Back to the ’70s.

Contrary to popular belief, Workington and Cambridge weren’t wearing flares and bell-bottoms on the pitch in that magical year of 1975*.

No first names in ’75

I wonder how many United fans made the short journey to the western Lakes ?

All meaningful journeys via London
Scary station

I never made it to Borough Park before they lost their league place to nasty WimbleMKdons the next season, but I haven’t let it get me down.

Proper ground, Probably good pies

If you’d turned up this day you’d certainly have got in.

Crowds were heading dangerously close to less than a thousand as locals turned their attention to alternative pastimes like crazy golf and listening to the Bay City Rollers.

4 Exeter fans in that 1,004

Or perhaps the locals were all paralytic on Slalom Laager, the only beer advertised in your 10p programme.

“Slalom Lager” you ask ?

Thanks, Urban Dictionary

Ten years go you’d have found a couple of basic pubs serving (just) Yates Bitter in the Guide. These days even the lively Spoons can’t make the GBG.


Something to do with local CAMRA rules about kilts and Hi-Vis, I believe.

Great hat Sir

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.

The next morning was more sedate.


That morning I gave Worky a proper assessment, and was pleasantly surprised,

Exciting danger areas

The old pubs east of the shops may not sell cask but they looked the business.

Jennings delivery -must be cask
You could be in Douglas
Great colours

OK, I came here on a wet and windy Wednesday in December rather than Summer, so I saw it at its best.

But the pie and pint combo looked worth a revisit.

Worth the trip

If you’re really bored you can do a forensic comparison with local neighbours Barrow and tell me which most deserves a visit from the Southworths in 2023.

And if you’re brave, send 50p to Workington and get your photo taken with your favourite player.



*Was it ? I don’t remember.




  1. That list of towns would be a pretty nice list of away matches to attend. I might prefer my team in the lower leagues… Is lower okay to say? Less challenging?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do like the idea of a pie and pint combo; though knowing me it might turn into a “pie and pint and yeah okay just one more pint for the road” combo.

    This is my first time encountering the phrase “they looked the business,” and yet I get the idea of what it means well enough! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Workington had its own brewery back in the early 70’, turning out “John Peel Ales.” The brewery gets a mention in Frank Baillie’s “Beer Drinkers Companion,” but closed shortly after, ironically just as CAMRA was getting going.

    I never managed to sample the Workington beers, but I wonder whether that intrepid pioneer, Stafford Paul might have done so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Workington Brewery was very old and although it was taken over by Matthew Brown in the 70s it continued to operate until the late 1980s producing I think Slalom Lager. Then Mattie Brown was taken over by S&N and the bewery was closed. It’s right in the centre of town and we could smell the hops from the schoolyard!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. T’other Paul,
      Ah, yes, I first drank Workington beers in the Salutation, Threlkeld one evening in April 1973.
      Walking along the A66 back to our tents a police car stopped to have a chat with us.and thankfully seemed satisfied with our answers..

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Matthew Brown took over the Workington Brewery in 1975, and renamed it the Lakeland Lager Brewery. It was closed in 1988, which I think would have followed the acquisition of Brown by S & N. They did have a beer called John Peel which I don’t think lasted very long. It was certainly around in 1981 when I tried some but I don’t remember anything exceptional about it and I suspect it was brewed by Brown in Blackburn – a GBG of the right vintage might confirm this, but I don’t have mine close to hand at the moment. The dates quoted are from the Brewery History Society website.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. John Peel Special was indeed brewed in Blackburn, and Matthew Brown was planning to close the Workington brewery well before the S&N takeover. JPS was supposed to be a premium bitter but lacked depth and body. Trevor Green was assistant MD of Matthew Brown and responsible for the Lakeland Lager Brewery. He ended up as MD of Jennings Bros in 1992, two years before I joined them.


  5. There was Slalom lager which was definitely a cut above the likes of McEwans Lager, Castlemaine XXXX, Fosters et al. Then there was the golden nectar that was Slalom D. Around 5%, and a full-bodied continental taste. Slalom Strong was the 9% stuff that was quite nasty but wasn’t found very often and I don’t think it was ever produced on draught. It’s still around, brewed by Caledonian.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Super stuff. That less than prolific scoring record can’t have helped attendances. Annoyingly that was the last league ground I didn’t get to though I went for non league and saw a game next door at the greyhound stadium when Borough Park failed a safety inspection. Also been to speedway so just rugby league to go. Workington tourism should hire you as you have made it look really rather good.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. More for pubs. Not many but I was living in Carlisle for a couple of the sporting trips. The Workington town band used to be a boat to the Isle of Man each year on a drunken – and almost certainly sick inducing -trip. I never went but heard tales from survivors.


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