Wednesday 16 November 2016

BRAPA - Duke of Leeds, Wales, South Yorkshire

A mad old lady had already refused to take my seat on the train "aah've been stood up all bluddy day luvvie!" by the time a group of wide-eyed ghouls hopped off in front of me at Kiveton Bridge station.  The worst offender was a swaying man with huge headphones.  Soon, behind me all I could hear was "LA LA LA, DUM DUM DUM, DEE DEE DEE" - it must have been a 12 minute instrumental, but he followed me almost all the way to Wales.  Freaks come out at night?  Correction, 'Freaks come out at BRAPA'.  With reassuring regularity.  

I finally lost him only to encounter some crazed pot smoking teens on the corner of the road down to Wales, one of which was freaked out by "a crazy clown lurking in the shadows" near a disused petrol station.  I didn't witness this, but it allowed me distraction enough to get passed them.

The pub looked grand, and was in a suitably quiet village location .....

Duke, Duke, Duke - Duke of Leeds, Duke Duke.

Rushed photo before the teenage terrors caught me up!
945.  Duke of Leeds, Wales

I'd conclude that a 2015 refurbishment of this ancient pub hasn't been particularly sympathetic, not that I knew what it was like before.  However, I can't imagine bookcase wallpaper, placemats and cutlery, magnolia colour scheme and those cheesy "funny quotes" on the walls featured in yesteryear.  In fact, I could have still been in the arse-end of East Berkshire, had it not been for four curmudgeonly old blokes knocking back pint after pint of keg Stones - and even they were reduced to a posing table, grudgingly concluding "Ched Evans is a decent footballer you have to admit".  The barmaid served me a Theakston Green Hop and a pretty lame half of the usually glorious Farmers Blonde, and though she looked impressed with my ability to produce exact change on each occasion, her lack of 'people' skills seemed at one with the majority of the sour faced clientele,  The main barmaid (landlady) seemed a right character so I was sad she didn't serve me.  I'd used my BRAPA honing device to locate the least foody room (and the nearest I could find to bench seating) but this contained both the (constantly revolving) kitchen door and the popular draughty door to the car park, suggesting drinkers are given short shrift here.  And all the while, I was eyed with that "S.Y. Village Suspicion" ala Harley and Mapplewell (though these were both highly traditional pubs).

So many highlights in my Tuesday night South Yorkshire adventures this year, but Wales fell short.  Fans of the Dog & Partridge in Yateley, Hants would approve.

It's Headache Towers at Wales

One of the  'Stones' gang (taken from my dungeon)
The walk back to Kiveton Bridge took a lot longer when you weren't being followed by a humming nutter, though the super moon was still very full in the sky.  The journey back, with a lovely half of something in Sheffield Tap, was stress-free, and I'm still on course to finish South Yorkshire by the end of 2016.  And wouldn't that be a good achievement?

Saturday sees me finish off Sunderland's remaining two pubs, and make my real ale debut at Ivy House, my first visit there in 18 years!  And I'm only young, honest.



  1. I've been curious about this a while. 'Freaks come out at BRAPA'. Do you encounter more unusual people on your BRAPA outings than you do in your normal day?

  2. Dave - unusual people are the highlight of most pub trips. The people who stay in the house watching TV every night are just sad.

    Simon - you come out of this well, offering your seat and having the correct change. I'm very conscious locals consider me weird for counting out change rather than just handing over a tenner though.

  3. I was utterly baffled by the heading until I worked out Wales was a place in South Yorkshire.

    I think Simon does have an invisible sign above his head saying "Nutter Magnet", though ;-)

  4. We do have our freaky moments in pubs, but not as frequent as Simon. Gotta love those moments!

    As "the bank" on our trips, I count out change whenever I can to remove the weight from my pocket. I am probably a bit slow and have not noticed any weird looks, due to concentration on the coins. I will pay more attention to this. I try to avoid doing it if there are people waiting to order. I do not want those looks!

  5. You are all correct, more freakish moments encountered in BRAPA than general life but I think I am more attuned to what is going on around me, knowing I have to write a report on my experiences!

    But it does feel like I have the nutter magnet, and when incidents such as 'cat biscuit-gate' occur, I think 'uh oh, no one will believe this!'

    I think as long as you are not 'coppering up' , staff appreciate correct change though I sometimes strategically use a note if I have a tricky bus to catch, as notes on busses are a real no no.

    1. I'm often one to say "would you like the extra 27p?" for that £3.27 pint, and in general I'd say it's appreciated.

      However, one drinker of my acquaintance has been known to spread out a pile of coins on the bar and ask the bar staff to take what they need, which I don't think is good form.

    2. I have to admit I was glad to see this: 'uh oh, no one will believe this!' Frankly, there are times I almost can't. These wonderful renditions of humanity are so great and unique. You're just glad they are out there. Wonderful to read.

  6. From a trading perspective the correct money is always good news, unless it's very busy and the customer is hunting for that elusive 5p.
    The spreading of coins and invitation to sort it out is, as you suggest, bad form.
    The Duke of Leeds was on the market, not sure if that's still the case.
    Talking of cases, the faux bookend wallpaper is an abomination which is difficult to surpass, if that is the appropriate word.

  7. As somebody with a passing interest in etymology, I am intrigued by the name of this village. The obvious namesake may or may not be a coincidence, so to possibly give a clue, may I ask whether you noticed or heard of anybody having relations with any sheep or inserting leeks into their orifices? I'd ask about daffodils too but it's the wrong time of year.

    I'm waiting to see book case wallpaper in a library, most probably in a backwards town. I can't think of an acceptable use for it.