INTERLUDE AT THE GREAT WESTERN

Nice cobs…

No post yesterday, due a lack of internet in my otherwise reliable Wolves guest house (good grief those Everton fans made a mess of the city on Saturday).

So I’ll have to wait till I get home to bring you about 762 posts from Gloucestershire, including a horror show in Cinderford.

In the meantime, a short interlude and a post from last night, brought to you courtesy of Wetherspoons in Bedworth, cruelly overlooked on Mudgie’s shortlist for most beautiful town.

Our Wolves evening started in the Great Western, where Charles, Colin and Paul (Stafford Mudge) met to debate joining the Society for Unusual Christian Names (£13 p.a., cheaper than CAMRA).

There are few finer pubs in the world, and few more imposing approaches than to the Western, particularly with the ongoing works at the railway station.

Half-full at half-five on Monday, but that’s still as much cask being pulled as anywhere in Wolves, even Spoons.

Faggots and grey peas on the menu, but our Norfolk interlopers had polished off the cobs/rolls/barms when I arrived. Food is in scarce supply in Dereham these days.

They’d saved me a great seat from which to record pub contentment at its best.

Pub life

I have no notes, which means we must have had a great hour of banter about railways, social drinking in the 80s, and the declining quality of Charles’s double entendres.

No Bathams, so we stuck to Holdens, since they own the Western.

Bitter, Golden Glow and Special to finish. One of our group had to spoil it with a guest beer; he probably asked for a sampler as well.

The pub is wonderful, the staff and customers even better. I wish I could tell you the Holdens capped it off.

It didn’t, quite, it was just fine. NBSS 3 throughout, which is good. Speak truth unto power and all that. For once, it might be the beer rather than the pub.

I’ll tell you what beat it when I’ve beaten the Forest of Dean.

31 thoughts on “INTERLUDE AT THE GREAT WESTERN

  1. The picture at the top really is a classic 😀

    I’ve rarely had beer less than very good in the GW, but Monday teatime might be about the slackest time of the week to catch it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Minday is slack, but there was still 20-odd drinkers in there, nearly all on cask, and the Holdens pumps are centre stage. I’ve noted being underwhelmed by Holdens beers a couple of times before, which rather leads me to thinks this is a rare example of dull (rather than bad) beer in an excellent pub. Unquestionable classic though, and staff were superb.

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      1. Mondays and Tuesdays are quiet days for postal workers so they will have come and gone by the time we were there but from Wednesday to Friday they might have knocked the numbers up from 20-odd to 30-odd.
        if I had to sum up the Great Western in ten words it would be NATIONAL PUB OF THE YEAR 1991 AND STILL AS GOOD.
        Edwin Holden died aged just 57 in December 2002 but with beer and trains being two of his favourite things he can be remembered with the Great Western, which opened in 1988, and Codsall Station, which opened ten years later.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeez,rolls in clingfilm again.
    I can’t abide food that is touched by clingfilm.Foil I’m okay with but clingfilm gets my goat.
    In the old days they’d be on a plate under a plastic lid but no doubt ‘elf and safety had some spare time on their hands.
    Talking of double entendres – oooh,hot pork baps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PPT,
      Those baps in clingfilm are just for their takeaway trade – that’s why they’re facing, and just a few feet from, the front door.
      All the proper customers have the hot pork baps for £2.50 which are better than can be found anywhere else.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hot pork baps do sound a treat.
        Liberally slathered with some English mustard and maybe a dollop of chutney would be a sumptuous repast betwixt pints.
        I craved a crusty pork pie with some picallili this afternoon and couldn’t find either in the Irish town I live in.
        As I sit here now in my local a packet of Johnny Onion Rings or some Cheese and Onion Taytos is all that’s on offer.
        I ask my Irish chums why most pubs don’t do snacks and they say ” the old doll doesn’t mind me going out for a few pints because she knows sooner rather than later I’ll have to come home for grub.
        You don’t mess with social conventions which have kept ‘the boss happy for generations ”

        Prof.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is an excellent pub which may, or may not, feature on my top 10 pubs list – you’ll have to come along to my illustrated talk at Calderdale Beer Festival at Hebden Bridge on Sat 29th September (pm). Also feat. Lady Sinks the Booze.

