Another day, more opening times nerves.
My last tick in Rutland at the attractively named Empingham Cricket Club, which I’d already predicted some fun with on here.
This is what their own website says;
Luckily, they clearly mean the Sri Lankan cricket season, and I was able to confirm they’d be open on Sunday by calling the nice man in Rutland, which is possible despite the 30 year time difference.
I aimed for 1pm, allowing for the slightly relaxed approach of clubs in the Guide.
At 2pm, following a diversion off the A1 round the entirety of Rutland Water, I approached the clubhouse. Why don’t we play cricket in the winter when it’s sunny ?
No sign of life. Oh well.
Then they spotted me peering in through the window, and signalled me to come in through the entrance marked “Door“.
I think we can justify the expression “Old Boys” here to describe the four mates who were trying to get the beer engines to work.
“Join the queue” said OB1 with a smile.
Apparently the usual barman had gone off without leaving any instructions (“Turn it on and off again”, “Put the glass under the pump“),
Ten minutes of vigorous pulling (stop, Russ) produced only water. It’s bad enough to have unpredictable opening, but unpredictable pumps is torture.
“I’ll drink the bucket of slops from last night” I may have squeaked.
I explained I was from Cambridge and that seemed to explain things.
Eventually a bit of beery liquid came out one pump. I offered to taste it, being a beer sommelier and all, but apparently Health & Safety even applies in Rutland.
Eventually the Guvnor was woken from his sleep and reconnected the pipes or whatever it is cellar experts do.
A crisis, or at least a riot was averted, and 20 minutes after arrival I was drinking Greg’s Dambusters, because the half dozen Old Boys in front of me in the queue were too.
Yes, looking a bit like Bass and in a Bass glass.
And the Old Boys were great, really chatty and proud of their club and it’s GBG place. I warned them about the other two tickers though.