If you want a lesson in how to run a local boozer then I know just the place in the village of Swannington 64 – The Station Inn LE67 8RE.
Mind you, if you were once the Gaffer of one of ‘Birmingham’s toughest pubs’ then running this compact little place would be like paradise.
How did I find out this information? Well, it’s simple, I went into the pub with my pal on a quiet Tuesday evening, the landlord started up a conversation and it went from there! Amazing really, it’s known as social interaction but we saw an example of how to welcome new punters into a pub and then later (another post) of how not to entice people back to a pub…
Swannington is on the outskirts of Coalville and this little backstreet pub is tucked right in between houses and a railway line which, like most things in Swannington and Coalville, is a reminder of the past.
Nevertheless, this old mining area is full of good, no nonsense people, which are probably what, attracted the current landlord there.
Once we’d had a discussion about whether we wanted the darts on SKY or ITV’s Cilla, why Tuesday nights were his quietest of the week, how the pub darts team engineered a cracking atmosphere on Monday’s and what we did job wise, he started to reminisce about his former place of work.
Having spent a decade in Swannington he knows his onions and this must be a breeze after spending a long time at The Sportsman in Saltley, Birmingham.
I’ve attached a link here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yj9S9J0Yzk4 but, failing that, just type in Britain’s toughest pubs and the aforementioned name and you are in for a three minute treat!
As a native of Birmingham I have to say this was a place I didn’t visit but, having seen the footage, his description was off to a tee.
He reckoned that it wasn’t rough as in scrapping but more the fact he estimated about 80% of the blokes in there didn’t work and the average age was 50+…Nothing massively unusual there I hear you cry but, the selling point was the local delight of 7.3% cider.
He recalled that many people were ‘stretchered’ out and it attracted lots of locals wanting to take on the challenge of necking a few ciders at 7.3% and this led to a crazy atmosphere.
Anyway, I digress (watch the footage it is top notch and a salutatory lesson about hanging around Railways after drinking cider…) and my pal and I were made to feel welcome as the bar is a top place.
Plenty of memorabilia…(with either an Irish or Leicester angle apart from this nod towards his exile in Brum)
…and, more importantly, a cracking pint of Pedigree (Marston’s) as there didn’t appear to be any lethal cider on show!
Handshakes as we left and a real sense of belonging means this gaffer knows how to run a pub and add into the mix the fact he is a raconteur who can tell a tale or two, then no evenings will be boring.
A tidy, two-roomed local boozer that is well looked after and has good conversation and a decent pint. That sounds like a recipe for success to me.