    I rated the ‘Special’ at 3.5 getting towards 4, and it was a very good beer, a classic English IPA. I would have had several more than I did, but everyone went home and left me with a load of blokes who were all trying to do Noddy Holder impersonations and I couldn’t understand a word they were saying.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. An excellent pub. I said as much, but as on our Banks’s trip I’d go for the Stile or Combermere over it. The Special was the pick, but it hardly drank as a 5.1% beer. I’ll go back and test the Bathams.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was in the Stile just before the Great Western yesterday but with just time for one NBSS 4 pint of Banks’s Mild in an oversized glass. The Stile was doing pork baps for £1.50 but it’s probably best paying £1 more for one in the Great Western where the Holdens Special can somewhat resemble a good session beer. I did actually notice that the Stile might benefit from a lick of paint sometime in the next few years but my wife commented favourably on the Polish menu. .

        Liked by 1 person

      2. An extra quid well spent, I suspect. Interesting to read the Holdens Special described as a good session beer (accurate, I think). At 5.1% it’s Tanglefoot strength (or was).

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      3. I love the Western, but my favourite Wolves pub is The Posada. I also love The Giffard, but it’s a bit of an acquired taste (a friend described it as a Goth theme park).

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sty,
        In the Posada last week there was ‘only’ one cask beer on – but better one in good condition than several for the pot plants.
        The first I heard of the Giffard Arms was well over fifty years ago. A friend of my mothers had her purse stolen while shopping at Beatties department store next door. The purse, devoid of the money, was later found in the toilet of the Giffard.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Richard,
        I can’t be there but wish you well with your talk. Include the Rifle Drum to check if they’re all paying attention !!
        Let us know afterwards your favourite ten which will probably include a couple we know.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Love that “Pub life” photo– I reckon at least 3 of those 4 people are not staring at a phone. 😉

    I wanted to say how much I laughed at the sequencing of “cruelly overlooked on Mudgie’s shortlist for most beautiful town” followed by those two photos, but then I’m not entirely sure you don’t find those buildings beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Mudgie will come straight back at me, but beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it ? I genuinely think Stockport is one of our very greatest towns, even though it’s not traditionally attractive. Bedworth has very cheap apples !!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. “Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder” – yes, and that reminds me that last month on a train an Australian woman got talking to me and said how marvellous the railway viaduct in Stockport is and that she had to go back and see it again. She was though surprised how big everything was over here having expected Stockport to be a village and Manchester a small town.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Mark,
      I remember in the Great Western, maybe a couple of years after being National Pub of the Year, a customer answering “Hello, I’m in the Great Western” and the landlord bellowing “You WERE in the Great Western. OUT”, that being at a time when using such gadgets was considered far more anti social than smoking.
      We now ‘enjoy’ more tolerant times, or rather times more tolerant of the less important things in life, and mobiles aren’t banned there but there’s a sign saying “Feel free to use your devices but Please Respect Our Relaxing Atmosphere and use them on silent. Thank you”.
      Has Humphrey banned them from all his proper pubs yet ?

      Like

  5. “Faggots and grey peas on the menu, ”

    Look at how decorous I’m being.

    “Food is in scarce supply in Dereham these days.”

    I see in the photo right below this it has a sign stating “Hot Pork Baps Now Being Served”. Does that mean you have to dress up like a good looking pork butty to get a beer?

    “Pub life”

    Says it all really.

    “and the declining quality of Charles’s double entendres.”

    I would guess that is partly due to having heard them all before. 🙂

    “I’ll tell you what beat it when I’ve beaten the Forest of Dean.”

    Obviously not Cinderford. 😉

    Cheers

    Like

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