STONES IN THE TRUE NORTH

Another post for those of you keen to see my in-laws saving pubs.

On Saturday, as per my detailed itinerary,

I drove them to Elsecar and Wentworth, having laid the groundwork in April.

A reminder that I’m available to accompany YOU on these tailored Taylor tours for the all-inclusive price of a pint of Doom Bar.

The in-laws were impressed, particularly with the rows of workers cottage and the Newcomen engine at the old colliery. I had to photograph it through the railings, which is why it looks like an art shop.

Both car parks were packed, with gentlefolk arriving to have tea and cake and craft beer and peruse auction catalogues.

With its stone cottages, rambling parkland and superb Chinese takeaway, the village looks a place you’d like to live in, EVEN if you were a Southerner.

But what about the pubs ?

Well, there’s half a dozen to choose from, but having made two octogenarians walk 2 miles I picked the closest.

I’ve been here 15 years ago” I said, “scoring the Barnsley Bitter NBSS 3.5“.

Will they remember you ?” said my father-in-law.

Standing at the door peering in, it looked completely empty at 1pm on a Saturday.

Oooh, is that Stones ?

Have you booked ?” said the nice man. I stifled a laugh. He checked his book, and ushered us to a vast conservatory added since my 2006 visit. It was PACKED.

True North*, a Brunning & Price for the under-45s, run this place. You’ll know them from the Riverside, York and many other South Yorkshire dining pubs that don’t feel very pubby. Phew, the in-laws weren’t going to get accosted by a sweary,wheezing bloke nursing a John Smiths here (shame).

I’ve two things to tell you.

  1. The fish and chips are the best I’ve had since The Barge in Grimsby. Honest.

2. Their recreation of Stones is pretty good, and sticking to the lone cask pump is a masterstroke.

But if you want a pub, head for the Crown, or our mate Brad up the road in Hoyland’s Furnace.

After that the in-laws couldn’t move, but I made them walk round Wentworth Gardens, whose sunken gardens and deer park did indeed cost only £1.25, as explained in my flawless itinerary.

I’m calling the deer William, after Hague who has a road named after him. You remember William, the lad who drank 12 pints of John Smiths while helping out on the dray ?

I miss William.

*I’ll be honest; I get confused by all the North Brewing, North Bar, and Northern Monks so I may have got the facts wrong. Again.

12 thoughts on “STONES IN THE TRUE NORTH

  1. I’ve not been to the Milton, though I had heard that True North have taken it over.

    Your mention of the Furnace made me think I had probably been there, but I found I had no memory of the occasion; and a quick click through to your blog from 2016 left me none the wiser (through no fault of yours, I hasten to add). On checking my records it turns out to have been part of an 11 pub crawl of Elsecar and Hoyland in November 2017, when the Furnace was pub no.9. I had 11 halves in 11 pubs, and a quick look at my meticulously accurate notebook told me that I had a half of Brad’s Trad in the Furnace at about 6:10pm, before going to the Crown.

    Brad’s Trad is brewed by Westgate Brewery (formerly HB Clarks) in Wakefield, and no doubt it was 3.5 NBSS, but I really couldn’t swear to it.

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      1. Was that supposed to be Thornbridge? Or does Sheffield have expansion plans the rest of us don’t know about?

        At this rate the city will be invading Poland next. 😁

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      1. Hi Bill, I’m sure I must have drank cask Stones as well, around the same time, when I was living in the Greater Manchester area.

        Did the beer cross the Pennines in cask form, is the burning question, or was it keg, served by one of those free-flow electric pumps that Bass Charrington were so fond of?

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      2. T’other Paul,
        I remember that Stones Bitter was often from electric pumps but I can’t recall if they were free flow, as Bass Charrington used for their M&B beers, or the much more commonplace metered.

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