the rest arrived, but Roger caught me greedily caught me scoffing steak pie at the table. Sorry about that, Mr Protz.

Roger had a severe case of Man Flu, but was pressing on like the trooper he is, and we quickly got on to discussing that hot pub topic of West Ham and their abomination of a ground.

I guess you’re expecting me to say “Far too many beers” at this point.

Name those beers
Far too many beers

Well, there were far too many beers, but more in the sense of forcing you to think about your beer, which will never do.  Roger went straight for the Pale Rider, the wise choice.

Just as I sat down with my Kelham Best, our intrepid duo arrived. Perversely, Simon went for the Christmas beer.

Richard eyes up the Stones

The first thing they saw was the licensee (?) bringing me a replacement pint, saying he thought the Best wasn’t quite at its best.  Just to humour him, I’ll note that the replacement was an NBSS 4, the first one a more than good NBSS 3.5.  Wonderful service.

Seeing Richard snapping away, he told us to pop outside and see his handywork in the garden.  I popped in the loos, which are just as good.

Top Taps

In the Garden (not the Van Morrison one), we did the usual “photo of the photographer” routine and searched for a pub cat for Pub Curmudgeon.

Proper camera

This is the best I could do, Mudgie.

Pub Cat 1
Pub Cat 2

But there were plenty of other attractions.


I suppose I should tell you what we discussed here, but my notes say things like;

Rumbletums in Burton

Derek Acorah

Butterfly Collector


Family tree obsessive

Which sounds like the basis for a BBC programme about ghosts. So you may have to wait for the proper bloggers to report bac.

It was time to continue the Ale Trail…





25 thoughts on “FAT CAT, COOL FOR CATS ?

  1. Brilliant! Captures the day brilliantly, or at least the first part. ‘Butterfly Collector’ is mine and “Family Tree’ – if you remember, prompted by the Bradfield Brewery beermats in Kelham Island, I told you we could trace my maternal ancestors back to the Quakers of Bradfield and Midhopestones as far as late 15th C. Strangely, I come from a long line of Dissenters!

    By the way, that cat in the beer garden wasn’t real!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I got asked by the dentist this morning about my alcohol units level. Why do these so called health professionals never want to know about the individual beers you’ve had. Quantity over quality yet again. BTW you be careful on those Hallam jibes 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “League of Gentleman” is one of my guilty pleasures. I first learned of the show at the Old Poet’s in Ashover. The New Year’s party included a guest dressed as Papa Lazarou down to the clothes pins inside the jacket. I always have a hard time recommending it to people though. Odd stuff. Was it resurrected?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m surprised at you.
        Dissing a show before you’ve even watched it.
        Monty Python was terrible for three seasons before it became vaguely amusing in a hit and miss sort of way and them only to chumps.
        TV-wise you’ve become Mudgie.
        With clogs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks I’m honoured. I thought the whole notion of reviving Monty Python a few years back so sad old men could laugh at the Parrot Sketch was the worst thing ever. This’ll be the same.


  3. I do believe the cat in that first photo is showing you the correct way to up the stairs. 😊

    “but Roger caught me greedily caught me”

    From the above I’m guessing Roger’s Man Flu was ‘catching’? 😝

    “proper bloggers to report bac.”

    I’m assuming bac means blood alcohol content? 😎



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