10th October 2022.

I’m still not sure whether I’ll be able to make that attempt on GBG23, but I’m certainly going to make a start on completing the Wickingman’s list of all the known Bass outlets , an equally worthy endeavour.

Where better to start than Derby ? I want pics of pints of Bass for my blog like Life After Football always manages.

Now this a niche League Table, but on my list of top places I’m undecided about, Derby is Number 2. Number 4 is the Isle of Bute.

It’s a short list of “undecided” places, because a) I’m a bloke, and blokes don’t do indecision, and b) the whole point of this blog is to display my staggeringly misplaced arrogance.

But Derby ? I’m not sure what to think. There’s certainly some gorgeous old building on the walk from the station,

and the Babington used to be the best Spoons in the country (no Bass today, so clearly not),

and in parts it’s as jolly as Sheffield, which is good. The “Adult” indoor golf is called “Glory Holes” in Sheffield, so is House of Holes a bit dull ?

Little in the way of street art, and some of the scruffiest building anywhere on the way to the smart streets around Sadler’s Row.

But then you get an ancient gem like the Old Bell and all seems well with Derby.

The clock struck 12, the door remained shut. The barperson waved frantically to me to come round the side entrance, and explained she’d lost the front door key, prompting urgent phone calls to the manager.

It hardly mattered; no-one joined me in the 25 minutes it took to enjoy ’80s Yazoo and Fleetwood Mac and sink a cool, foamy pint of Bass (NBSS 3),

and wonder how much better it would be with 4 less beers on.

But there’s proper seating, and our key losing bar person was a conversational gem, bemoaning the drift of custom towards the weekend and away from the daytime. No food at the Old Bell except for meetings these days, and fewer Old Boys. A top analysis of the challenges facing pubs.

Not the best Bass of the day, but certainly good enough. And good enough is, er, good enough.

One down, several to go.

14 thoughts on “WE’RE GOING ON A (DERBY) BASS HUNT

  1. Gone right off Derby these days, if I’m going to spend the best part of £23 to get there I prefer the considerably less down at heel, bit more ‘thrivey’ Nottingham. It does have some very fine pubs of course, though the temptation is to just march straight to the Smithfield, and stay there.

    Having said that I’m keen to reacquaint myself with the reopened Station Inn, just so long as the Bass is served proper and not from a jug…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m ashamed to say that I have never been drinking in Derby I must rectify this glaring omission soon, rail strikes permitting. By the way how old do you have to be an Old Boy, I’m not sure if I qualify, I have been referred to by Mrs C as an Old Git does that count?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. For what it’s worth I think the Waterend Barn in St Albans to be one of Tim’s finest, a proper barn while his other venues are improper barns.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, much better than his former Cross Keys.
        I’m not sure if Tim made such an improvement in St Albans to impress that group beer connoisseurs who have their headquarters in the town.


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