“Who’d be a referee in Radcliffe ?” . “Who’d be a pub ticker ?”


My last Nottinghamshire GBG tick for the year.  Please, no applause.  It was only 11 new pubs this year. Mostly micros though, must count for something.

Finished m’duck

The final tick gave me some drama which I may explore in more detail on a Channel 4 Despatches programme about opening times and hobby pubs.


I tipped up my usual hour before the published 3pm so I could walk the Radcliffe bounds and get you some sense of place before opening.



A one street village, not much bigger than my own, but with four Guide pubs over the years. Impressive stuff, even if the one below was only capable of selling me Reece’s peanut butter cups.

Guess the pub name

Solid church, drinking fountain capable of adaption to an outdoor micro pub, and the most micro of beauty lounges were all I could find.


On the bend approaching the church, a Volvo drew up alongside and wound the window down.

Where’s Radcliffe Park”  he boomed. Why always me ?

I’m not local mate.  I’ll google it, but you can’t stop there.”  He stopped there.

Radcliffe Park was the next right turn. With not so much as a “thanks m’duck“, he shot off while I was still talking to him, missing my (admittedly enormous) toe by an inch.

Fare thee well” I said, under my breath.

Back at the Yard of Ale at 2.50pm, there was no sign of any imminent opening.

Gin palace

I called. No answer.  I sent a message, explaining how delighted I’d be if they’d open at the advertised time since I’d come from the Fens and was cold.

We will be open from 5pm today” came back the reply.

Then I saw the notice stuck to the door. Silly me.

I can’t see that from Cambridge

So, what do you for two hours in Radcliffe that’s still legal ?

Radcliffe Olympic v Attenborough in the Notts Senior League, of course.

Sub eating pasta

Old boys discussing the merits of the Bernabeu (it’s bigger than Radcliffe’s Recreation Ground, apparently), a substituted player picking a fight with the Referee’s assessor, and more sliding tackles in the mud than I’ve seen at City since 1996.  In the Premiership it would have ended 7 v 7. The bloke who nearly ran over my toe would have been first for the early bath.

Who’d be a ref, eh ?

The beautiful game

Decent match, 0-2 (sloppy goals), attendance 21, Cloudwater beers nil.

Hidden handpumps

When the Yard of Ale did open at 5, I found four blokes already in there (of course).

Be with you in a minute” said the cheery barmaid.

Then, a crash, as something went awry in the Gin bar. It was ten past when I finally got my North Riding (NBSS 3) I mentioned the opening hours confusion to a local.  It could have been worse; “they’re closed all next week“, he said.

Craft lagers

Two people had paddles of beers, another told me they should serve quarters.

“What about the other pubs in Radcliffe ?” I asked.  “Any good ?”

“Nah.  Too cliquey”.

Gin bar – scene of carnage


30 thoughts on ““Who’d be a referee in Radcliffe ?” . “Who’d be a pub ticker ?”

      1. Ah, I remember the Mrs. Slocombe lookalikes, who used the play the piano and the fiddle to keep us all entertained.

        They’d have been great.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Sending you unsolicited applause despite the size of your toe as you are the first person I know to complete Notts this year. There are a few others that shun social media who have tried and fallen at the opening times hurdle. Pathetically I have yet to launch the annual mission there and won’t be going next week armed with this info. Manchester and Notts wiped out in the same week- the next stocktake is going to be exciting.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You have reminded me that I quite liked Nottinghamshire until I had to attend courses two miles east of there staying on an establishment with just keg beer and the nearest town being Bingham which must have been the county’s worst.


      1. And I even went past Harwich to the Netherlands in 1975.
        Nothing but Heineken, Skol and Amstel then but I’ve heard it’s a bit better now.


      1. Etu,
        Yes, indeed.
        I am just old enough to have used pubs open from 5am to 9am for porters at the proper Covent Garden market before it moved in 1974 but it was Susan’s ‘In the market for festive breakfast ?’ article in the August 1994 What’s Brewing that introduced me to Smithfield’s four ‘early’ pubs.
        Fifty times during the next twelve years I had time between the first train into Euston and my meeting at Waterloo for a top notch Smithfield breakfast and couple of pints. The Hope was a great unspoilt pub and the Cock Tavern offered the best breakfast – with kidneys and bubble and squeak – while the Fox and Anchor was up market and the New Market pleasant.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, it’s my memories that are fantastic.
        That Susan is Susan Nowak for whom twenty-five years later a pub breakfast probably means one of Tims !

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Those Susan Nowak articles in What’s Brewing were good. She did a Stay at the Inn book, too. I’d love to have kidneys and bubble and squeak with a pint in That London.


      4. Oh, yes, and that reminds me that it’s a while since I’ve been to the new build Marstons pub twelve minutes walk away for the only beer still from the Burton Unions.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I didn’t know about that Stay at the Inn book but I did get
        – Susan Nowak’s 1988-9 ‘The Good Pub Food Guide’ – sold to the public as ‘A CAMRA Guide To Good Pub Food’ – which I rarely used. I remember it being criticised for omitting the Great Western ( where I had two pork baps yesterday ) which she considered too down market
        – Jill Adam and Susan Nowak’s 2007 Beer, Bed & Breakfast, not a bad book but the ‘accommodation’ symbol in the GBG always, bar once, worked well – that was when I bought the GBG every year.


  3. “Guess the pub name”

    The Two Lions?


    You sure that’s not a foot bath?



    ““Where’s Radcliffe Park””

    See, I would have replied with something witty like “usually at the end of the row in order to lessen being hit by other cars”. 🙂

    “I can’t see that from Cambridge”

    No, but they could see you coming. 😉

    “It could have been worse; “they’re closed all next week“, he said.”


    “Gin bar – scene of carnage”

    It looks like a very large time-out room (sheesh).


    Liked by 1 person

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