I knew that using “baps” rather than “cobs“ in that last post would cause wailing and gnashing of teeth in West Bromwich.
Actually, it was a baguette, a massive one. So massive that while I joined the B&PF throng on their fifth pint in the Eagle Vaults to cries of “Ah, HERE he is” and “Your round at the BrewDog” (joke), Charles spent another fifteen minutes standing by the Green Door like a Scottish Shakin’ Stevens.
The Vaults isn’t in the Guide, which mysteriously promotes “Good Beer” over sumptuous pub tiling, but it was the one that Charles and I felt miffed to miss out on our last trip.
Back in 2016 it shut at 7pm, though new landlords had changed all that.
Old Boys, Young Lads and a few Mudgies made for a heady pub mix, all of whom were dancing in their seats to “Into the Groove”, “Respectable” and whatever it was the Scissor Sisters sang about. Whatever happened to Mel & Kim, as Si would ask in all innocence.
It wasn’t packed at 3pm on Wednesday, which means you get that interior shot of a pub without people that some folk seem to prefer.
I feared the presence of a guest beer on the bar, but that was only the Weston’s.
Banks’s Bitter for me, Sunbeam for Charles (it had reached retirement age by the time Charles finally finished his baguette and joined us).
Sitting along bench seats with good company, this was a little bit of Proper Pub heaven, even if the Bitter was Good (NBSS 3) rather than the nectar at the factory gates.
40 minutes in a single pub ? Must have been good.
It felt like the crawl had started in earnest. But next came the fatal division in our ranks.