Wednesday 31 January 2018

BRAPA - Irrational Grantham (2/2)

"Can you put me through to the Twild support line please?"
So, the White Swan at Barrowby and the Lord Harrowby not at Barrowby, had both been excellent BRAPA pubs, and it was time to see if the home of the Milk Snatcher could produce more cream of the crop, or would it be a lonely bottle of Cresta for the journey home?  (What AM I talking 'bout?  Even I don't know).

1225 / 1971.  Chequers, Grantham

It was now open after our earlier failed attempt, where some local Twamra had published crazy opening hours uninkeeping with the reality of the situation.  Has a BRAPA pub ever produced such a bunch of punters who don't fit with the decor and ethos?  I cannot recall, for here we had a modern attempt, all dried flowers, low impossible seating and polished, beermat free tables.  But the punters, pubmen the lot of 'em.  All they cared about was ok beer (SBS C) , horse racing and taking the mickey out of each other.  And wasn't that quite reassuring in amongst all that top locale - THREE breweries I've actually heard of from Grantham.  Almost outnumbering GBG entries.  A depressingly common theme in some parts.  As we sat down opposite where the ghosts of a Really Wild Terry Nutkins and Bookish Mark E. Smith were hassled by the local weirdo, menacingly eating a sandwich through the window, tapping on the glass and generally being sinister, Dad observed how this atmosphere would be unrecognisable by 9pm tonight, funny because the GBG write up says almost exactly that.  I just like to think some newbie owner tried to revamp the place into a wine bar, and the local blokes were like "no, this is OUR pub".   Not my fave pub of the day, in fact the weakest, but more signs Grantham is a proper pub town.

Pubmen unconvinced the disco lights add anything to the racing from Cheltenham

"Eeee lads, I've got mi sandwich, aren't I funny?!" 

Nutkins and E.Smith try their best to ignore window weirdo
We trotted on down the road to see a familiar logo rearing it's blueish head ......

French arty shot from Dad, titled "Ze Approaching Twild"
1226 / 1972.  BeerHeadz, Grantham

Yes, as the great Tom Irvin once said, any pub that has a name ending in a 'Z' should not be trusted, and I think he has a point.  I'd been to the Retford 'vehicle' on the New Year's Eve prior to last, a bit of a stood up rushed job if truth be told, the layout and service here in Grantham was a lot more personable and relaxed.  I was served by a bloke with the size, shape and colour of beard which you'd expect to tell drinkers of cask beer to "fuck off you old CAMRA bore, I got mi £6.50 330ml DIPA", but luckily for me, the man inside the beard was a very pleasant helpful individual and we took two pints of some unfined glorious muck from Dorset (SBS A-) to a table out of view where we could smuggle more pasties.  There was a frightful wail from upstairs, a hired out for a private party, but a clear walkway to let you visit the "ladiez" or "gentz" which again, really don't need 'z' on the end.  A huge 'vegan friendly menu' blackboard didn't surprise me one bit, but despite these unhealthy concessions towards the 21st century (they probably let women in without their husbands), we went away feeling this pub had been a very positive experience.  And no Twildz either.

Too many pumpclips make a woman's head ache

5 star world cuisine (probably)

 L**ds Utd's new badge (revised) is also the BeerHeadz logo.

There was one pub, and it was just around the corner, nice 'n easy ......

Dad is ready for the last pub of the day
1227 / 1973.  Nobody Inn, Grantham

Probably not a good idea to save the weirdest pub for last i.e. the most intoxicated time of the day, and after thinking the name was weird enough, and hearing tales of a famous lurking giant spider, two quirky nice barmaids served me Newby Wyke beer (SBS B+) and Dad coffee in a bid to win a 2018 brunette award.  And we settled down in front of Gillette Soccer Saturday knowing we had time to relax before our train home.  The moment that most stood out was when Dad went in search of the loo.  Well, an old odd local at the bar wearing the bluest jeans in Lincolnshire was loving that he couldn't find it, and started giving an increasingly impatient Dad cryptic clues as to it's whereabouts!  Eventually, he had to be shown, you had to push this bookcase!  Ingenious and quirky most people would say, "bluddy annoying" was Dad's conclusion and that might be a direct quote.  Not sure what else happened, but it was enough! 
Oh yeah, weirdest of all, Hull City won......

Barmaids probably arguing who most deserves a BRAPA award

He eventually helped Dad find the loo

Great pint and football scores, perfect Sat afternoon.

