The beauty of pub ticking is that you just never quite know what you are going to experience. Look at yesterday's trip to 'One for the Road' in Bolton for example, a jaw-droppingly bizarre.
And now we had the following day, Saturday 30th April. Boothstown on the face of it looked a rugged old place, situated midway between Manchester and Leigh. I'm imagining grizzly old blokes drinking Bitter for £2.50 a pint. A man removing a fake leg and drinking out of it, popping a glass eye in his pint, a bit of snarling / growling in my ear, these were all things I'd mentally set myself for.
Accidentally walking into ballet class wasn't one of them!
After all, Royal British Legion, Boothstown (2182 / 3745) had all the hallmarks of a north western classic club experience .......
...... Exhibit A : Kirk Kreole. A lady in a car is doing her lipstick in the mirror. She clocks me so I smile in case she is here to open up and pull me a pint. The front door of the club is unlocked so I wander in. I hear noises coming from the room straight ahead, so I stride forward with purpose. I'm confronted by a scene like this ......
|Not a BRAPA original but I know what you are thinking "I wouldn't put it past him"|
Embarrassed, I spin around and do the quickest, most fluid 180 degree turn of my life, probably quite ballet-esque now I think about it. Back towards the entrance, a side door leads into a cosy bar room. Of course, how could I have been so silly? The ballet hall looked like the kind of place you might host a beer festival, but this was more like it. Beautifully furnished, deep red benches, poppy artwork and murals adorn the walls. With the sun streaming in, it is a lovely place. The only problem is, the bar area is dark, and there isn't a soul around, just the occasional squeak of a sole (of a ballet shoe) from afar. I sit on the bench in the sun, the lady is the car is now doing her eyelashes. I make sure she can see me, you know, just in case. At 12:10pm just as I was getting a bit twitchy, a guv'nory looking guv'nor appears. "You open?" I call from the corner. "I am now!" he replies, going a bit Kenneth Wolstenholme. I go for a Holt's Bitter (it was that or Wainwright), sit in the corner, ring Mummy BRAPA to do Hull City predictions, a few folk wander in, acknowledge me with a nod, but all go to sit outside. And that was that. The lady is still sat in her car as I leave, powdering her cheeks now. Probably just a ballet Mum after all that!