Well, unless I really am ghost-writing this rubbish, I clearly survived Cinderford. No joking; I’d had more warnings about this place than anywhere I’ve ever been. And I’ve been to Coatbridge. And Panama.

It was hotter than Panama at Christmas as I arrived in town on Thursday night to find the 8,000 souls enjoying the sun on the promenade.


Nice view out of town

Actually, it’s not that bad, just plain.  If you lived in Carluke you’d probably do a house swap. I’d say the same about similar old English mining villages like Grimethorpe or Fitzwilliam, but of course no-one ever leaves Barnsley.

The wall mural seems to commemorate EMF (Ecstatic Mo Fo), the town’s most famous musical export, cruelly dismissed as one-hit wonders by some.

You’re unbelievable

I ordered a crispy beef from the rather plain takeaway, and explored the central square.

Uniquely named Chinese

A few pubs dotted round the suburbs, but like a Garden City there’s not much in the centre, just the Golden Lion (last surveyed in 2013) and the newish Dog House. When the local CAMRA branch haven’t surveyed the sole central pub for 5 years you know you’re in trouble.


That lack of central boozers meant a subdued atmosphere. Except in the Dog House, formerly one of a trio of canine micros (also in Coleford and Newnham). Surely a possible pre-emptive tick at least.

Looks OK

It became clear instantly that this was the social club, not the beer exhibition. EVERYONE was drinking Carling. My Goffs was served in a Carling glass.

Note the meat raffle and keg OSH, always a reassuring sight.

Proper Pub alert

Really cheery service too, couldn’t fault it, with seating in the alley or on some weird beer barrel concoctions.

Just missed the quiz

As you just saw, one real ale (hurrah !),  A Goffs oddity probably last pulled in 2013 (NBSS 0.5). But the pub was worth the £1.40 as entry to a weird museum.

Actually looks better than it was

No obvious loo (it’s tiny and the shops were closed) so I had to head to the hills.  You’ll be wondering where I tipped the undrinkable Goffs in the absence of pot plants, won’t you ?

Wonder on.



  1. One of England’s least pubbed towns over the years, in GBG terms. Good set of posts though risky comparators! Haven’t been to this one and know there is another micropub in nearby Newent. Gloucestershire also provides variety.


  2. Some people do leave Barnsley (and I still go back regularly). This chap also did, via Stafford and coincidentally ended up in the Forest of Dean –

    I noticed the meat raffle is £2 a strip and immediately saw the parity with ‘the price of a pint’ argument. If you have ever run a raffle, do not fall into the trap of selling individual tickets, albeit for the same price as a strip. No one will buy them. Despite having the same chance of winning, many purchasers do not perceive the purchase of a single ticket (or multiples thereof) to have the same value as a whole strip of 5 tickets (or multiples thereof).

    It’s exactly the same with a price of a pint, perceived value anchored to a point in time somewhere in the past, usually distant. If the current price does not accord with this memory point, or increases at any time, then these individuals are up in arms, and loudly cry, ‘How Much!’ At the same time, they will however accept intermittent increments in their income.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. More famous than Darren Gough, Mick McCarthy, Dickie Bird, Michael Parkinson, Saxon (shite!), Ed Clancy (know his Dad, real one, not his new one), Roy Mason, Brian Glover, Jon Stones (Same school as me, his Grandad was a mate of my Grandad), Ashley Jackson, Harry Worth, Arthur Scargill (wanker (and it said so for many years on the side of Dodsworth pit, where he was paid to work (but never actually worked))?


    1. Pete Brown has also left Barnsley – they cheered him on his way 😉

      Maybe “micropub” gets lost in translation between Herne and Cinderford.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. At first I thought all the warnings were due to the maniac with the pick axe, but apparently word of the NBSS 0.5 beer has gotten around.


      1. “Yeh, I was at least 3 streets away from the stabbings and bestiality.”

        I read that quickly as taking a stab at bestiality, probably due to the lack of the womens.
        (so… sort of like Scotland but not as picky?)


  4. There aren’t many more pubs in the centre of Cinderford even if you turn off the “real ale” filter. There seem to be more on the southern fringes in Stockwell Green and Littledean. Maybe a typical sprawly, indeterminate former mining area.

    Needless to say, it doesn’t feature in my current Twitter poll on “England’s Most Beautiful Towns”…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Nice view out of town”

    Planning an escape route? 😉

    “Uniquely named Chinese”

    I think they realised chopsticks wouldn’t cut it in Cinderford. 🙂

    “or on some weird beer barrel concoctions.”


    “Actually looks better than it was”

    Hang on. That glass says Grolsch, not Carling at the bottom.

    “Wonder on.”

    Maybe those weird barrel thingies double as toilets?


    Liked by 1 person

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