|Shape-shifting locals become a pub cat|
|Freeing my GBG from further pie torture in Barnsley Bus Station|
Ahhhh Barnsley Bus Station, the favourite of all my South Yorkshire Big City bus stations, I could easily settle down here in a onesie with a cuppa and two Jaffa Cakes and watch the world go by. Sort of. Just as well cos the bus was ten minutes bloody delayed wasn't it?
It would be churlish to blame visiting Aston Villa fans, so I will anyway. As the bus left, we passed the brilliant Old No 7 pub, near deserted at 7:30pm, whilst the lager titty bar across the road was heaving with Villains, further evidence if needed why Villa are no-one's favourite Midlands club. Hell, even Villa fans hate Villa.
After a mildly tortuous 40 minute bus ride, we were in Hoylandswaine and the air smelt somehow fresher than any other air I'd ever smelt!
|Nearly the pub - actually a garage with a postbox|
|The actual pub. Hurrah.|
I was greeted by one of those reassuring South Yorkshire pub scenes. A group of three old locals hunched over in a corner like they were plotting to explode the Houses of Parliament, and two more sprightly but still old men, smiling at me from the back wall with slightly reserved expressions. The barman had a southern accent (how very dare he?) but he was friendly and when I became the first person to circulate a new style five pound note in Hoylandswaine, I'd definitely put my cards on the table as an "outsider". "Oooh one of those sneaky ones!" said the barman, hoping he was talking about the fiver and not me. Well, it was just the perfect pub scene. The fire was in and roaring, Autumn is finally here, my Farmers Blonde was crystal clear and superb, the pie and peas was almost too tempting, and Dire Straits Brothers in Arms played gently in the background. As I reached for the highlighter to "green my entry" (ooo err), the landlady appeared at my shoulder asking if this was the new GBG. Soon, all (two) staff were gathered round reading the entry for this pub in total silence. I felt more nervous than a baker about to be appraised by Mary Berry, eventually they nodded their heads in approval. I invited our landlady, Judy, to do the green highlighting but she had to reach for her specs as she's apparently blind when dusk falls. They may well have been night-vision goggles too, for when she dropped the pen lid under the table, she was straight on to it in a flash. No sooner had that incident past when the Guy Fawkes gang had disappeared, to be replaced by one pub cat. How on earth did that happen, I only looked away for two seconds?! One of my favourite features of the pub were the blackboard beams displaying customer reviews of the pub grub. The best being "10/10 for the Turkey Dinosaurs, says Bobby". It was that kind of a pub.
|The perfect midweek BRAPA pub ticking experience.|
|Sunset at the bus stop as a bid farewell to Hoylandswaine for ever.|
Attentions now turn to leg 8 of the Berkshire Tour on Saturday, we'll be east of the county this time and I don't know whether to be pleased or sad that both Slough's entries have disappeared, deriving me of my debut there. Still, I've got 5 or 6 pubs in mind.
Before that, the month end review on Friday. See you then chumps.