Earth, Wind And Fire At The Jolly Potters

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“Oh oh, England are in Russia,

Oh oh, drinking all your vodka,

Oh oh, England’s going all the way”

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 A World Cup semi-final for the first time since 1990 and I’d forgotten how good the nation feels when England play well in a major competition.

If we beat Croatia on Wednesday – and I reckon it’s a 50/50 game – then I’m not sure the nation will cope, but it does show what a galvanising effect football can have on the country.

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Talking of which, I’d watched England beat Sweden in the confines of my own house – superstition and all that jazz – but wanted a taste of the feelgood factor so arranged to meet a couple of my pals in Castle Donington and found a cracking local boozer just off the main street in the town centre. 245 – The Jolly Potters DE74 2NH is likely to win the award for best pub of the year so far for a host of reasons.

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(1) The beer was fantastic

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(2) It felt like a proper pub and had three rooms as well as a beer patio showing live sport

(Earth, Wind & Fire in full flow!)

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(3) They sponsor their local football team

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(4) The atmosphere was riotous but great fun

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(5) There were families and people of all ages joining in with the craic

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(6) Somebody was carrying around a blow up doll in an England kit

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(7) Aforementioned bloke who was carrying round blow up doll also led a rendition of various songs on the beer patio but undoubtedly the best was England’s version of September by Earth, Wind & Fire which involves the words at the top of this post.

Just in case you’re not sure of how the tune goes…

(8) Watching a game of football between Croatia and Russia, which would usually be of little interest and working out all kinds of permutations for Wednesday

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(9) it sells Draught Bass…which was very good.

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(10) It sells London Pride…which was even better than the Bass and one of the pints of the year so far.

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(11) It has a jukebox and a dartboard.

(definitely not a jukebox!) 

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(12) It has fantastic Bass breweriana/livery all over the boozer and actually sells it.

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Basically, this was an absolute stonking evening in a proper pub and one I would recommend even if the World Cup wasn’t on.  I suspect it was even livelier when England played earlier in the day but it was an atmosphere that many pubs would love to bottle and open every night.

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I am starting to believe…it’s coming home.



26 thoughts on “Earth, Wind And Fire At The Jolly Potters

  1. Looks like a good local boozer. I have often been surprised, just how good London Pride can be, if kept well.

    You probably think I’m being cynical here, but do we honestly think that a) Bass made so many pub mirrors, things that could now be classed as ‘breweriana’ and collectable, with a perceived value? b) Why, proportionately, has so much Bass breweriana survived, in comparison with other brands? and c) If Bass breweriana was so collectable, how come there’s a disproportionate amount of mirrors that have survived and not the myriad other promotional material they would certainly have produced?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love your cynicism!!! I can’t answer those questions with any authority an maybe the big behemoth that now churns out Bass is secretly producing mirrors etc in a dated style and seling them on ebay? Or is there a sweat shop somewhere churning them out and you can buy them on market stalls all over Britain? It was a cracking pub, irrespective of the clutter and one I’d visit again.


      1. Not surprisingly a quick search on eBay reveals quiet a selection of vintage Bass mirrors. A bit more research shows these are being shipped from a secret dress in Cambridgeshire to fund an illicit GBG pub ticking tour around the UK. The mirrors are then distributed by a shady character in a camper van in exchange for out dated, long past their sell-by date, bland, mass produced beers – any variety so long as it’s brewed by Bank’s (brewing more varieties than Heinz!).

        Liked by 2 people

    2. AB InBev is now only a manufacturer of Bass mirrors. A PR representative said, as there is little demand for the beer we realised we could make more money from mirror production and get Marston’s to stick Bass labels on Pedigree casks. 😉

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Mention of Bass mirrors reminds me of all the Yates & Jackson memorabilia that was around, I think in the 80s and on a lot of beer festival tombola stands – there always seemed to be rather a lot given the size of the brewery and I think it kept on coming even after Y & J closed. Perhaps someone from the CAMRA Games & Collectables group knows more, although I think much of their items go out as prizes with no claims made as to provenance. However, they do also supply festival auctions and in those cases would presumably need to be more careful about what they are selling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still have a Yates & Jackson jigsaw that I think I won on a tombola. It’s yours for a modest donation to Cats’ Protection.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the main thing here is that you’re entirely honest, BeerMat. If you weren’t I couldn’t cope with you telling us the Pride was better than the Bass. It happens. The Jolly Potters was edged out of the Beer Guide by a micro pub and a posh pub; it was a cracker when I finished. Top photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spot on Martin..the Bass was good but the Pride, ironically bought for me in error initially, was absolute nectar. They clearly keep their beer in great condition and give me a pub like this any day of the week full of atmosphere, character and lots of old livery from many different brewers. The sort of place many people describe as earthy

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Talking of which, I’d watched England beat Sweden in the confines of my own house”

    I did the same here. Mostly because; 1) it started at 7am my time and 2) I doubt any of the bars/pubs would open that early for the game. I told myself I’d pour a beer if they scored, and then when they scored a second time I said ‘what the heck’ and poured another. 🙂

    Of course shortly after that both my Cable and Internet went out for over 4 hours, but I kept up with the game through updates on my phone. 🙂

    “Somebody was carrying around a blow up doll in an England kit”

    I think that is the markings of a true boozer. 🙂

    “It has fantastic Bass breweriana/livery all over the boozer and actually sells it.”

    Martin will be down there in a shot!

    “I am starting to believe…it’s coming home.”

    Are you going to be watching at home again in case of jinxing it? 😉


    PS – Even my dear old Mom (88) has been watching over here and she thinks England are playing very well this year. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oops. Just noticed your reply to Martin. Hopefully you can find a place in Spain to watch the game… with your Fair Lady.*

      *(that almost sounds like something out of a movie) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post and obviously a fantastic atmosphere in that pub…

    I know England fans love their football (goes without saying) but a blow up doll in England kit is a deeply worrying sign that one fans affections are getting out of hand…

    I’m also impressed that you’ve scored the Pride over the Bass this time…

    With the benefit of commenting the day after the play-offs – I think the euphoria was a tad misplaced…but 4th was definitely a good effort, so well done England…🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

    I note RM has remained silent on the Bass memorabilia allegations….🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With Richard’s former line of work then Martin is saying nothing!!! The bonus is that he hadn’t named the doll so clearly not a long term proposition. 😀 Just one of those nights that was great fun…the Pride was top class

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah yes forgot about Richard’s line of work – nod’s as good as wink…

        Doll – good to hear it’s not serious – probably feeling a bit deflated now too… :0

        Liked by 1 person

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