It should have all been very straightforward, had I not mistaken 17:46 for 17:40 on the train scoreboard, and hence, I missed my train and had almost an hour to wait. I popped into Scarbrough Taps (as everyone still calls it) during post-work Christmas Nicholson's chaos (am sure this pub was better in 2003) and I got chatting with the bubbly Lisa from Castleford about internet dating, 20 year old man-children and obviously BRAPA, before I escaped.
Ten minutes later I was walking through dark woodland between canal and river, slightly behind the silhouette of a man who I was convinced was about to turn around and murder me. He resisted. I grew to love him, he was like my casual captor who couldn't be arsed. It was all very Stockholm Syndrome.
|The pub is real!|
|It's named after Kirkstall Abbey, wherever that is.|
I could sense the anticipation emanating from the clientele as soon as I entered. They lined the pub's bench-seating looking hopeful. I'd love to believe they were sat there with their BRAPA bingo cards about to cross off "nine hundred and seventy three, I'm off for a pee" but there was something bigger afoot. As I expressed delight at a Christmas based Tetley's guest (great caramelly ale flavours, who knew?), the two young barmen looked surprised in a disgusted way and I was just about to ask them if they weren't fans of it, when a huge dreadlocked West Indian strode up and announced "you know I said we'd brought our own power, I lied!" What was going on? Oh well, with the main bar room a hive of activity, I took my pint to the pool room up two steps at the back of the pub where nothing much happened for the next quarter of an hour. Eventually, a grumpy man appeared and thinking we were kindred spirits relegated to the back room, I tried to make conversation but he just wanted to vape and "get some peace and quiet" as he told someone later, fair enough misery guts, two can play at that game, I hate people too. An excitable group of Mum's and daughters appeared and it soon became clear carol singing was on the agenda (they stole vaper man's vaping juice accidentally which was funny). A nervous but friendly thirty something couple squeezed in next to me, we chatted BRAPA but she was worried she'd forgotten the words to Silent Night. The professional West Indian singers kicked off early with some non-Christmas tunes, "Stand by Me", "Brothers in Arms", "Anarchy in the UK" (I can't remember, I'm guessing but I did get told off for complaining they weren't festive enough). It was time to sneak off before the whole pub got going on the carols. Phew, I could hardly move for folk. So much for a 'made up' pub! A community haven.
|This area was lined with people too by the time I left|
|I thought he was a paedophile but it is far worse.....|
I'm getting a couple of bonus ticks in North Lincs on Boxing Day and I'll be back for West Yorkshire fun next midweek. I have to go about nine miles out of Leeds which still isn't bad.