Wednesday 13 July 2016

BRAPA - Sheffield West & South to a Finish

Sheffield seemed to have been hit by a plague of elephants when I arrived in the city on Tuesday evening.  Not real ones, just model ones, painted all different colours, and randomly dotted around the city.  Hull did exactly the same thing a few years ago with toads.  But that made sense as it was a tribute to poet Philip Larkin who wrote about them.  So unless Jessica Ennis-Hill once had a relationship with an elephant at a Summer Olympics, this didn't.

Stop copying Hull, Sheffield.  It's embarrassing.  You aren't as good.  You are decent, but no more.  Stop it.  What's next, are you going to strip naked, paint yourselves green, and pretend to be grass?  There's only one "City of Culture 2017" and it sure isn't you.

And now I've lost my Sheffield readership, on with the pubs......

Pointless elephant blocks view of The Howard pub.
I almost did everything right at the bus stop on Furnival Gate, apart from forgetting to flag it down, so after another 20 minute wait, I was amongst the usual gaggle of students and old people on a bumpy bus climbing up a hilly road.  Luckily, the bus stop was right outside the pub.

971.  Greystones, Sheffield West

A friendly brunette with glasses and an "accent" (according to the locals, despite being from Sheffield) was there to serve me some very cold 'Brother Rabbit' by Thornbridge when I arrived - for this is the brewery's tap and I've always been a fan, but suspected a slight leaning to the modern and trendy.  A couple of young beardies (in above photo) were working their way through the full range.  With an old man staring at me in way that only 'Judgey Jesus' from London would (had he heard about the olives too?), I had no choice to sit in the main bar at one of the posing tables that dominated the pub,  What with extreme air conditioning, draughty doorway and cold beer, it was hard to feel 100% comfortable here.  The pub seems to double as a gig venue, with lots of posters and t-shirts on sale - I think they call "the back room" or something, because it is in a back room.  Original.  At least Fulford Arms "behind the white door" gig venue in York is no longer behind a white door.  A barman looked exhausted, having had to bring food to two different people hidden in corners of the pub, demanding half a pepsi off our friendly barmaid.  She had greater problems as a father & son duo walked in and the Dad went all embarrassing by chatting her up and telling her about his day.  She didn't care.  His son's decision to try and alleviate the embarrassment by discussing the range of nuts didn't help.

Lovely ale but a bit too cold for me, like the whole place.

Thin Rose West and J. Ennis-Hill (pre-elephant) on the walls.
I decided to try something new to get to my second pub and booked an online taxi with a company called Uber and it was uber exciting!  With no busses between the pubs, and a 3.2 mile walk not viable options tonight, it had to be done.  Sadly, my free promo code didn't work but at £7.32 (strangely exact but good) and being able to see my driver on GPS getting closer was interesting,  and you get to rate the driver and they get to rate you.  How long til my review reads "pub bore".  Good chap was Mohammed, gave Ralph Hussain a run for his money.  Use code SIMONE1358UE for a free ride with them, and I get one too.

Mohammed is 7 minutes away, time for a swift half? 

Advert over, acid test will be if Uber can get me to the Anchor Anchor for 50p from York.  I was at my next pub ....

972.  Mount Pleasant, Sheffield South

Bit of culture shock after all the modernness, I entered to the right door where I was greeted by the friendly locals (wow, not what I was expecting but superb).  Sadly, no ales in this side so I went to the left room where a small man on a mobile phone was scurrying around.  He turned out to be the landlord and broke off to give me the most nonchalant run down of the four ales ever, and then rang a bell to call "her from downstairs", a girl with glasses and severe fringe who looked like she normally was chained up in the basement, and blinked up nervously at the light.  What I most loved about this place is that it smelt like an old pub, not sure how to describe it, but it was reassuring.  Two old men sat next to me and started discussing what they were having for tea.  "Sausage and mash" said one, "but it is poor quality sausage."  Probed further (so to speak), he revealed he hated oven chips and when his friend told him you could get microwaveable ones in a box, he reacted like microwaves were far too much of a new fangled invention for him, and he'd never got used to his.  "I tried doing beans on toast in it once, it didn't work out well." But it was said totally deadpan.  I snorted into my ale though.  BRAPA comedy gold!!  They left, "see you later Mark" "errmm it's Michael actually!" I thought they were old friends, they didn't even know each others names.  Brilliant.

Classic old man's pub, note the locals about to chat microwaves.
I had no time to relax, my busses were hourly and one was 10 minutes away so I swigged off my delicious Anglers Reward by Wold Top and dashed down the street, getting it quite comfortably.

I had time for a swift half in Sheffield Tap, not a brilliant place but nowhere near as bad as my Dad claims, I asked the barmaid if the Bristol Beer Factory Junga was pronounced with a hard J or like "Yunga" to which she looked at me like I was a fucking idiot.  But I still didn't get a proper answer.

Possibly the most pathetic pub tables ever, Sheffield Tap.  I've seen bigger ashtrays.
This week, it made more sense to change at Leeds than go straight through to York and it wasn't such a bad journey back. 

