‘Twas the night before Black Eye Friday, when all through Barnsley,
Not a South Yorkshireman was stirring, even in the Funky Buddha.*
A short break from strict the chronology you love to bring you highlights of last night’s entertainment on a wet Thursday in Barnsley.
But not last night. I presume they were all saving themselves up for Black Eye Friday.
A rare night in a Travelodge, the one in Stairfoot that is actually so far out of town it’s in Denmark. Mrs RM and I stayed here on New Years Eve 1993, which shows I know how to treat a special lady etc etc.
Only now, 25 years later, does it occur to me I made her walk 2 miles in the snow as I’m too stingy to ever use a taxi.
I’m sure we popped in the Dove for a loo stop back then, as it’s the only pub you pass on the way in. A classic Old Mill exuberant boozer.
At least on foot in the driving sleet you get to see the street art;
But you tend to get very lost around the car parks behind the markets when you take the wrong underpass.
You’ll know how I promote our “Cinderella” towns, but Barnsley looked very tired and a bit scary last night. Rejuvenation, as always, is on the way.
The pubs in the Beer Guide are pretty much the ones I remember from 2011, when No.7 opened, so the Guide newbie is what they call “a welcome addition“.
If you want to see an excellently stereotypical micro pub, the Arcade Alehouse is it.
The photos below and the top contain the entirety of the customers at 9pm.
Ten blokes drinking ale (mainly halves). Both pints pulled in the fifteen minutes I was there were that excellent Bradfield Belgian Blue. Beer range and quality, unfaultable.
Ten customers and no seats, just like at those horrible beer festivals that are killing pubs, so I stood at the bar. Upstairs, this lovely room.
Of course, I wasn’t going upstairs because, as you’ll know, no-one wants to sit upstairs on their own when all the fun (or whatever counts for fun in a micro pub) is going on.
Great beer, nice people, one to come to with your mates and a pub cat.
I thought I’d better find some authentic Barnsley nightlife, but the streets were dead. As was this endangered species, the Australian pub.
The Town Hall looked as gorgeous as ever, but where are the ill-dressed teens dangling off the Christmas tree ?
Even the Spoons looked emptier than in Newbury in Dryanuary.
I was then alerted to the revelation that Question Time was coming from the Civic, right next door to the Arcade. Having bumped into an outside broadcast vehicle on the way in, perhaps I should have guessed.
So I headed up Pitt Street to the Conservative Club (marked with a green C on the WhatPub extract) to see if I could get Isabel Oakeshott‘s autograph for Mrs RM.
Armed with my gold CAMRA card and some spiel about testing their beer, I rang the buzzer a couple of times, but they ignored me, and clearly Isabel had already popped in for a pint of the Wobbly Bob that got this classic club in the Guide recently.
So, all quiet in the party town. As we’ll see tomorrow, there was one exception.
*For North American readers, Black Eye Friday named after the Friday before Christmas when folk drink a little too much and fall over near a Burger King, according to some secret Daily Mail footage from 2001.
**If you want poetry you’ll need to read BRAPA.