A great night came to an unexpectedly brilliant end at the Chapel House in Lower Gornal. I’ve marked the Beacon Hotel for you below as well, to help you get your bostin’ bearings.
When I started GBG pubbing, the Gornals were one of the “must visits” areas in the UK. Eight Guide pubs, including the famed Jolly Crispin and Britannia at the top of the hill and a straggle of free houses on the way down.
I’d sometimes come on Bonfire Night, when you could see the fireworks for miles from the Crispin.
Don’t remember the Chapel House though.
Excitingly, I arrive on music night.
It’s a Proper Local, live music at the weekend but nothing fancy, and a good cross-section of Gornads (or whatever you call the locals).
You wouldn’t find this many folk, particularly over-50s, out for a drink in many pubs in Cambridge; they’ll all be tucked up watching Netflix with the new Tesco craft cans.
I’m always pleased to see a Holden’s house. No fancy guest beer nonsense here either,
With all seats taken at 20:55, I had to hog a seat at the bar.
That Golden Glow, a temperamental beer, just looks wonderful.
Alex Ohm kicked off his solo guitar covers with “California Dreaming” and suddenly Holden’s made perfect sense. NBSS 3,5, perhaps 4. It barely touched the sides.
Straight into the Weller canon.
“Two lovers kissing amongst the scream of midnight,
Two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude,
Getting a cab and traveling on buses,
Reading the graffiti about slashed seat affairs”
What a song that was. I was quite emotional, but made it back to Dudley to pink in my GBG.
“Lights going out and a kick in the gornals” as Weller might have said.