Checking Out Chequers Inn

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“This is the dawning..cha cha cha…of a new era”…sang Terry Hall back in 1979. See, I managed to get another Specials reference in there for no apparent reason other than the pub I am about to write about is starting a new chapter.

I also feel I must mention that it sits yards off the now famous (well in this blog anyway) A514, which has already delivered five top notch boozers.

You can make that six as 39 – The Chequers Inn DE73 7JH is a pub from a bygone era that is still hugely popular in the Derbyshire village of Ticknall.

I could imagine Jerry and the boys having drunk in here back in the day as the piano that is still in the backroom lounge would have been ideal for a rendition of Dawning Of A New Era and the whole place doesn’t look like it’s changed much since the seventies.

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So much so that when I walked in I was surprised to see a new face behind the bar.  Dennis Hylton’s name is still above the front door as it has been for the best part of 30 years but there’s a new kid on the block by the name of Tony.

I say kid but he was probably about the same age as me, which meant he was instantly twenty years younger than anyone else in the pub!

I always assumed this was a two-roomed pub with the classic outside toilet (first one since I’ve started blogging) but he had uncovered a third room by “clearing out the clutter” and there were some locals playing darts in a fairly bijoux area.

The front room was packed and the back room was fairly full, which is a good sign on a Friday night at 9pm and, most importantly of all, the beer was still top notch.

A top class pint (take note Martin) of Bass for a very reasonable £3 was just what the doctor ordered and it was the drink of choice for most in here, which is why it is a permanent fixture.

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The new gaffer shook my hand and welcomed me to the pub and I have to say that is the sort of thing you remember.

The transition is clearly not quite complete yet as there was still plenty of bone china stacked high on shelves around the pub and Smooth FM was still belting out in the background.

I think the term evolution rather than revolution is the order of the day for Tony as the locals obviously like a close knit community judging by the looks cast my way on entry with neither a word or nod of acknowledgement forthcoming.

Apart for Tony of course, who was top class and told me he’d been in charge for a week and I expect he’ll keep the Inglenook fireplace and a lot of the history that stems from this 17th Century gem of a pub.

It is very much wet led and that it is its appeal. It even had a top notch bar blocker who made it nigh on impossible to return my glass to Tony after necking a top class bit of nectar.  However, I made a point of having a chat with Tony as he was a good bloke who, on first impressions, will give this place an injection of enthusiasm.  It also slightly irritated the bloke who was slightly irritating me by blocking the bar and not acknowledging me – so a successful double whammy!

Love this place and it really is worth a visit if you like a drinking den because there really are pubs galore on the A514 (there you go Russ!)

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11 thoughts on “Checking Out Chequers Inn

  1. “Love this place and it really is worth a visit if you like a drinking den because there really are pubs galore on the A514 (there you go Russ!)”

    LOL. I’m adding a “514” pub crawl to my bucket list. 🙂

    “A top class pint (take note Martin) of Bass for a very reasonable £3”

    Not bad for “all in”. Best I can do near to me is about 30% more since we have to tack on taxes and tip.
    (and that bloody beer mat under the Bass could do with a swap – drinkaware… sheesh)

    “…and Smooth FM was still belting out in the background.”
    Hey! I like Smooth FM (or used to; but maybe not in a pub setting).

    Cheers… Mr après Footie 🙂

    Russ

    PS – “and a lot of the history that stems from this 17th Century gem of a pub.”

    My neck of the woods (Vancouver Island) really was nothing but woods back then!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly there are few proper pubs in Canada. There might be a few in the main cities, like Vancouver or Toronto, but hardly any in the rest of the country (I live on Vancouver Island, not in Vancouver the city, which is on the mainland). Even if they call themselves a pub they will be more like a bar or restaurant as you mentioned above. Almost all places are table service, not self serve. You run a tab and pay the bill at the end. Very very few will be drinks only, they’ll almost always have food (though they usually won’t get snarky if you sit at a table and just want drinks). Like the UK we are starting to see brew pubs, micro pubs or micro breweries and some of these are pretty good. If they don’t have food they are usually right beside a pizza place or other small eatery and will allow you to order from them while sitting in the micro place. And, of course, since it’s table service you are expected to tip at least 10% (15% is the norm), plus almost all places add in the liquor tax after the fact; though some of the brewpubs include the liquor tax in the price of the beer.

        But Canada is a big place (six time zones) so there could very well be small wet led pub style places opening up in Halifax or Montreal or Whitehorse. But certainly not where I live (though to be fair there’s a few places nearby (i.e. less than hour’s drive) that I enjoy visiting once in a while. 🙂

        Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “Maybe you could be the man to start it all off…..!”

        LOL. I must admit there are times I’ve contemplated opening a small drinks only place (plus snacks but not proper food) IF I ever win the lottery. But in truth I’d probably find it to be too much work.

        Mind you, if I won a LOT on the lotto I’d seriously consider investing in something along the lines of what Paul mentions here:

        http://baileysbeerblog.blogspot.ca/2017/08/three-pubs-rescued-from-closure.html

        But then again, my youngest is head brew master at a small brewpub in Edmonton, Alberta. I’d probably wind up flying there a few times a month and enjoy the beers he brews instead. 🙂

        Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

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