Life After Football (BeerMat to his Mum) is desperate to post about his trip to Coalville last week, where we met to discuss at length Birmingham City’s triumphs* and put the world of pubs to right.
But he’s waiting to see what I write first. The world of pub blogging is as competitive as a dead rubber in the Anglo Italian cup, you know.
So I’m going to stretch this out, leaving the pubs till later and starting with a pictorial run-through of the most unsung town in the Midlands (though Mansfield Woodhouse may have something to say about that).
For context, here’s Coalville on the map.
Five minutes from the M1, twenty from Burton, and on the edge of the National Forest. How could it be anything less than wonderful ?
As a former mining town it shares similar characteristics as Cinderford or Motherwell, though I guess at least you can understand the accent in Coalville.
So, let’s start with the bear. It’s actually in Hugglescote, but let’s not quibble.
The Long Walk into Coalville is exciting and instructive.
Although the Pick & Shovel is the only tick, I’d actually dragged the family here several times to enjoy Snibston Discovery Park, which once had a weird Vivienne Westwood exhibition that won’t easily be forgotten.
Snibston’s museum lasted longer than the Earth Centre, before the cruel council decided that a million quid was better spent on social care (or possibly diversity training).
There is much for the adventurous traveller here, even before we get to “The Pub”. Bingo, street art, “Disco Polo Night”…
The town centre was actually quite vibrant on Thursday afternoon, packed with shoppers of all ages. I was surprised to get charged £2.30 for four Pink Lady apples (£1 in Bedworth).
Truer to expectation, the tiny WH Smith devoted as much space to alcohol as books.
The Spoons, oddly named Monkey Walk in a nod to their twinning with Hartlepool, was exactly what you’d expect.
I had a half-rack of ribs and three flat whites here, admiring a tremendously vibrant atmosphere. The chap next door was filling in his bet on the 3.15 at Uttoxeter (it lost).
I’d been here before, a stop on the way back from Conference Play-off at Burton (2-2). They had Olde Empire on then. Today it was pure exotica.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a pub selling Mansfield Cask in the Beer Guide /
Anyway, time to meet Mr BeerMat.
*This took 27 seconds.