The National Forest: Proper Pubs In Moira

As former mining villages go, I reckon Moira has probably reinvented itself as well as any.  Not only is the whopping 120 acre site of Conkers on the site of the former Rawdon Colliery, but Moira Furnace is also an attraction in its own right along with the nearby Hicks Lodge.

Moira sign 29.11.18 (3)

Granted, it’s not quite as seismic as central London’s attractions but, add in the fact the National Forest continues to develop on the site of old mines, then it is good to see a lot of these north Leicestershire villages being revitalised.

Moira Rawdon Arms 29.11 (1).jpg

Another bonus of these places (think Coalville) is that they still retain some proper boozers.  Take the 318 – Rawdon Arms DE12 6AL for example.  Whilst it isn’t in the LE67 postcode it can officially be classed as an honorary member such are its ‘proper pub’ credentials.

Moira Tawdon Arms 1

Bench seating, beermats, commemorative plates depicting former mines, pool table, dart board…

Moira Rawdon Arms 29.11 (7).jpg


cask ale…

Moira Rawdon Arms 29.11 (16).jpg

wise old boy with East Midlands accent and a tale to tell and sixties background music mean this boozer fits the bill perfectly.

Moira Rawdon Arms 29.11 (11).jpg

The last mine in this area closed 28 years ago but it is still a rich part of the heritage yet the old boy at the bar, with a bottle of Newcy Brown and the obligatory half pint glass, confirmed it wasn’t for him.

Moira Rawdon Arms 29.11 (5).jpg

He was a local and possessed as broad an East Midlands accent as I’ve heard; He was happy to talk about the mines and said that “I worked on the cranes, I’d never have gone down the mine, it was too small and dark for me.”

Moira Rawdon Arms 29.11 (13).jpg

A good old boy who enjoyed the past but was happy to move with the times and reckoned that with the move to a coalless (not sure that’s word – can you check please Russ) society that the mines would have been redundant anyway in this era.

However, he was friendly and good company despite the fact that on a Thursday at around 1pm he made up 50% of the punters in this boozer.

The barmaid/landlady, who I reckon must have been Sheena…

Moira Rawdon Arms 29.11 (2).jpg

…was chatty but confessed to knowing little about the history of the mines but she pulled a decent pint of Landlord (Timothy Taylor’s).

Moira Rawdon Arms 29.11 (18).jpg

Not quite up the standard of The Cross Keys in Newbold, but decent enough.

However, three cask ales might have been optimistic although there is a real hardcore of ale drinkers in these parts.

Moira Rawdon Arms 29.11 (24).jpg

The biggest thing that hits you in this boozer is the history attached to Moira and the mining heritage but it is a village that is moving forward and there have been plenty of houses mushrooming up on the outskirts over the past twenty years to make it a growing, vibrant population.

A cracking proper boozer that was quiet of an afternoon but generated a lot of warmth and there are enough chimney pots in close proximity to keep this place alive for many years to come.


16 thoughts on “The National Forest: Proper Pubs In Moira

  1. My kind of pub too LAF.

    Coming from a mining family myself your post really strikes a chord…!

    My grandfather was a miner from Darton, