7th December 2022.
I’d planned it all so well.
No new GBG ticks in Stafford, but a genuine Guide newbie in Tamworth on the way home.
There’s multiple rail routes to Stafford from Sheffield, and about 44 different fare combinations depending on whether you dare stop in Uttoxeter and whether you’re old or not.
I’d had to stare at the “Welcome to Tamworth” sign for 34 minutes that morning,
leaving the station only briefly to admire the sign pointing the way to Jewson car park,
but returning at 5pm I had a full hour to explore the town for the first time in years. Oh look, it’s the pig which gave Tamworth its name;
Walk to the end of the pedestrianised area from the station and pass a decent representation of UK pubs in late 2022.
Your Stonegate, your Craft Union, your Spoons, your Joules,
(with ornate Banks’s windows),
your upmarket micro-cum-brewery tap, and your smart new self-styled “ambient pub”.
Yes, the Old Bank House really does describe itself as “ambient”, which sounds more Brian Eno than Julian Cope.
I head for the wide open door;
but this turns out to be the entrance to Retro Graphix, neither ambient or ale house.
The Old Bank House, next door, remains closed.
I check Facebook again. Oh.