Wednesday 28 September 2016

BRAPA - No Pain in Hoylandswaine

Shape-shifting locals become a pub cat
Just to show I hadn't learned any lessons from Saturday's "Scouse Pie" incident, I bought a squishy pie of questionable contents in Barnsley bus station, and proceeded to (accidentally) shove it directly under my GBG at the bottom of my bag - but luckily, this one didn't explode.

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.
913.  Rose & Crown, Hoylandswaine

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.
Although the bus was ten minutes late, we somehow made it all up and got back to Barnsley at the correct time so I could get the connecting train back to Leeds, then York.  Bonus.

Sunset at the bus stop as a bid farewell to Hoylandswaine for ever.
It was nice to hear Barnsley had scored a 90th minute winner to silence the Villains, I hope that when Sam Winnall celebrated, he raised his shirt to reveal a t-shirt saying "this one's for the Hoylandswaine Rose & Crown Turkey Dinosaur Massive" though I'm not sure how small that font would need to be.

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.



  1. Even Villa fans hate Villa !

    Interesting you still getting pubs asking to see their Beer Guide entries at the end of September. I've noticed several not even knowing they're in. Don't they get a sticker and a book ?

    I reckon the Rose & Crown and Moon & Spoon have been in the Guide for the last 15 years; what can have gone wrong. Surely one of them will be back.

    1. They get a sticker and a "pack", not a book. Licensees don't get a free copy. I think what happens is that the envelope gets handed to some junior member of staff and ends up being left in an obscure corner behind the bar.

      Excellent pubcat, btw, ticks all the boxes - slightly odd markings, looks as though it's been around the block a bit, fast asleep, and occupying the gap between two stools. It looks rather like one you (Martin) posted from Cornwall a while back, especially the black patches on the head.

  2. Is that a "for sale" sign on the pub?

  3. Was the pie any good? I'm not aware of any good bakeries in Barnsley, but there must surely be some.

    I hate all of the midlands clubs. Like the north eastern clubs, they mainly just go along for a good moan. I don't have a favourite.

    I think £6.50 for pie, chips and peas to be very expensive, certainly more than I would expect in those parts.

    Is any ticket gen required for East East East Berkshire?

    1. Tom, you're spoilt by Grimsby you know. You can eat like a king for pennies compared to posher Barnsley, let alone Berkshire where that would cost a tenner in a pub.

      White's is the premier bakery in Barnsley; it says so on their website. They make something called "elephants foot".

    2. Me and the wife love to have an elephants foot,and it is not a sex game.