Sunday 29 November 2015

BRAPA - East Yorkshire Confessional

Pre-BRAPA platter on the Friday evening
As I stood in the wind and rain at a very stationary taxi rank in York, a BRAPA related debate was taking place over a few pints of 8% Brass Castle ales in Hull's excellent Walters pub.  Present were Bernard "Daddy" Everitt, Mark "Beefy" Bainton and Christine "Chrissy" Andrew.  The question was a simple one "Had I visited St John's Hotel on Queens Road, Hull as part of BRAPA?"  It is GBG listed at present.  I answered emphatically "of course" but as I picked at my teatime platter whilst Hull City tamely surrendered to Derby County live on TV, doubts crept in.

When Dad returned, we had a chat about it as he was present when I supposedly went, 1st April 2006 after a lunchtime 1-0 home win v Leeds United with a Jon Parkin goal (I remember that bit!)

Likely Scenario

Dad had said on 1st April 2006 "ey up son, is there a GBG pub in Hull you would like to visit for after the match that's on the way out of the city centre as we won't have time for a pre-match drink?" and I, having looked at my 2005 GBG told him St John's Hotel, Queen's Road. (I didn't have the more recent 2006 copy as I used to only buy it once every two years would you believe, so I'd bother John Watson or Leeds Waterstones when I needed up to date info for away games).

Dad replied "ah, Queens Road, yup, no problem I know where that is" (meaning the road).  So the day progresses with the match, and Dad by now has Queens Road so fixed in his mind, he takes us to the Queens pub, and I unquestioningly in a haze of 'beating the White Shite' euphoria (and BRAPA being 8 years away), go along with it.  After all, both pubs are Marston's and yes, so the Queens is a one roomer but the partitions give the illusion that it isn't.  Dad thinks at the time, this is quite a rubbish pub, but in 2006, the standard of Hull pubs in the GBG was not so strong.  So we'd think little of it.  Mission, Courts Bar, Oberon, Green Bricks spring to mind.

Either the above, or Dad was playing an elaborate April Fools trick on me which lasted 9 and a half years which in truth, makes him the fool anyway! 

Whatever, I have to scrub a pub and I'm back down to 746 going into the weekend.....

Back to Saturday

This leaves me to ponder two sad conclusions.  Firstly, I won't be able to finish "ticking" off East Yorkshire today.  And secondly, I won't get the 750 landmark up today.  How frustrating!  But nice for a change to be in the car with Dad as chauffeur - warmer, less effort, less cost, but there is something liberating about train travel.   

747.  Station Hotel, Patrington

I have to admit, the pub did not look promising from the outside,  All alone, big, white and with a Worthington Smoothflow sign sticking out of it, it was obviously once by the railway station before 1960's pre-emptive "BRAPA crapper" Dr Beeching decided to close it down, like so many.  It looked a bit lonely and sorry for itself as the church bell tolled 12 noon and we parked round the side.  The pub was open dead on time (tick), we had a friendly welcome from the smiley barmaid (tick) and it was warm (TICK!) as the wind outside was blowing a very cold gale over flat East, East Yorkshire.  The beer range was hardly stupendous, but a dark, spiced Great Newsome guest was very locale and I really grew into the pint after a slow start.  The pub seemed quite geared up for food judging by the type of seating, quite modern in style despite an obviously old building so quite a nice contrast.  People did keep coming in too, which was encouraging considering weather and location and Dad and myself were both surprised how much we'd enjoyed it!  We should have learnt by now in 2015, East Yorkshire has a lot to offer.  

Me and my GBG outside the Station Hotel in Patrington

After a drive back through a few villages, we were in a bustling little place called Preston, just north of Hedon where we'd been earlier in the summer and I believe a micropub has just opened which may have been worth checking out, but we didn't want to overdo it!