There was 'Nobody' on the line - haha! Sorry.
So that was that,  journey back was event free as we changed at lovely-ish slightly overrated Newark, just, and were back home for Cluedo, Red Wine and Cottage Pie.  Great day.

Me and Ruby the Cat being scarily human, 1am, after some wine


Monday 29 January 2018

BRAPA - From Barrowby to Harrowby : A Birthday Blog (1 / 2)

It was Dad's 71st Birthday, and as a "special treat", I booked us on a 'mystery' BRAPA train day out, totally unaware whether we'd strike Chorley-esque gold, or Stamford-esque misery.

Before he'd even worked out that the ultimate destination was Grantham (despite the ticket on the back of his seat saying York-Grantham), he told me how it was also Mozart's Birthday today, though Dad prefers a bit of Demi Lovato in truth. 

But determined to upstage these two fine men was an 80 year old woman, who'd put on a party hat and cracked open the Prosecco well before Doncaster:

Once in Grantham, it started to rain.  Heavily.  It was freezing cold too.  And the so-called 11am opener Chequers had opening hours listed outside the front door which couldn't have varied more from the GBG's advertised ones if they'd tried.  Dad's third nosebleed of the morning made the walk even more painful (it's hard being 71) and I was beginning to think the Lincs curse had returned.

But we took a little taxi out to the village of Barrowby to kill that painful 11am-12noon slot.  Our taxi driver was a jolly motormouth who didn't hesitate or deviate from his given subject for the entire journey.  Shame as he'd been watching YouTube videos on flooding in York in 2000 (why I'm not sure) and we could've offered a local perspective had he BREATHED. 

Dropped outside the pub at 11:50am but not so much as a light on.  Uh oh!  One theme we noticed today throughout our trip was how every clock in the area was set 5 minutes behind GMT (Greenwich, not Grantham).  Look out for that next time you visit.

By 11:53, a shady silhouette moved from within.  By 11:57, a light came on.  11:59, an outer door opened and the inner door was locked again.  But Dad found a back entrance on 12:03, and I found Peppa the cat (variation on the theme) who gave a very friendly welcome for a notoriously 'naughty Tortie' brand of kitty.

1223 / 1969.  White Swan, Barrowby

The feel good factor continued on into the pub, banishing those memories of dull pubs at places like Ryhall and Belmesthorpe which have been palmed off onto the almost imaginary county of Rutland cos the likes of Lincs and Leics are embarrassed by them.  Three ales on, and despite being skeptical, we went for some Burns Night themed thing from Bellhaven, but it was dark, meaty, rich and glorious (SBS B+) like a good Scotch Oxo whisky gravy.  Probably.  The three locals were like illustrated village locals from any century, and the landlord, who'd been here 25 years, presided over this cosy village classic with the effortless air of a man who knows his trade inside out.  A pre-prepared fire was quickly lit, and Dad wouldn't have been Dad if he hadn't sat back and said "eee by gum, I could in stay 'ere all day!" (which he now does cos he knows it'll annoy my BRAPpy senses).    Peppa had gone into her cat cave so I couldn't say goodbye, but after a tricky first hour, the omens were suggesting a good day. 

I hear the Fosters is drinking well

How locally local pubby can you get?  

Happy B'day Daddy!

We took the bus back to Grantham (despite me trying to stand on the wrong side of the road when I knew full well where the bus was coming from - Bottesford if you must know) and we walked from bus station over a little river to the furthest out pub, down an unassuming side road......

1124 / 1970.  Lord Harrowby, Grantham

There's nowt much more rewarding I find as a pub-ticker than a traditional back street local, though this was pretty huge, it had a uniqueness about it that was impossible not to love.  It had at least one darts lounge, some real fires, and toilets where you needed to cross which seemed like about 5 hallways and rooms to reach!  The landlady was a traditional brilliant local crone and the OTT jam jars were probably the only irritating thing, save for a bit of weird leather sofaness at the front.  It was the kinda pub you could lie across some bench seating and noisily eat your own pies without the pub caring, which is what we did.  We'd gone from Barrowby to the Harrowby, and it rhymed.  Again, it had 3 locals.  The young lady was complaining about her dog doing this strange bark in the night, which she'd been googling.  She was debating having the poor thing put to sleep, trying to pass it off as 'the dog's getting old' but it was more a case of 'it's annoying me so I want it dead'.  Even the unshockable hi-vis man, sat with her at the bar, seemed shocked.  Though he made up for it by telling an improbable tale about the time he set a rat on a spider in his bathroom.  No wonder customer number 3, Mr Moustache. who has been out of fashion since 1984 left in a hurry, too much animal cruelty for one bloke.   