Just one more Sheffield trip left but with the Wellington not open Mon or Tue and me unable to do Wed or Thu next week, we'll have to think outer South Yorkshire again.  And thanks to Martin Taylor for pointing out that Penistone's Royal British Legion Club has been de-guided for not letting CAMRA members in.  Well deserved!  




  1. I believe that Brian Laws and Colin Wanker had a brief fling with the same elephant when they were managers of the two Sheffield teams. Ennis is innocent on this one, unless she has subsequently met the elephant and I haven't heard about it.

    I'm sorry to say that the animal statues weren't an original Hull idea. I saw it done with cows in Budapest prior to the toads. Now I have said that, I fully expect to be arrested for treason before the week is out. I shall plead guilty and will surely be hung, drawn and quartered in Queen Victoria Gardens.

    A third friendly brunette in a week. Usual question applies, but I must say this is a bit of a turnaround after that grim spell. I do hope that none of these ones win, solely because I would, as a matter of curiosity only you understand, like to meet somebody who goes on to win the brunette award.

    I would say this is countered though by those young people who are making beards fashionable. They are too kempt, it is unreal, a fallacy. They do not know the meaning of a beard. They'll be drinking those new fangled fashion cans of keg next week.

    £7.32 sounds extraordinarily dear for 3.2 miles to me. It is almost approaching the rate for travel on the Heathrow branch. Are taxis in general that pricey these days or is this just a particularly expensive service? It is a good job I was sat down with my reduced price cake when I first read that.

    You are right that there is a proper pub smell, it is one of those things that makes you feel like you have arrived somewhere real. Mike is right too, oven chips are shite and microwaves are the work of the devil, or more specifically his subordinates Mr Weatherspoon and Mr Ember.

    I've done some research and the beer Junga is named after the Polish hop used in its production, hence the J will sound like a Y, hence it will be pronounced Yunga.

  2. Well I'm sure Budapest ripped off your favourite place in the UK and favourite football team, famed for it's concrete cows!

    Yes, it has not gone unnoticed the brunette turn around after a blonde June (not my friends Mum, ugh) is happening. I was debating scrapping this particular award this year (I don't want to be sexist and alienate any female readers, if I have any!) but a positive Twitter comment from a visitor has made me reconsider.

    I agree on beards wholeheartedly (yours is proper, most are awful) but am hearing beer quality in these trendy cans is better than bottled beer from a York CAMRA chap I know so whilst it's still pretentious "craft" nonsense (to a staunch cask bastard like me), I'm going to get a few in one night and give it a go. Can't be worse than the Peculiar IPA I had on Saturday.

    I won't tell you then what Eversley to Blackwater cost me!

    A microwaveable hot dog in Whalebone remains one of the worst "pub meals" I've ever had! Despite loving the pub.

    Yunga, brilliant! Now why didn't she know that, sulky brunette!

    1. Budapest actually ripped off Zurich, who I suspect ripped off Milton Keynes. I have no gripe with said town, new towns are a good idea. I have no gripe with them having a football club. What I object vociferously to is them stealing another football club. If they had done what Stevenage, another similar new town, had done and form a non league club and work their way up, I would have the utmost respect for them. As it is they can sod off and die with their fake club.

      The brunette award is required by the terms of the code of conduct. Scrapping it would surely require huge legislative changes, presumably involving public enquiries and a special sitting of both houses. I'd get my MP to vote against, she's a lovely brunnette.

      I feel you should tell me what Eversley to Blackwater cost so that I can further your education. However, you should probably ensure that I am heavily sedated first and have somebody to calm me.

      The microwavable garlic baguette things in Whalebone, whilst technically utter shite, were brilliant.

    2. The Brunette Award most certainly is NOT required by the terms of the code of conduct. I will probably make a final decision based in December based on the behaviour of a certain long term BRAPster between now and then. I'm not forming some "phwoar" pervy lads club even if you want to, like I say, females might read this, so be warned or the Code of Conduct will come down hard on such behaviour. Just call me a modern day feminist / suffragette, Si Pankhurst. Now where's the king's horse?? (yes I know that was Emily Davison, mere details).

    3. My citation from the Code of Conduct is the following: "If the barmaid is a young pretty brunette, try and rate her bottom out of ten without being caught (there is a BRAPA "end of year awards" ceremony to consider)."

      I promise that I will try to behave.

      I'd hate for you to jump in front of a horse.

  3. I thought Coventry had the elephant,or did you say that already.

    "Thin Rose West and J. Ennis-Hill (pre-elephant) on the walls." is one of the great captions. Should be an award.

    Re: Uber, can you type "please take me from the posh bit of York to Anchor, please ?" and get a quote ? There must be a future development where you just type that into your phone and get a combination ofpossibiities; Bill will take you to Stoke, Jane will drop you in Clun, Bob from the Anchor will collect you. Sophisticated hitchking.

  4. Blackcurrant cordial with tap water no ice knocks spots out of both those options.