748.  Nag's Head, Preston

I might have said East Yorkshire had a lot to offer, but there are some offerings you'd be happy to do without, and sadly this was a prime example.  A confusing entrance was encouraging, because at least it suggested multi-roomed propper pubbing.  However, the main lounge was freezing cold and the 'welcome' we received from the landlady/barmaid - well, I think "brusque" is the politest term.  The three beers were all standards, so I went for a perfectly serviceable Everards Tiger.  Poor Dad only wanted an orange J20 and he got barked at!  I tried smiling at her on three occasions but the scowl I received each time were like mental punches to the face.  Most customer's were quite elderly and were huddled round with hats, coats and scarves trying to eat fish & chips.  Not really acceptable.  One nice feature was our table, a Burnley Billiards Table quite unique.  BRAPA table of the year?  One woman near us, suddenly reported she'd enjoyed a "lumpy bumpy" which turned out to be a pudding, but good grief, a more unfriendly pub I've yet to encounter in this BRAPA calendar year!  

Nag's Head - unfriendly, cold, and just a little bit inbred. 

After a consolation ham sandwich and some SatNav jiggery pokery, we were heading north west to Beverley and managed to park up in a very packed Tesco car park.  The weather was awful by now as we dodged through the Saturday market for what should have (sob!) been a celebratory pub tick.

749.  Green Dragon, Beverley

A bit of a tardis like pub this, it looked like a cosy little one roomer but it stretched back into a sweeping comfortable lounge for what seemed like ever.  The three barstaff seemed joyous in comparison to the last place, and were relieved to have seen the "lunchtime rush" easing off, though it seemed busy enough to me.  Plenty of pump clips were offering cask ale, but it was again quite a standard range so I went for an egg-chasing themed one from the reliable Inveralmond brewery in Scotland, just a half but it was very drinkable whilst Dad was still on the J20 to his credit.  We kept walking through the pub til we found a free seat, and eventually got sat right next to Bryan from work.  It's a small world as I keep saying recently!  Bryan was with his elderly Mum who he'd taken to the Christmas market, he's a big real ale fan, the most quick-witted person I've ever met, and he does a regular Amsterdam equivalent of BRAPA.  In fact, he loves a good BRAPA debate and won't let me live down the fact that I went to his hometown of Ossett without visiting the Brewery Tap "because it wasn't in the Guide!"  Needless to say, he found the St John's Hotel story hilarious.   

Dad trying not to look too cold at the Green Dragon
We had time for a "swift half" at Chequers Micropub which I love and on my third visit, was determined to show Dad.  Such a friendly bunch of old crones, great beers from places like Half Moon, Brass Castle and Atom - though we had another Scottish one from Tempest who I've not seen before.  It even has two loos, unusual for a micropub.  And something about that old Hook Norton railway sign which I love.  One old man visitor though, told a friendly group that he hated Beverley and the people in it which was highly amusing!  

And that was it, a nice mid afternoon finish very sociable.  This meant I could do my "spring-clean" of my flat (I do mine normally in December to make way for the junk (errrm I mean lovely presents) which I might get).  And discovering old papers meant the BRAPA drama wasn't over and done with!

More BRAPA Updates

Firstly, I discovered the old notepad I'd been looking from December 2006 when I recorded pub visits for a couple of weeks (it never caught on!)  I thought this would tell me more about my recently archived trip to Thistle Park Tavern in Plymouth, but when I looked, the pub I thought it was was actually the Providence (not GBG listed)!!  I can't believe this has happened twice in two days.  Back down to 748.

No wonder Bryan said I should revisit every pub I did pre-BRAPA just to make sure.  I feel so silly.

But happier news was just around the corner as I found another notepad detailing the "Scottish voting" that me and Ric did on the way home from Berwick upon Tweed in 2009.  This proves we DID go to the Pilot, probably post-match (I'd de-listed it because I wasn't sure) and though memories are very vague, we rated it highly on beer quality, comfort and hubbub.  It was runner up to Barrels Ale House which I did archive, but we also visited two other pubs called Foxtons and the Grove which I'd never have remembered.  Back up to 749.  What drama!