Our three heroes though dog-lady is obscured by Mr Hi-Vis

A darts room

Another darts room

So that had been two great pubs, it was now back towards Grantham centre for the remaining three.  Things were about to get weirder, so join my for that write up on Wednesday evening.

I'm off the debate the cruelty of an FA Cup draw which has pitted Hull City away to Chelsea on a day when I'm supposed to be finishing Bucks.  So I have London train tickets.  So I should go.  Or should I?  Arrrghh why couldn't we have been at home then I'd have no decision to make!  Maybe it'll be moved to a Sunday or something.


Sunday 28 January 2018

BRAPA - To the Manor Barn (A Kimberworth Tale)

Friday night kicked off as all good Friday nights do, on the slow-stopper from L**ds to Rotherham.  Looking at the stopping points along the way (Wakefield, Sandall & Agbrigg, Thurnscoe etc), it was inevitable that someone weird would sit next to me at some stage. 

Tonight, it was a strange young lady discussing massage parlour practices, angrily transferring money over the phone, before complaining to her friend that she wanted to sit "on the inside" seat, and staring at me in an accusing manner as if I might be scared into moving.  I didn't, so she then panicked she needed to get off.  It was a relief when she finally left at Fitzwilliam, 

In Rotherham, a toothless Mum wailed to a druggie man to leave her druggie daughter alone, but they looked like a perfect match to me so I just smiled pleasantly at the scene and pretended I was watching Channel 4. 

The bus took me to Kimberworth for my penultimate South Yorks tick of the current Good Beer Guide.  It loomed out on the main road in the cold night sky like an illuminated stone fronted attention seeking bastard ......

"Waaah, look at me, I'm a big pub on the main road"
1222 / 1968.  Manor Barn, Kimberworth

So, "to the Manor Barn" it was then, and despite the Penelope Keith pretensions, it ultimately came across more Keith Chegwin, and when you think about it is the grand scheme of UK dining pubs, that can only be a positive, dead or not.  After all, South Yorkshire and Buckinghamshire produce a very different end product from the same starting concept.  Despite the traditional BRAPA welcome of suspicion and curiousity, I was allowed to order my pint without delay or hassle.  It was Adnams Broadside or Ghost Ship, I went with the latter, served in a Theakstons glass, proof there are times when having the wrong 'glassware' can actually be a plus point!   I'd been called "Pal" three times during my time at the bar.  £3.40 a pint was over the odds for S.Y., and reminded me I wasn't just in a bog standard boozer.  The locals obviously have taste, so the only available seats were posing tables, not good ever, especially when you have short legs like me.    A very young barman was being teased by a local for not being able to get the cork out of his wine.  When he finally managed at, our chief mickey taking local turned 'Expert Sommellier' and cast his eye over the corked wine.   Yes, this wasn't standard South Yorks.  The friendliest customer was a smiley Mum, on the Carling with her oft absent hubbie who disappeared so often, I think he had a secret second wife in the beer garden.  Their little twild, Dylan (we'll call him Twylan) I felt sorry for, as he had to keep himself entertained in pretty unjoyful surroundings, especially for a kid.  His favourite game was pretending to be attacked by the pub pillars.  On one occasion, he tried to explain the Ghostbusters plot to his parents, but Dad yawned rudely and talked over the top of the poor chap.  And that summed up my 27 mins in this pub!

Quality pint of Ghost Ship in a normal glass.  Jokey sommellier in background

Nice Mum and Twylan wait for Dad to return to his Carling

A delayed bus meant a nice chat with some local baldie, and the then delayed train meant it was a brutal night for the sake of 27 mins in a pub I didn't strictly NEED to do just yet.  But then again, it's all one closer to the final total and it may be national pub of the year next year, you never know!  

Back to York for a quick recovery before Dad's secret birthday trip tomorrow (Saturday).


Monday 22 January 2018

BRAPA : Brockley Whins, Hull City Don't (Part 2/2)

Every time I combine BRAPA with a football match this season, I seem to be telling you Hull City have hit a 'new low'.

