It’s always good to finally catch up with a real pub blogging legend and check if my credentials are up to scratch.
Not only is Martin the doyen of beer blogging, a Chinese takeaway connoisseur, deathcore metal guru, member of the Fenland branch of the Manchester City Supporters club and a director of the esteemed Beer and Pubs Forum but, most importantly of all, he drinks Bass.
Of course all members of the recently formed PUB (Pub Union of Bloggers) have a common goal
drinking lots of beer, which is finding good boozers and top notch beer and generally being a little bit geeky about all things pub.
Having been at this blogging lark for just over a year I need to doff my cap to the doyen and he has already waxed lyrical about our inaugural drink here https://retiredmartin.com/2018/08/27/coalville-waiting-for-life-after-football/ and here https://retiredmartin.com/2018/08/27/top-10-basic-pubs-the-stamford-warrington-hotel-coalville/
He’s also a top bloke and easy company and because of my lavish praise he has allowed me to pilfer some of his photos from possibly Britain’s greatest region for basic boozers, LE67.
I always think that when you meet a blogger for the first time it is good to impress them so what better way than a pub with a purple vest wearing gaffer,
one (of three) Pedigree handpump covered by a sock, retro WH Smith’s carrier bags and Wolverhampton Wanderers calendars on the wall.
It could only be Coalville and our first port of call was a revisit for me to a pub already firmly entrenched in Martin’s top ten basic boozers, 168 – The Stamford And Warrington LE67 3EE.
The last time I was in this belter it was minus 6 and The Beast From The East was in full flow…
(picture in February – note jumper being worn by barman – Bully’s still there in the background though)
..it must have been cold as the gaffer wasn’t wearing a vest on that occasion; but it did have three handpumps on (all Pedigree) and the boast that “you won’t find a better pint of Pedigree in Leicestershire,” was still standing as I had a cracking half of Marston’s finest seemingly unaffected by the recent drought.
Back to the present and, considering it was 1pm on a Thursday, the bar was pretty full and a friendly welcoming atmosphere inside a boozer that wouldn’t be Mrs BB’s cup of tea. But I don’t think you’ve lived until you’ve been to the Stamford and even Martin agreed it had the wow factor…
The best conversations don’t centre around beer and so it proved as the boy Taylor, who was instantly recognisable due to the amount of times I’ve seen his reflections in fake Bass mirrors sold to pubs by a dodgy bloke known only as Yorkshire Rich, was in great form.
The WH Smith’s carrier bag proved a particularly good topic and we mused on who would have kept one from probably the early nineties (it was either the mysterious Sog character or a Sog wannabee using his coat hook)) and then inevitably there was a bit of football and some more pub meandering in a boozer that is staunchly refusing to modernise and is benefiting from that stance.
However, there was still more to come as the East Midlands breakaway group of the PUB had yet another classic to visit in nearby Whitwick….the tension was palpable.