I mentioned earlier about the challenges of settling into Sheffield during Lockdown, and how we’ll need pubs and gigs and football before we’ll really feel like it’s home.
But meeting the lovely Sheffield Hatter and Co. (milliners of distinction) on his home turf has made us more at home, and I feel like I personally know every plumber/electrician/tree surgeon in South Yorkshire.
And on Thursday I got to vote in not one but THREE elections, at least one of which I didn’t really understand so if it means beer is now served without a sparkler in Sheffield don’t blame me.
Obviously voting is a stressful responsibility, best undertaken after a pint.
The nearest pub to the polls at St Barts would have been the Hillsborough Hotel at the bottom of our hill, but sadly all that remains of that classic are the Gilmour windows.
So I had to walk another couple of minutes north to an unexpected April opening next to the Bamforth Street tram, and a Proper Pub by any definition (any definition of mine, anyway).
ALL THE PUBS IN SHEFFIELD ON FOOT No. 14 – The Masons Arms, Hillsborough
Mrs RM deserves the credit for spotting that The Masons had found itself a beer garden; it’s a pub I don’t walk past much now I’ve found the quick route to Morrisons to collect my daily sourdough.
Apart from the nice frontage you’d assume you were in a Craft Union house, always a nice place to be.
My 3.7 seconds walk through from entrance to rear revealed a “tight” range of beers free of the real ale that ruins many a community boozer, meaning I only needed to choose a seat and not a “Guest Ale“.
I can’t begin to tell you how friendly this place was. A simple welcome, nods of acknowledgement, and then they put on a soundtrack of “Bad Girls”, “Le Freak” and “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” JUST FOR ME ! (possibly). 1978 is the forgotten year of pop tunes in pubs, it really is.
Guinness parasols, Carling all round, Hi-Vis and “No Spitting” signs. Life After Football would love it.
Shares in John Smiths Smooth plc have rocketed since I resumed pubbing on the 12th; perhaps this one was a tad(caster) on the sweet side but you can’t knock the lacings.
“See ya later, buddy, take care” shouted a chap as I left by the car park entrance, and if that’s ALL anyone says to you all day it’s worth it, isn’t it ? “Take care” I mumbled back, haplessly. I’ll go again, they were lovely.
They’d probably even have told me who to vote for in the polling booth, beautifully tucked away in St Barts.
But, in a reversal of The Handsmaid’s Tale we’re binge-watching at the moment, I know my place and vote for who Mrs RM tells me to. At least, unlike the other 65% of Walkley, I voted.