So if I told you on Saturday, Hull City hit a 'new low', I hope you believe me.

The new low, from almost the back row

Sunderland were a poor side bereft of confidence as you'd expect, but we were dreadful and they picked some lively kids, scored a good goal and fully deserved the win.  At the end, I chanted "you're not fit to wear the shirt" to the players who were the passionless equivalent of an Ember Inn in Maidenhead with the brain power of the people who managed the now defunct Hope in Richmond. 

Our new manager is worse, he said he was surprised how bad it was as we had a good pre-match warm up.  A good pre-match warm up?  And the attitude in the dressing room was spot on too!  He actually said these things. 

But our owners are to blame more than the manager and players by a million miles.  Killing our club.  It is so sad.  I was sooooo depressed (for a few minutes). 

But as Steve Bruce (god rest his large soul) would say, it was time to "dust worselves down" and find post match BRAPA pubs.  He'd actually favour a kebab and a Guinness with Big Sam.

Tom pretended he knew where the Metro station was, and when he fluked his way into the queue (Tom will tell you he knew it was near the giant Tesco so just had to aim for that), we had a bit of a wait with several jolly Mackems and squeezed on the next one.

It didn't stop at Sunderland itself for reasons too boring to remember, and Dad decided he didn't quite have enough time to get off at Felling and join us.  "Why ya gerrin off at Felling lads?" said a jolly group who'd overheard us, "yous are brave, it's proppa rough like" and everyone said "aye" and "marras" and "canny" and stuff as we said bye to Dad & our new friends and skidded down the ramp, avoiding any flashpoints.  Well, it was deserted.

And as we rounded the corner, pub looked pitch black.  Uh oh we both thought, it's closed!  I'd been here before on a Bank Holiday to find it closed, but on closer inspection, a small green glow was emanating from within ........ phew!

Tom lurks by the green glow
1120 / 1966.  Wheat Sheaf, Gateshead

The green glow was a small TV screen in the far corner showing local 'heroes' Newcastle Utd getting rings ran around them at Man City.  The rest of the pub was pitch black, well no point wasting electricity is there?  Perhaps ironical in the circs, all the ales came from the wonderful Big Lamp local brewery.  My Prince Bishop (SBS A-) was perhaps pint of the day.  There were filled rolls and chocolate bars on the bar, Tom swooped for a cheese n onion roll and we sat under the TV, just as reception was failing.  Which should have been a relief to any Mags watching!  Two men fiddled around with reception for an age, even phoning the local TV expert/owner to give emergency over the phone instructions in the dark.  It was all very exciting.  The pub was wonderful, reminiscent of one in the West Midlands we both agreed, outdoor gents as you'd expect in a place like this, and eventually they put a light on (booo) and a jolly babe sat near us with her 'eclectic' friends (remember the CAMRA code, that word means some were not male, white, bearded and over 60).  She thought she'd scared us off but we were on our way any way.  Pub of the day, easily,  All cheered up again! 

My ale settling nicely

A bar twild is bewitched by the green glow

Our view from under the TV

Ghostly men try and fix the TV problem
We rejoined the Metro to Newcastle, where we walked down to the Quayside for the final BRAPA tick of the day, and my final pub in Newcastle in the current GBG.  

1121 / 1967.  Broad Chare, Quayside, Newcastle

The outside photo gives you an idea of what lay within, a bustling bright bar with restaurant area and plenty of over privileged middle class middle aged Geordies with their faces in the nose bag.  It smelt of food, mainly fish, and the sound of rattling cuttlery and champagne corks popping rang around the building.  The upside of this difficult start was the house ale, recommended to me as the ONE reason I should come here by someone on my blog a while back, Wylam Writer's Block simply fantastic (SBS A-) giving the Big Lamp a run for it's money.  Undeterred in our quest for a seat against all the odds, Tom did well to get his arse and bag between a grey pointed oldie and some raucous scroats, and we squeezed into the area.  We sat in silence for a bit, and Tom said what we both were thinking .... "I should hate this place, but it's kind of alright".  Not sure why, but very true.  How I cannot describe.  Especially when a drunken man who looked like a homeless Gazza sat on my knee on his way back to his seat, and was told off by his fellow drinkers for not giving us enough personal space(!) but they left soon after anyway.  A man in the loo saw my City shirt, he was a Sunderland fan (course he bloody was!) but hadn't been today because he was babysitting his neighbour's poorly rabbit - I think that's what he said, the hand dryer was loud) and he seemed a canny lad all the same.  Weird kinda place, but you might want to go during the day if you are planning following in my footsteps for a Wainwright-esque BRAPA documentary when I'm dead.

