THE 1st GOOD BEER GUIDE TICKERS AGM STARTS IN THE SHAMBLES AND GOES DOWNHILL

30th December 2022.

If you’d prefer the official version of the GBG tickers 1st Annual Meeting in Chesterfield then go straight to Duncan’s notes on Paisley parchment here.

It’s one of the most concise sets of minutes of a four (4) hour meeting I’ve ever seen, and I used to write them for a living once.

No such discipline from me. You get the full blow-by-blow account, starting at Ches (as the kidz call it) Station with Duncan displaying the Ticker of the Year trophy I’m about to receive.

EVERYBODY wanted to join this Year End meeting-cum-crawl*, including a gaggle of part-time tickers (“Associate members“) like Will and Quosh, and hangers-on like Mrs RM, who had made a late decision to join us despite a 3.3 mile route.

The AGM would start in the Rectory at 16:00 prompt with my valedictory speech and it was imperative we were on time so we’d actually arrived in Chez (as the kidz call it) an hour early.

I’d only been here a month ago to tick the three Guide newbies but you can always find new features in a UK town to admire, even on a dreich December afternoon;

and with a half hour to kill decided to pop in the Rutland Arms rather than the Albert Einstein themed bar with “Peep Show” frontage.

I’d been here 25 years ago when Chesterfield were an FA Cup Semi-Finalist and the Rutland was a Guide regular as a Festival Ale House or Hogshead or one of those ale shrine places.

Its ambitions looked more limited now,

but going from half a dozen pumps to a couple is (nearly) always A Good Thing,

and the TT Landlord was a rich NBSS 3+, enjoyed by the fire with a soundtrack of Spandau Ballet’s “Gold“.

Sadly, only one other group were there to join us in putting a few coppers towards the heating bill, my efforts to entice fellow tickers into a non-GBG pubs (“Hey, they’ve got Pedi as a guest !“) proving fruitless.

Mrs RM looked in amazement at the cheap offers on spirits, and I noted my half of the UK’s most expensive regular cask beer and a soda was £2.

I enjoyed it, and when a couple of Old Boys (probably younger than me) did come in it perked up a bit.

But it was time to move on, to catch the Shambles (better than York, say some in Derbyshire) as dusk approached.

Deserted. There’s no money, you see.

I remembered that local drinker John had told me to meet him in the ancient Royal Oak, which of course was closed.

A shame, but I’d probably have been at the wrong entrance anyway.

Ten minutes till the AGM starts. So Mrs RM decides NOW would be the time to go shopping, doesn’t she...

*It’s our party and we’ll call it a “crawl” if we want to, CAMRAs.

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