A year ago I spent the night before my 54th (which some people would have you believe is extreme old age) in Barrow-in-Furness on Black Eye Friday, to be woken by all of Ulverston at 2.30am by oiks singing “Let It Go”. Memorable times.
The temptation was strong to go one better in 2019 and spend 21st December in Workington, the signature seat in the General Election, we’re told.
But common sense prevailed and I settled on the rather less scary Thursday night with Workington Man (and Woman, sexist).
Last time here, I kid you not, was August 1980, when my Dad took me to crazy golf though I’d clearly have preferred a trip to Borough Park.
Not many people know that after the Reds were booted out of the League in favour of Wimbledon, the town twinned with Milton Keynes. Not that you’d know from visiting either town.
My reacquaintance was not happy. For £24.75 on booking.com I’d acquired a bijoux apartment five minutes from the centre (i.e. the Spoons).
The direction seemed to want to take me through the “NO ENTRY PEDESTRIANS ONLY” shopping street and having failed driving test number 4 that way I know better than to ignore those signs.
A long detour north of the Derwent brought me to problem No.2.
No Entry street AND bollards where the car might go. I stuck in a dangerous looking street a mile away and walked back in the drizzle to catch the Cockermouth bus.
Check-in was a nightmare. One of those places where the owner sends you a 7 digit key to unlock a gate to enter a dark area with 3 combination locks on the wall, none of which you read in the dark. And the rain.
To be fair the young lad who came out was apologetic, I was just wet.
I went out to explore the craft options in town now they have a Tory MP but no GBG entries.
Well there’s Tesco.
And of course Spoons. The hats are craft.
Cumbrian Spoons tend to be smaller affairs, with street level loos.
They also have a more relaxed dress code but I doubt Tim Martin makes it this far north to check on uniform.
Things may have been more lairy a day later, but on the Thursday before Christmas staff and punters were in good spirits.
I’d spent my vouchers, and felt a tiny bit miffed about spending a whole £2.15 on a pint of Ennerdale Blonde (a solid NBSS 3+).
By 6pm it was heaving. Rather more civil than the Sodom that is Winchester Spoons on a Thursday night, with Geordies on curry night outnumbering the cask heads about 5 to 1.
Always wise to visit a Spoons that’s not in the Guide. It’s not as if Workington is going to be full of micropubs and brewery taps in a year’s time, is it ? Is it ?
But my last tick for the night was just along the coast. Posh Worky.
It wasn’t even cold, but a lady offered one of her layers to a lass quietly pre-loading on the station bench. A touching moment you wouldn’t see in Winchester.