“We’re a working class team, who give working class performances from a working class city,” is a paraphrase of something that Lou Macari used to say back in the nineties about Stoke City.
He was definitely right about Stoke being working class and even though there has been some gentrification in the intervening 20 years, it is still earthy.
Stoke and football is unavoidably linked as, apart from darts, it is clearly the City’s number one sport. I’m not sure how true this is but I remember reading somewhere once (honest) that, aside from Burnley, Stoke had the highest percentage of its population attend football matches. The six towns making up the Potteries are diverse but they all like football and 97% of them support Stoke…
But, aside from Nick Hancock, all the famous Stokies seem to support Port Vale. Robbie Williams, Robbie Williams’ mate who always plays in the football fixtures, Phil Taylor and Lemmy (not confirmed, but he was from Burslem) all support the Valiants which, on current crowds, is probably about a quarter of the gate!
Anyway, I’ve not been to Stoke for years having lived there for a while in the nineties and whilst nearby Newcastle (under Lyme) would probably regards itself to Stoke as Solihull does to Birmingham; there is no denying it is a working class football town.
I knew I was back in The Potteries when I saw this
and when I heard someone say “I arner” (I’m not) then I knew, whatever Newcastle might describe itself as, it is essentially a suburb of Stoke On Trent.
55 – Old Brown Jug ST5 2RY is another one of those rarities in that it is a Marston’s pub that looks distinctly like a pub, as opposed to an eatery.
Granted, early afternoon on a Thursday it was virtually empty save for three other people. Not forgetting the world’s loudest, largest (but friendly) dog who was adept at barking and making you jump out of your skin just as you were settling down to drink a decent half of Hop Commotion (Jennings) or read a music fanzine.
This boozer is very music based with a stage and novel microphone lighting!
In 40 minutes I heard three Beatles and three Queen tracks but I reckon this place, possibly, comes alive at night. All the lads drinking knew the barmaid, so it has a locals feel even though it’s a town centre pub and there was a buzz around something posted on someone’s wall (social media), which is increasingly important in modern day pub life.
It was a decent place with decent beer but the toilets looked distinctly (not good) old skool with no seats and could do with a bit of a spruce up to put it midly.
Nevertheless, as Lou Macari said it is a working class town and this had the feel of a bar that will attract students too. There were deals galore on show and the barmaid’s tattoos suggested it was definitely more hard rock than Queen or The Beatles.
Stoke On Trent might have a cultural quarter but it’s nice to see it’s surrounding areas (Newcastle) have still got some old style boozers.