I left the Old Boys in the Smithfield to their talk of “interesting” beers and Francis Lee’s gold Mercedes and crowds of 7,000 at Stamford Bridge, and wobbled back towards the station.
Blimey, those cobbles look big.
The Alex and the Brunswick lie over those cobbles, but I was headed for a re-opened classic with a Carling sign.
The Station Inn is the Stockton Sun of the Midlands. A workingmen’s pub, with Bass a side draw rather than the reason visit.
It had just that month been re-opened by a great chatty couple who had seemingly managed to keep all the character of an unfussy boozer. An album by The Nolans on the wall is A Good Sign.
I’ll be honest. I feared for the Bass; no longer from the jug, four pumps on the bar, and served in a Pedigree glass in a pub that was too quiet.
But it was nectar, the Bass of the day (NBSS 3.5/4), and if it hadn’t been my fifth pint I’d have stayed for more. But it’s best to leave, wanting to come back.