Adrian Mole, Ashby De La Zouch Celebrities And Packed Pubs

Shoulder of Mutton 17.02.18

Ashby De La Zouch is a honeypot on a weekend and there appears to be no problems with pubs shutting in this Leicestershire town.

It’s got around 14,000 inhabitants and houses are going up at a rate of knots so expect plenty more potential customers in the next decade.

However, despite its proximity to the M42, Ashby doesn’t have a rail service so, on a weekend, it is too far away to travel economically to any of its bigger neighbours such as Nottingham, Derby, Leicester or even Birmingham.

So, a bit like a smaller version of a Shrewsbury or a Hereford, as it’s cut off from big cities, most of the locals still go out for a drink in the town centre and this makes for a cracking atmosphere and the need for bouncers of a weekend in some boozers.

I have even seen them on the door of 178 – The Shoulder Of Mutton LE65 1AF on occasions of a Saturday evening but, when I popped in at around 5.45, there were none to be seen at this most flourishing of Spoons.

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It is similar to many others, and I mean that in a hugely positive way, but there is more of a town centre feel to this place and it is usually quite lively.

To be fair, I have been in here before and it is virtually impossible to get a seat at whatever time or day you come and Ashby is hardly under resourced with boozers.

Ashby De La Zouch is a parochial place but still has niche shops on the High Street which is no bad thing. If you look on their Wikipedia page it is claiming such luminaries as Dan Petrescu (lived there when played for Sheffield Wednesday apparently), Chris Bart-Williams (lived there when he played for Nottingham Forest) and Niall Mackenzie (a Grand Prix motorcycle racer who has now retired to Ashby).

Shoulder of Mutton 17.02.18 (10)

So, from that little lot there is actually no one famous from Ashby apart from people passing through or retiring here, but that will probably suit the locals of Ashby just fine.

Although I should mention that fictitious character Adrian Mole moved to Ashby and his fictitious girlfriend Pandora Braithwaite was named as MP for Ashby.  Author of Adrian Mole, Sue Townsend, was asked to open a building at Ashby Grammar School as a product of that link…apparently Dan Petrescu was busy that day.

However, people in Ashby know how to have a good time and this place is heaving on a Friday/Saturday evening.

Take the Saturday I was there and it was clearly just after a recent beer festival of some description as I had a tremendous pint of Mr. Feathers (Uiltje Brewing Company) from Holland for £2.15 and it was excellent.

(Lacings potential…)

Shoulder of Mutton 17.02.18  (4).jpg

The place was buzzing in usual Spoons style although slightly more girls on the lash, boys on the lash but it also contained the usual families eating food, couples eating food, old boys, old girls, old couples and just about every demographic you can think of in Ashby in a fantastic mix of pub life.

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And fair play to Wetherspoons as this old boozer – dating from 1757 – was shut down until they rescued it and renovated it and has turned it into arguably the most popular boozer in the town.

Yes, there is a wait at the bar but people were good natured and Ashby is a party town so you expect pubs to be busy on a Saturday evening.

There were definitely a lot of people here warming up with cheap booze for an evening ahead but the beauty of Wetherspoons is that they appeal to most people and this is a cracking boozer packing them into Ashby De La Zouch.

(lacings confirmed!)

Shoulder of Mutton 17.02.18 (6)

8 thoughts on “Adrian Mole, Ashby De La Zouch Celebrities And Packed Pubs

  1. “Ashby De La Zouch”

    I thought you were having me on with that name. 🙂

    After seeing the second photo I went online and it looks to be bloody huge!

    “I had a tremendous pint of Mr. Feathers (Uiltje Brewing Company) from Holland for £2.15 and it was excellent.”

    Sounds like a nice beer… and a bloody good price (the brewpub I like in Nanaimo just raised their prices to roughly £3.60, and that’s without tip. Still good beer though. 🙂

    “and just about every demographic you can think of in Ashby in a fantastic mix of pub life.”

    Must be doing something right if they’re attracting such a broad spectrum of folk. 🙂

    “There were definitely a lot of people here warming up with cheap booze for an evening ahead but the beauty of Wetherspoons is that they appeal to most people and this is a cracking boozer packing them into Ashby De La Zouch.”

    Agreed. Cheap booze might lure them in but the atmosphere keeps them coming back.

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fair play to Wetherspoons, they have kept some very unlikely, but pleasant buildings going that would otherwise have been lost. In terms of licensing issues, crime and disorder they are a pleasure to deal with and very keen to get things right – I despair when I hear local authorities shunning them.

    Despite the knockers, I reckon history will show Tim whatshisname to be a bit of a philanthropist in terms of heritage preservation and providing cheap beer, meals and succour to the many. Despite his eccentricities, you can see Humphrey Smith being looked on in a similar vein.

    Liked by 1 person

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