The pointy grey brigade turned out to be Americans

'Builders bum yet somehow full clothed man' enjoys his meal

We weren't doing bad for time and I'd spied a pre-emptive across the road from Newcastle station, so we popped in for a swift half.  

Newcastle Tap, Newcastle

What with Head of Steam, Centurion, the 'Vomit' and that big Wetherspoons, you have to wonder how many pubs Newcastle needs within a 30 second radius of the station but Jimmy Five Bellies and his mates won't be denied.  And the Pivovar owner bloke told me about this place too so time to pop in to see what was all the fuss about.  Well, hard to form an impression really, very yellow, three deep at the bar, young clientele with no spatial awareness, staff a bit slow, one of those 'cask beers' up here, 'keg beers' over there tiny blackboard tap affairs designed to confuse your average Twamra.  I got a nice half from somewhere good, it tasted of ale, me and Tom stood in the middle and chatted.  Wouldn't mind giving it another chance, but it didn't feel as characterful as York or Sheffield's equivalent, but maybe if you get a seat and explore, it might be better.  Or not! 

My hat is still on in the latest edition to the Tap scene

Me and Tom took the 20:43 fairly trouble free thanks to Tom's uncanny knack for getting in the best coach.  Back in York , I said bye as he was off to Donny to restore his misery quota for the night and popped into York Tap which was spookily deserted for 10pm on a Saturday, I blame the Dryanuary scum.  Someone might have weed on the floor next to me, a barman looked like he was going to hit me with a stool (not a poo), and the regular 'three quarter length shorts' beard was in looking like he owned the place.  His legs haunted me with their paleness.

It livened up a bit and a young man (a Twhat) tried to steal my hat.  "He's been doing that to people all day" said his very tired looking friend, and made him give it back, so it was fish & chips and home at the end of a great day.

Like Central London, only SIX more Tyne & Wear pubs to be had so again, should be a completed county before 2019 GBG comes out and then I don't have to worry about it for a few years.

It's not been a vintage BRAPA month by any means, but I'm planning a Fri pub trip, and the aim is still 25 minimum by month end with Dad's mystery birthday trip on Saturday.


Sunday 21 January 2018

BRAPA - Brockley Whins, Hull City don't (Part 1 of 2)

When me, the lovely Dad and the mysterious bearded figure of Tom Irvin arrived in Brockley Whins on a cold Saturday morning, we had at least 40 minutes to reach our first pub in West Boldon, only 1.1 miles away (as the crow flies). 

What crows don't have to worry about are icy uphill footpaths, and at one point we found ourselves actually slipping back where we'd come from.  Angry barking twogs didn't help, but we were still at our first pub for 10:40am. 

A light was on and in an exciting turn up for the books, the door was very much open!  Better have look, but despite staff standing behind the bar, they barked at us that they weren't open til 11.  BRAPA pet hate - why open doors if you are not officially open?  As soon as that door is unbolted, the customer should be entitled to be allowed in for a drink. 

So we stood and ate malt loaf and cheese (Tom called me a 'bastard' for eating malt loaf, perhaps the first time this has happened in my 38 years on the planet) but we passed the time and Dad educated on a latin named tree to try and recreate the spirit of Freemantle in April. 

1217 / 1963.  Black Horse, West Boldon

11am on the dot and we were back inside, this time to stay (for 35 minutes anyway).  I assumed what with the colliery-tastic part of the world we were in combined with being first customers of the day, we'd receive a warm welcome but the barman was as much a miserable lame duck as the Jennings Cumberland (SBS C) he served us (Camerons Strongarm was the other option I should've favoured) and other staff came and went without so much as a glance in our direction.  How could a traditional village pub with roaring fire, random hats hanging from the ceiling and nice proper carpets feel so chilly?  It's people innit?!  The signs were there before we entered, quite literally, with a "no tracksuits or football shirts" notice in the window, which could've caused the first ever BRAPA 'barring' as I had my Hull City top on!  Perhaps due to our quality of football, it isn't recognised as a football shirt anymore, for I got away with it which I was almost sad about.  Some OTT food options scrawled in Tip-Ex on a perfectly innocent mirror suggested a pub with a silver spoon up it's arse, dying for a more upmarket clientele than was realistic.  Disappointing. 