And talking of Scottish voting, I found the Scarborough 2012 bank holiday trip too which shows "which one was which" out of Valley and Cellars.  None of my friends could remember but Valley was the first and slightly superior one.  It won with North Riding Brew Pub runner up.

Oh, and I also found a terrible poem I wrote in May 2007 called "Trip to Hereford" about, you guessed it, my trip to Hereford, meaning Barrels was visited earlier than I thought, actually 9th May 2007 meaning Man Utd 0-0 Chelsea was the woeful game I saw on TV there, whilst I did Worcester the following day on the 10th which ties in perfectly as I went back to my hotel to see Tony Blair had announced his resignation.

November Review

Nov 2015 will not go down in the BRAPA annals as a vintage month.  Frustrating is the word.  Even discounting this weekend's revelations, it started with a trip to Brentford where time was always against me and 5 pubs wasn't a great result considering.  The following Saturday I was frustrated not to add Helwith Bridge to the list but it just wasn't quite practical.  Then, I had the Wigmore Arms farce in Luton, and in Bristol, my pre-match pub didn't open when it was supposed to.  Oh well, them's the breaks and here's to a very merry festive December time!  Pub of the month, Roundhill Inn in Rastrick.  

There's ya lot, see you tomorrow for some final archives! 



  1. Funny thing is I've been visiting Hull for years to tick off the GBG and I don't remember St Johns Hotel before GBG 15 (I don't keep many old copies so can't check). Didn't think much of the Olde Empire there in August, but that was a quiet Sunday.

    I'd think the Pilot would stick in the memory, it was a classic pub, but possibly it was the folk music that night.

    NB I presume you were also in Hereford the week they originally lost their league status (07), am sure Barrels would have been it's cheerful self though.

  2. The best thing about the St John's story is that we were visiting pubs together so long ago, and are still doing it. Another nine years at least please ! Big congrats to the Station at Patrington for its unexpected warmth and friendliness - oh and great J2O! The Ganstead Golf Club is not Mark's.

  3. Apparantly St John's Hotel is in 2005 GBG but not '06 or '07 so it's conceivable I was 'looking for it' back then.

    Pilot is stirring memories of a proper Cosy old pub with old men but earlier beers plus an 89th minute East Stirling winner may have been too much for me!

    I can't remember a sense of doom around Hereford, not Barrels though a strange man did tell me off for taking a photo of the bar area so maybe he was still hurting!

  4. Thank you Simon for a good laugh with the pubs going up and down. I consider it revenge for the King & Castle comedy last week. Just for the record, was it before or after midnight when it was finally confirmed that you hadn't been to the St. John's Hotel? Just for scoring purposes.

    If it's any consolation, I didn't go to the Leeds game, having a piano exam instead. I've never seen us beat the bastards, which is probably a good omen as I am refusing to enter the ground on Saturday.

    Can I call Ernest Marples the true BRAPA crapper at places like Patrington? Beaching just wrote the report that was required of him, Marples was the crook of a transport minister responsible.

    Martin, was it really 8 years ago that Hereford United went out of the Football League? I think they have been in an back out again since, but that is frightening.

  5. Cheers Tom, it was about 11:45pm when dad said enough to convince me I'd not been in St John's Hotel, so close!

    Ernest Marples eh? Will look him up. Did he recommend the closures? Was Beaching just a pawn? I need to do my research obviously.

  6. Marples was the transport minister, Richard Beeching was the chair of the BRB (I think). Marples had very strong connections with people in the automotive industry, particularly motorways. If you watch 'Yes (Prime) Minister', you will know that politicians only commission reports if they know the outcome will be what they want in advance. Part 2 of the Beaching report actually did a large amount of good, but that is often forgotten.

