More from that golden season of 1963-64.
Some of you may know that while Plymouth were playing Grimsby in October, Barnsley and Everton were STILL attempting to finish their matches from the 1962-63 FA Cup 3rd round.
Folk who lived through the disruption of the Big Freeze would be amused by the fuss around the minor delays to football caused by Covid-19 (approx. 4 years).
Keen readers will note the kick-off time has been delayed by 15 minutes to allow pub tickers to get to the ground from The Dolphin.
The “Mariners” were such hard cases that they didn’t actually have first names, so you won’t realise that their Number 3 is actually the wonderful Graham Taylor.
Grimsby don’t get Christian names, clubs don’t get their surnames; I’m guessing “Manchester” is City, and Swindon is Swindon Supermarine.
Another interesting collection of adverts.
Amongst the electrical suppliers, garages, “Join the Army“, “Take Courage“, there’s two adverts for (sorry about the arcane terminology) Spastics Society and two more Chinese restaurants.
NB You’ll know that by law all Indian restaurants can only advertise on the screens of provincial cinemas.
Home Park is a decent ground, but the Argyle have long been one of football’s great underperformers, along with Liverpool and Chesham United.
A city famous for Drake, Bass and cutting-edge post-war town planning, I spent 3 nights in Uni rooms there last summer (£20.55 a night) and loved it.
Some of the pub signage would have been considered risque by Curry Charles.
If Wolverhampton means The Great Western (and it doesn’t) and Falmouth means The Seven Stars (and it doesn’t) then Plymouth means The Dolphin.
A lovely night in the Barbican, with the high quality busker treating us to “Sara” by Dylan, a real toe-stomper.
The flattish Bass, its turnover diminished by time and the addition of another eight beers, wasn’t QUITE as great as when Beryl Cook pulled the pints.
But as a pub, it was just wonderful. Really great staff, friendly locals spanning the ages, and that buzz you get from the very best boozers (SEE: The Dove in Bury St Edmunds).
Purists might balk at the cricket on TV or the fruit machines, but it’s a pub not a National Trust property.
The star of the trip, and Bass of the month, came in the Artillery Arms
In Cambridge this would be the Champion of the Thames, in Manchester it’d be the City Arms. Civilised, boisterous drinking houses for all.
I took my Bass (3.5) out to the smoking porch, where two lads were talking nonsense.
“Foxy’s gonna cut the back out”
“Sending it from the 16 sends a message early on”
It was only the rugger stars of the Torpoint Todgers discussing tactics for their big clash with Bideford Bodgers.
There’s more than Bass, of course.
In the oldest pub in town, the Minerva served up St Austell beer, a Tubz machine, and the joy of two Old Boys flummoxed by the Blancmange version of Abba’s “The Day Before You Came“.
“Who’s this ?”
“It’s ABBA mate”
“Oh, Shazza (Shazam) says it’s Blonkmonge”
“Thought she sounded a bit wobbly”
Honestly, what more do you want from a pub ?
Well, there was skiffle in Bread & Roses, a joyous place with one beer on cask. Those two things are connected.
“Alright darlin’ ? “
“Y’alright mate ?” I offer back to the bearded smoker at the door.
They even have in Vessel a hipster craft bar with Cloudwater raspberry sour so you don’t feel you’ve left the civilised world, even if you have.
Sadly, we lost the Nowhere Inn just after my visit. It may have struggled to capture the woke market but it was a cracker.
The banter was about screen printing, and the disaster of being out of Kronenbourg.
“Out of Krony ! I’ll have the strongest one then”
“What, ale ?”
Straight into my Top 10 towns, and I never thought I’d be saying that in 2020.