A long straight 15-20 minute walk took us east of West Boldon, to the unimaginatively named East Boldon.  We'd done a Black Horse, the next was Grey, so imagine my confusion when in the distance,  I saw a huge black horse sign on a building (if I was Lloyds Bank, I'd sue), and then a white one!  Tom had other gripes, a sign which seemed to suggest East Boldon was the home of the first ever butchers in the world. 

Anyway, it was a 'Grey', and a huge building at that.

1218 / 1964.  Grey Horse, East Boldon

Despite the vastness and unsettling 'Ember' patterned furniture, a friendlier welcome from the barmaid plus some nice ales (I had something called Red Dust from Consett - SBS B+) put this just ahead of the Black Horse, though it lacked the soul to thoroughly convince.  I was getting the impression that Boldon as an area thought it was a bit special, not an attitude you get in Sunderland or Newcastle, so was a bit like a mini republic that's forgotten it's coaly roots.  We chatted on random stuff, including former Hull City keeper turned plumber Steve Wilson, who had the chant "Bransholme's Number One" and I noted how to this day, no-one knows anyone else who's come from Bransholme and don't anything, either in the sporting or plumbing arena!  Hold that thought for later.  The only real pub drama came on the way out.  I was coming back from the loo, but was blocked from getting to my seat by a frail dithering old man with a stick.  When I finally saw me behind him, he looked so scared I thought he was gonna drop dead on the spot!  He regained his composure to tell me that as a Geordie, he hoped we'd win today.  If he didn't survive the night, this blog is dedicated to his memory. 

...and what do you think they'd say?  We'll nip out and get it now?  Pffftt.

Dad looks guiltily at a dodgy train ticket near some nice windows

A taster of the pub

We took the Metro one stop past Sunderland to Park Lane and Tom delighted in telling us we were breaking the law.  Firstly, we hadn't been allowed a 'break of journey' at Brockley Whins, and because our ticket was only to Sunderland, we were breaching the rules again.  Tom hoped a ticket inspector was waiting at Park Lane to 'grip' us and throw us in prison, but he or she wasn't.  

It was nice to be back in Sun'lan, walking down streets I recognised as a student here.  I wondered if I'd been in this pub as it was here in my day (1997-2000) but don't think I did despite some vouchers in my 'Freshers' pack.  

1219 / 1965.  Chaplins, Sunderland

 No matter whether the crowd of the Stadium of Light is 800 or 80,000, you can bet every single city centre pub will be packed on a match day, and this was no exception.  It was a huge maze of a pub, and was my round (Dad's steamed up glasses meant I had to choose him a beer!)  An impressively switched on barman who gave me a loyalty card which I later lost (no one as disloyal to a specific pub as a pub ticker!) gave me some Jennings Cockerhoop  as I seem to be a Jennings slave at the moment.  Plenty of beers on in good nick, but this was a Marstons House, and even by their beery standards, the options were not the most thrilling.  A crazy bald dude was worried he'd pushed in front of me so we got talking, he told me he was a plastic Liverpool fan despite the Mackem accent and he had to cancel his order cos his mates wanted to go elsewhere.  He told me he once dated a girl from Hull .... "she was from Bransholme and she was a nutter!" was his parting shot, so spooky after the recent Steve Wilson chat.  Chances of a Bransholme mention here must've been a million to one!  Dad had located my good friend and Sunderland season ticket holder John Watson so we sat (well I had to kneel on the carpet for 90% of my time here!) and his parents Ken & Margaret joined us for a great pre-match session, in the shadow of Brighton huffing and puffing to no avail against Chelsea.  Time for one more (Bombardier), but Dad wanted coffee so back to the bar me and John went.  After a quick debate, the staff decided they were too busy to do a coffee - a slightly bizarre decision as it looked like putting an empty cup under a machine and pressing a button!  Oh well, I still quite enjoyed this pub as I tore myself away for the Metro to St Peters. 

Me & John in manic selfie time pre-match.
 So, that was all very nice.  Find out in part two tomorrow if Hull City could raise themselves from the recent awful form again a Sunderland club who, as John and parents would have us believe, are worse than us (spoiler alert - clue is in title of this blog)?  And what of post-match?  Could I find more BRAPA pubs, and perhaps a classic?  Stay tuned!