It’s more than two weeks since our Northampton trip, so you could forgive me for making it up at this stage.  But I have my notes, I have my photos, and now I have Richard Coldwells blog to copy remind me of Pub No. 4.

The Lamplighter was a real backstreet boozer on my way to watch Northampton Town while they were bottom of the 4th division and you had to stand on duckboards round the pitch.  You can spot me in this clip from 25 years ago wearing Bass braces.

As Richard notes, it’s tucked away in the Boot and Shoe quarter, Northampton’s very own Valley of Beer.


The real gem (below) was keg, of course.  Keep pushing, Northants CAMRA.

Looks brilliant, shoulda popped in for half a Guinness

Which isn’t to say the Lamplighter is plain, just less striking from the outside.



Street corner local

Inside, all is brewerania and history.

Sadly wouldn’t fit in my coat pocket
Sadly wouldn’t fit in my backpocket

Like all of England since April 2007, the boozers in the boot quarter have evolved into food-led allrounders attracting families and (as here) birthday parties. Another music-free allrounder, I noted.


Still, that custom keeps 7 (seven) pumps ticking over, helped by ten tourists anyway.

Inevitably Citra plus 6

Shoulda had Citra, of course, but the Great Oakley (a measly half, I admit it) was cool and tasty, an easy NBSS 3.  Of course you need to be a Pint Man to appreciate beer.

Foaming pints in a row could replace jam jars

The Coventry fan, clearly unable to find his way home following his team’s recent exile at Sixfields, gave the place a pubby feel, but we nearly all ate here.

Get your notebooks ready

I had poached egg and “Yorkshire mushy peas” as noted by Richard, and I thought food and pub staff were exemplary.  Seven beers is too many though.

But, perhaps appropriately, my notes are all about other people fussing over my Doc Martens, deemed insufficiently shiny by Yorkshire boots fascists.  Only in Northampton can pub banter regarding saddle soap and scrubbing be deemed remotely acceptable.


    1. That’s the idea. Drink the foaming pint on the bar from a PROPER PINT GLASS and then buy another one to stand on the bar for the next customer. Probably already do it in Germany, so ahead of the game are they.


  1. I would have gone for the Vale “Red Kite”. They brew some seriously good beers, with Gravitas – 4.8 per cent, £1.99 per pint – being a firm favourite in my local ‘Spoons branch.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Dunno what happened there.Anyway,spent many a happy Saturday afternoon working with Tony at BRMB.
        And that quartet of pints look gorgeous.


  2. “Looks brilliant, shoulda popped in for half a Guinness” –I may be reading this too seriously, but if you were in a situation where non-craft keg was the only option, would you go for Guinness? I’ve turned to it on occasion, when nothing else on the bar sounded any good.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. But you went for a pint of Fosters in the Rifle Drum 😛

        The round I bought was one Kronenbourg and two Strongbows. Did anyone actually try the Guinness in there? 🤔


    1. In the absence of decent cask beer and decent keg beer – so we’re looking at one of those dire places with only Doom Bar or Tetleys and John Smiths Smooth and a couple of mass produced pilsner variants – then I would go for Guinness every time. I’m none too bothered whether it’s real or not, so long as it’s fresh and cool (not almost frozen as it is often dispensed). An even better ‘non real’ stout is the Sam Smith’s keg stout.


    1. Depends on both the type of pub and time of day. And of course what is music to the ears of one person is an unholy row to another. I mean, both Jethro Tull and hip hop are supposedly music.

      On that note, of course I had to go for the Walter Tull (no relation) in the Lamplighters.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Walter Tull has got a beer named after him!!! Fantastic. My claim to fame was that I was invited to write the Foreword for the book on Wlater “From Claret To Khaki” by Rod Wickens. A top read if I say so myself!!! Fair point re music…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. One of the best fanzines ever. Given they were on the up while you were there, probably quite pleasant reading if you had read one ! The reports on away trips by Abraham (supposedly an old fan who saw them in Div 1 in ’66) were the stuff of legend and beautifully poignant.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Remind me to take you and Dave and Richard into the Three Legs then. It’s one of the few places in Leeds where everyone knows me … if you get what I mean. The Gen Elliot is the same.


      2. It’s a tricky one. St Giles is a friendly, immaculate beer house with good choice and quality. I’d just much rather visit places like the Black Prince or the Spoons with a wider cross-section of society. As I say, the problem is me, not the micro.


      3. Thought the Black Prince was sh1te comparably and I definitely wouldn’t be reading my paper in there. Wouldn’t have gone near spoons, we could all hear the nob heads carrying on over the wall. Having said that the nob heads do need somewhere to go and if they are safely corralled in spoons or Yates then society can manage them. Having said that spoons on a Sunday morning was very pleasant – post to follow.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice artistic first photo in the mirror. 👍

    “You can spot me in this clip from 25 years ago wearing Bass braces.”

    Yep. You were three back behind the Confederate flag around the 41 second mark. 🙂

    “Northampton’s very own Valley of Beer.”

    I see a Spencer Parade as well as a Spencer Road. Was he related to the Mark’s blokes? 😉

    “shoulda popped in for half a Guinness”

    I just checked my Guinness glass that has the signature on it. Never realised it says the same thing as what is written on the wall of that pub; Arth Guinnefs. 🙂

    “Foaming pints in a row could replace jam jars”

    Great photo that.

    “other people fussing over my Doc Martens,”

    Shoulda worn Kinky boots instead. (LOL)



  4. We saw some of the oil that was recommended in a shop in Malton when we went to Beertown on Friday (Top do!).

    In the words of the drill pig at PTC RAF Dishforth (Class 6/85), you need to ‘GET SOME FUCKING KI-WI ON THOSE BOOTS MR TAYLOR!

    NB, Ki-Wi was pronounced Ky-Wy! You’ll just have to imagine the spittle going all over your face and the smell of his breath.

    I reccommend Ki-Wi Parade Gloss for all boot and shoe operations. Although the Benger’s suggestions will give long life and suppleness to your boots, you will never be able to achieve the required gloss again, if you use it.


    1. We noticed the presence of CAMRA discounts on our crawl ! I’ve mixed feelings about giving visitors with a CAMRA card cheaper beer than regulars without one; loyalty cards make more sense if you must incentivise. Agree on Lamplighter.


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