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.
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.
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.
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.
So, what do you for two hours in Radcliffe that’s still legal ?
Radcliffe Olympic v Attenborough in the Notts Senior League, of course.
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 ?”
Decent match, 0-2 (sloppy goals), attendance 21, Cloudwater beers nil.
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.
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”.