The A606 from Wymeswold to Oakham has been christened (well by me anyway) the Stuart Broad trail.
It’s a fairly tenuous link, is there any other kind on this blog I hear you cry, but a drink in The Grainstore next to Oakham Station (Broad’s school) and a drink in The Three Crowns in Wymeswold (Broad’s boozer) is enough for any spin doctor worth his salts to start doing cartwheels.
I’m always a little reluctant to start talking about cricket with Duncan’s new found confidence following England’s
woeful defeat plucky performance against those giants of the limited overs game Scotland.
However, I’ve noticed that I’ve actually acquired a couple of Dutch followers on this blog recently so I am pretty confident England would never lose against Holland in a cricket game so I can impart my knowledge as they are real novices in this sport…oh hang on
(There’s Stuart…probably not about to have a pint in the Three Crowns)
Anyway on the A606 – that’s a poor man’s version of the A514 Russ -there are villages such as Asfordby, which houses around three and a half thousand possible punters and also that rarest of sightings in the Midlands…a Batemans boozer.
They are as infrequent as catches held by slip fielders in England v India test matches, so it was a treat to see 261 – The Horse Shoes LE14 3SA homing into view on the main street in Asfordby.
I don’t know a lot about this place but popping into the Co-op beforehand told me there are a lot of tattoos in this village. I don’t mean your new-fangled Virat Kohli style sleeves but more of your old school style swallows on necks/hands/arms etc. and even the old dear with a Zimmer frame was sporting a couple of corkers on her wrist
It looks like a proper boozer from the outside and it definitely was as it has a single room with sky sports on behind the bar and there were a gaggle of punters chewing the fat.
The conversation was centred around Leicester City’s academy players and how much they earned (I think there might have been a vested interest) and the pay scale of footballers in general whilst the cricket was on in the background.
It wasn’t packed on a Thursday afternoon but that had its plus points as it enabled me to see Sam Curran taking his fourth wicket…
(here’s the fairly nonsensical review for a plum LBW)
…and the opportunity to watch Dawid Malan drop Kohli again at slip off the bowling of Ben Stokes (keep up Russ, Dave and Dick) which cost us about 100 runs!!!!!!!!!
I drew solace in the form of an outstanding cheese and onion cob and half a pint of Summer Swallow (Batemans) for the princely sum of £2.80.
After Martin’s shock revelations that certain sections of society refer to this as a bap I can confirm that this area of Leicestershire is firmly in the cob territory and it appears the evidence backing up this fact is now almost overwhelming.
I keep reading about pub closures and it will be a sad day when or if pubs like this are no longer considered viable. The notice board had a trip to Skegness advertised whilst there was classic bench seating throughout, hanging baskets out front,
the obligatory dart board (for our Dutch readers again as we always used to be world champions at that as well…) and a good atmosphere like you were walking into someone’s house but not intruding.
(still looks out to me)
Both the barmaid and one of the regulars made a point of saying “see you later” when I left and it’s those little touches that are all important.
Of course, as Rich will tell me, if England had played this test on Yorkshire day and picked 11 Yorkshiremen then undoubtedly every catch would have been held and we’d have probably wrapped up victory inside two days.
But in the parallel universe known as planet earth it made for tense viewing and one of those moments where the conversation stopped in the boozer and the subsequent language would have had Mary Whitehouse apoplectic!
A good solid local boozer that is ticking all the boxes…apart from England catching cricket balls of course.