Wednesday 9 November 2016

BRAPA - East Yorkshire : COMPLETE (well, til Sept 2017)

Beverley doing it's best to be lovely despite the grim weather.

It has really hit home since September just what an impossible challenge BRAPA is.  Not that I'm being defeatist.  Just that I was up to 1,007 pubs.  I came down to 897.  And I won't get back to 1,007 again until at least late January, probably Feb, giving me only 7 months til the next big (even bigger) decrease in pub numbers when 2018 GBG is released.  Waaaaaah!

Pumpkin burning on bonfire the previous night.
Not that I'm being defeatist (hang on, I just said that!)  My point is, I'm focusing on the little victories so completing my first county of the 2017 GBG (East Yorkshire) was the morale booster I needed.

Amidst the remnants of spent bonfires and plastic firework casing, we drove over to Hull on a cold and wet Sunday morning, the prospect of a 14:15 kick off at home to Southampton was not enticing enough alone without a BRAPA injection (my first visit to the "KCom" this season).

Beverley had built a brand new multi-storey car park (free on Sundays) with what seemed very much like the sole intention to give us a handy parking place for the pub.......

Dad risks life at road junction for the sake of this blog photo - top man!
934.  Sun Inn, Beverley

This pub was in many ways the perfect tonic to the troubles I suffered in Greater Manchester yesterday, warm welcoming atmosphere with some quirky decor and an authentic whiff of history about it.  The two energetic men running it looked like the type you'd identify as "pub men" even if you saw them out of pub context (i.e. on a yacht drinking Campari with Helen Mirren).  Directly above the bar was an amazing vaulted beamed ceiling which looked like the type to attract bats,  but after Welsh holiday traumas in August, I didn't want to see one again this soon.  A few snobby beer people sneered at the dull ale range - five on with the "exciting guest" being Hobgoblin, but it was nice so who cares, what I took more exception to was the overly fancy glass/vase it was served in.   Behind us, a slim Ian Hislop and a young church rector enjoyed huge plates of Sunday Dinner, but somehow food just didn't seem to dominate at all here.  "Final Countdown" suddenly played loudly for about 20 minutes (was it on repeat?  Dad thinking it was some dig at Hull City's season).  I sat next to an acoustic guitar hanging on the wall just in time to play the air guitar solo in the same song, which failed to amuse anyone apart from myself.  There was also a piano with a tiny violin on it.  I might have said unkind things about Beverley in the past, so I didn't reveal my BRAPA colours (revealing my card, see below photo, wasn't wise), in case I ended up in the (fake) cellar under the (fake) stairs.  Good solid pubbing.

Strange glass but still an okay pint.  Dad had a TT Landlord.

Crap photo of the ancient bat filled roof above bar

Where naughty pub bloggers end up.
The multi-storey car park hadn't collapsed in the intervening 35 minutes, so it was to Dunswell, which we knew from our brief flirtation with Hull Utd two seasons ago.  Back then we thought "if only there was a good real ale pub somewhere near the ground rather than having to trek from Cottingham/Hull".  Well, there was.   All along, right under our noses.......

No, I'm not here to feed you - I'm taking a photo you silly hens!
935.  Ship Inn, Dunswell

After almost being attacked by hens and run over by a leaving car, we were inside where a very impressive barmaid - who seemed keen to make an impact at BRAPA level - ignored Dad's swift and surprising decision to go for a Porter and gave us a detailed run down of all beers in about 10 seconds.  Phew.  We both still went for a Pennine porter and sat in a cosy lounge with fire where a strange old lady started counting and shuffling Worthington beermats as though we'd be impressed.  What was more impressive was the nautical paraphernalia, deep sea diving helmet and array of knots which Dad tried to explain.  I revived a long standing BRAPA custom by making a tit of myself trying to find the gents, but why oh why do pubs put the "ladies", "kitchen", "outdoor" and "private" doors all next to each other, with the "gents" on the other side of the bloody building.  It happens too often and I'm going to write to CAMRA about it if things don't change!  On a happier note, a 'delightful' young child (I won't call her a twild) was seemingly inspired by the girl in Chorlton's "Bar" yesterday for she demanded CUSTARD NOT ICE CREAM and then rode off on a pink bike.  I could see beermat shuffle lady looking distastefully at her, and I thought a "stabbed through neck with sharpened beermat" incident was on the cards, but the moment passed.

It's time to put East Yorkshire to bed for another year.

Knots, wheels, fires and the like at the very good Ship in Dunswell.
We were so lacking in motivation re the Hull City game, we tossed a coin before we left.  "Heads" we go.  "Tails" we don't.  "Heads" it was, and we somehow somehow won so thanks to Saints for going easy on us in that first half.

We popped in to Hole in the Wall on Spring Bank to have a two minute half of Sharp's Atlantic, friendly in a terrifying way but what a contrast to the pub we loved back circa 2003/2004.  

East Yorkshire will set new challenges for the 2018 GBG, of that I am sure.  New Micros at Market Weighton (which I did), Hedon, Withernsea and Howden (x2) have sprung up after the success of Hornsea and Driffield but whether I do a pre-emptive day later this year or wait, might depend how I'm feeling about my North Yorkshire progress.  I think I'd lean towards getting my numbers up! 

I'll be back on Friday for a review of my bonus Tuesday trip to Dobcross & Stalybridge.


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