I think the Stapleford Tourist Board might need some work on their image if it’s hoping to cash in on the overseas market post Brexit. They’ll probably be hoping people look up (boozer above) rather than down (Welcome To Stapleford) when driving in on the Nottingham Road.
This town of around 16,000 people is definitely in Nottinghamshire (more of that to come next time) but borders Derbyshire and – for the benefit of my Canadian readership – it depends which way you turn at the A52 island, as to whether you are a Ram or a Tree in this most football of areas.
The good news for the residents of Stapleford though is that local MP Anna Soubry is vociferous in her pro Europe stance; so, let’s hope she can secure a wedge of EU funding to tart up some of the local shops although Mr Fix It might want to do it himself in true DIY fashion befitting his shop.
However, one gem Stapleford does possess is a real GBG staple (I am going to milk this line for all its worth) in the guise of 183 – The Horse & Jockey NG9 8AA.
It’s definitely been in for the past two years as the books on the window sill told me as such…
…but this is a longstanding veteran of Nottingham beer and for a county that is well blessed with good boozers, that is a decent accolade.
It’s on the edge of town but you can’t miss it as it is an imposing building that has apparently been around since 1740 as a hostelry. By Nottinghamshire standards this is nothing unusual with pubs such as Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem in the city centre but this is clearly a well-worn path for CAMRA meetings and Ale Trail aficionados.
A bumper selection of ales but I went for the BBB option of Legend (Nottingham Brewery) and very good it was as well with the added bonus of being £3.10 and I could add a cob in for just 60p!
(worth going just for the glass!)
There was a veritable array of CAMRA mags (You can just see the Ale & Apple in the picture above) to read and a bit of Bob Dylan melancholy music (is there any other type) in the background to add to the laid back vibe at around 1pm on a Tuesday. This is also a boozer that is working hard to attract in locals or passers by visiting the ‘Welcome to Stapleford’ shop with a quiz (always a good idea)…
(What’s a ‘sticky 13’ Pete?)
…a classic cheese board evening…
…and a bit of humour when visiting the loos to counteract Dylan…
It wasn’t packed with two other couples talking in relatively hushed tones over the other side of the pub and a couple of old boys minding their own business whilst reading/drinking quietly.
Aside from the music, this place was quiet, but you can’t knock the quality of the beer, the friendliness of the barman and the cleanliness. I had a chat with aforementioned barman who said it was refurbished around six years ago (it still looks pristine) and if you read about the recent history of the place it appears to have kicked on again during that timeframe.
It’s open all day every day and whilst Tuesday at 1pm isn’t prime time they clearly have enough people in drinking ale to keep it fresh and whilst the locals of Stapleford might not be flocking to the shops or Tourist information centre in this part of town, The Jockey is clearly ticking along nicely.