Paul Young might have sung the opening lines to record breaking charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas Time?” He might also have had four Top 10 singles (when the charts mattered) in the eighties, and a platinum selling single to his name, but I suspect he’s never had a pint of Bass as good as it is delivered at 29- The Swan Inn DE65 6EF.
Back in 1985 Young was voted Best British Male Artist at The Brits and he had serious teen appeal and it appears all those teeny boppers still want a piece of Paul 32 years later as he makes an appearance in a tiny Derbyshire hamlet.
Milton is the sort of village that makes Smisby look like a sprawling metropolis. There are around 200 locals but it does have the bonus of being attached to Repton, which is ever expanding and affluent.
I recently paid two visits here ahead of Young’s Los Pacaminos outfit playing their now annual charity gig (I knew because I’d read the poster) as it is in close proximity and Mrs BB likes a brisk stroll across fields to get here.
Come September 3 they will be hanging from the rafters as Roger and Stella, long-time landlords have put it on the market and this is likely to be their swansong gig.
Whoever takes over will be hard pushed to deliver a great pint of Bass like Roger, as a former Marston’s brewer he knows his onions and keeps a great (but small due to footfall) range of two top notch ales.
The Bass was fantastic, as ever, and our party of 11 soaked up the beer garden whilst another 25 or so were inside. However, Friday night is a good night and with most people having food to boot then it is happy days at The Swan.
Nevertheless, it isn’t always like this and eight days earlier it was just Mrs BB and I in there at around half seven along with one other punter, who was eating ice-cream!
Anyway, I digress, I often think the mark of a good pub is one that changes your beer without any fuss and when my pint of Stone Faced (Lymestone) was on the turn they couldn’t change it quickly enough.
I had a Hancock’s HB (Brains) as a replacement and it was noticeable that when three old boys came in, followed by a family of five, every pint bar one that was drunk was a Hancock’s HB.
As I said in a previous post…know your audience… and this means you can keep two beers on.
The aforementioned Paul Young was the topic of discussion amongst the family of five with the two teenagers having no idea who the one-time hearthrob was until Mum (I presume) found “Wherever I lay My Hat” on her blower and gave us all a rendition!
It’s a pity she didn’t use the piano…
Anyway, aside from an unlikely annual visit from a man who has played at Wembley Stadium, these are interesting times ahead for The Swan in a village with no shops, bus route or any other attractions.
Mrs BB reckons its future is as a destination pub and I reckon she might be about right….Get yourself to The Swan to see how pubs used to be as I guess economics mean it might be changing sometime soon.
I bet Paul Young drinks Bass!!