John Noakes, Richard Bacon, John Leslie, Anthea Turner, Katy Hill, Peter Purves, Valerie Singleton, Konnie Huq, Lesley Judd, Peter Duncan, Simon Groom, Goldie (the dog, not the rapper) and Mark Curry have all got Blue Peter badges.
It’s still part of the Beeb’s offerings and has stood the test of time although the presenters are far funkier now with Radzi Chinyanganya finding time to compete in the likes of Gladiators and Ninja Warrior alongside his TV duties, I couldn’t imagine Purves and Noakes doing that in their prime.
However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for Blue Peter with Bacon sacked for taking some class A’s whilst Leslie (John, not Judd) was also not averse to powdering his nose, although this didn’t come to light until his BP days had finished.
It was altogether more wholesome in my childhood but, whilst I remember watching it, I can’t actually remember what it was all about! In some ways, it was a bit like the Woolworths of its day or a modern day Wilkos in that it seemed to be covering a lot of bases but you could never quite nail down what it was all about.
The one constant, however, has always been a Blue Peter badge. In an era of social media and Nintendo’s it might not carry the same kudos to have a badge pinned to your lapel but a Blue Peter badge was always associated with some good deed or fine achievement.
Quite ironic really as I walked into the 228 – Blue Peter DE24 0JH and was greeted by a bloke shouting to his kids “come here you little b*******.!”
Extenuating circumstances were that it was the school holidays, he was on his own but I’m not sure he’d qualify for his Blue Peter badge.
This behemoth of a boozer is situated on the busy Blue Peter roundabout in the centre of Alvaston and is similar to a Wetherspoons in all but name as there was a great selection of Derby life inside.
It is the M&B equivalent as it opens at 8am for breakfast but you can get a pint from 10am so, when I popped in at 12.30, it was pretty full and there were a couple of professionals in there on the Carling rolling their own.
Apparently, this pub is designed in an Art Deco style and it really is distinctive and has managed to carry off the feel of being a local whilst still having eating areas dotted all around the pub. There is definitely a drinker’s half to the boozer though and there is a pool table (free on Monday) a jukebox (free after 8pm on a Saturday), bench seating and a weekly pub quiz on a Wednesday.
I had a pint of 61 Deep (Marston’s) on Keg and very nice it was too with the option of Doom Bar on cask if I wanted.
It reminds me a little bit of The Plume of Feathers in Shirley in that it sells food but is still very much a local and this one picks up loads of passing trade.
Alvaston has quite a big sprawl of shops and there are lots of bus routes here to boot. Throw into the mix there are plenty of houses as well and then it is situated well for passing trade and local custom and it had the feel of a friendly, lively local.
There was a top notch bloke in there with a big beard and a big hole in one of his shoes who was walking around talking to everyone but was friendly and I subsequently saw outside at the bus stop…a good ‘pub character.’
I’m not sure who organises the playlists in boozers but ELO (Mr Blue Sky), Terence Trent D’Arby (If You Let Me Stay) and The Kinks (Where have All The Good Times Gone) were on in the background whilst I could watch Sky Sports from most vantage points in the pub.
A proper boozer in the Derby suburbs that had a nicely chaotic feel to it and is well worth a visit.