    Just as a matter of interest, I have had several looks at the platter presumably created by Mummy Ev. Whilst it looks very good, I am unsure of a couple of the items. Please could you clarify what they are (or rather were):
    1) To the left of the carrots, is that humous or some similar dip?
    2) Between the avocado and the white grapes I am really struggling. It is either some form of meaty thing, or I am wondering about some form of possibly unusual mushroom.
    3) Is that a white cheese sort of laid over the pepper.
    4) I take it the white mound near the centre is cottage cheese.

  7. Haha, Tom you do make me chuckle! Ok, I'll try my best.

    1) Coleslaw
    2) Yes, that is peppered beef. It took me until the 90th minute to totally finish it! Very peppery indeed.
    3) That is just one of the 4 bits of buttered crusty loaf - lighting issues i think.

    4) Yes, that's right. Longley Farm - only the best! Did you know the history of cottage cheese is a mystery?

    Yes, I will do some reading up on Marples/Beaching just so I know my stuff.


  8. I am surprised at Mummy Ev giving you beef.

    I think we are looking at different items for 3, I can see 4 pieces of bread, 3 inner and 1 end. The item I had down as cheese is just to the right of the 3 piece of bread down, ie between the bread and the avocado.

    That is an interesting factoid about the history of cottage cheese. I would imagine that it originated as a simple young cheese made in the home by housewives. It is certainly a strong claim that Longley Farm is the best, I might have to get practising and challenge them to a cheese off.

  9. Whilst wandering around the villages of East Yorkshire earlier, I had a though. When I confessed to not having visited the Crown Posada, you made the following remarks in sentencing me:
    "Thanks Tom, you have 3 'said you've been to pub you haven't' strikes before an officially warning, which means you have to drink water on the next trip to East Lancs rather than blackcurrant. Crown Posada is coffin shaped, you'd like it!"

    I think you have made three similar offences:
    1) St. John's Hotel
    2) Newhampton / Combermere, Wolverhampton
    3) First Chop, Ramsbottom

    Are you denying any of the offences, am I missing something or is that you onto 3 strikes?

    1. Now Tom, that's overly harsh. The it is a real ale adventure, there would hardly be any point if our Si wasn't allowed beer.

      Si, come and see me and I'll arrange a more suitable punishment. Let me know when you're coming, you can't walk down the lane on that ankle.

    2. Thanks Rachey-babes, yes Tom is always overly harsh! And congrats for being the most random visitor to this blog since a certain Phil Parkinson.

      My ankle will certainly be healed in time for the New Year's pub quiz I hope, I'll be Green Owling it even if I have to hop!

    3. Your welcome Simey-love. Who is this Phil Parkinson? I've not heard of him before.

      Yes, please do come on New Year's Eve. It is Thursday so we will have the quiz as usual, plus a few New Year's special festivities. No fireworks though as they might upset Diddles. We had problems last year because Albert got hold of his own and started setting them off. Let me know if you think you'll struggle on the lane alone and invite Tom too - Emily will be there.

      Are you going to stay the night so that you can receive your punishment afterwards?

    4. Rachel,
      Sorry if I seem harsh, I just like order to be maintained and to have sufficient deterrent for misdemeanours like fudging pubs.

      Si may have told you in person, but Phil Parkinson is a former professional footballer, noted most for playing for Reading, who moved into football management. He did very well at Colchester United but was assisted by somebody who was actually intelligent, a Welsh bloke called George Williams. He then went to Hull City where he proved what a dweeb he actually is, and when after inevitably being sacked after a couple of lesser appointments and having seemingly learnt from past mistakes, went to Bradford City were he is currently doing reasonably well.

      Just so I can close the matter of the fudged pubs, please can you confirm that Si received his punishment as agreed.

    5. Yes, Tom, Si accepted his punishment and is very sorry for what he did and says he won't do it again. Sorry I don't want to go in detail in public as to what the punishment was.
      Just you be careful though, you've had wrongdoing yourself. I don't think Emily reads this but if I you trip up, I'll tell her.