There was a time, in the dark and distant past where being the branch manager of a bank was almost a revered job.
Kudos amongst the local community and, as The Kinks said you were “A Well Respected man,” . Compare that to nowadays where most bank managers’ standings are about on a par with football agents and politicians and companies such as Lloyds apologies for “utterly corrupt bankers” or RBS claiming it has changed its culture since corruption was exposed.
However, the bank managers are now called executives and the genie is out of the bottle in terms of respectable local citizen and as the drive for profits increase, so they become more detached than ever from communities.
How ironic, that on the site of a former Midlands Bank (or HSBC as it has become) sits another HSBC who has put customer care at the forefront of its business.
82 – The Chip And Pin DE73 8GJ is a cracking little boozer in Melbourne run by a group known as the High Street Beer Company. Unsurprisingly, by actually talking to punters and creating a community spirit, this little Micropub (definitely a micro by Richard’s rules of one unisex toilet!) is a welcome addition to this thriving village’s pub scene.
I say welcome addition as it has been here for three years now and being open for over 36 hours a week means that Martin, Duncan and Si, who have had to visit it since its inclusion in the GBG, at least stand a better than even chance of it being open at a convenient time…(cue non-agreeing responses)
I’m pretty sure the forefathers of Midland Bank would be pleased that their former building now has a veneer of respectability once again in the village.
I’ve been here before and even attended the opening night way back in 2014 but I’ve not been for a few months so wondered whether the initial surge of interest had worn off. However, when I popped in on a Thursday night it was as good an experience as ever.
Whether this is actually the best Micropub in the UK, as declared by The Times no less in 2016, is open to debate but there is no denying it is a welcoming place that sells excellent beer.
The HSBC is a group of four but the two main players are Dave and Elaine who greet every customer like a long lost friend and there are plenty who have become ‘locals’ over the past three years and that is no mean feat in a village with around five other hostelries to choose from as well as an abundance of restaurants
There were around 20 people in there with me and it was my kind of atmosphere as I could either read or speak to any number of people who were happy to include you in their conversation. As is often the case in Derbyshire it turned to football and two pub managers agreed that Sam Winnall was on fire at Derby because, unlike Sheffield Wednesday (his previous club), they didn’t play “tippy tappy football that never works in the Championship”…try telling that to Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves!
The beer, by the way, was also in great form and a pint of Grip (Revolutions Brewing Company) hit the spot and at £3.30 didn’t break the bank (get it…)
I guess the real test for Micropubs, as Martin quite rightly said in one of his posts, is when the original owners sell up and call it a day, will they survive under a different vision?
However, this is an excellent pub and clearly doing more than just ticking over as there is a wide range of punters in here and this is a village that is only going to carry on growing in terms of population.
So, whilst the rest of the country continues to be flabbergasted at just how low some bankers will go in order to make a profit the High Street Beer Company and this cracking boozer are upholding some basic traditions of good customer service, good products and a convivial atmosphere.