Ten minutes on the train to Rugeley Town,
then a less than exciting 20 minutes through the western suburbs to what looks like a slice of Cwmbran with more unintelligible accents.
Thinking about it, trips into genuinely residential areas for Guide ticks used to be a rarity.
But micropubs have changed all that. Rugeley’s Rusty Barrel is a mirror image of Werrington’s Frothblowers.
Same 60s housing, same functional shopping arcade, same curry house next door, same terror that it’ll be shut for a trip to the barbers or something.
The football pitch seemed to be short of a crossbar.
It wasn’t due to open till 13:00, but looked very, very shut.
I completed the walk around the shopping arcade, wondering if a can of Strongbow sank outside a pub could count as a tick.
Back at the Barrel, still no action as the clock ticked past 1.
I sought advice from Duncan and Simon, who are used to this scenario.
Their advice shall remain confidential pending the judicial inquiry.
I gave the door a nudge. It flew open.
Actually, they were all lovely, if a bit shy given how dark it was.
“What should I have”
“What do you normally drink”
You should never ask me that.
The nice man recommended the Slaters. It was decent.
He brought me out a beermat, too (not BeerMat).
A schoolboy stood on the seat at the bar. I liked that, too.
“D’ya want a dirty beer?”
Said Dad to lad. He didn’t.
He’ll learn to love the lacings.
Within 10 minutes I was the only customer, oddly, and the guvnor chatted to me about stuff. Not all microlords are that chatty.
A cheery place.
Republica were singing “Ready to go”. And I was.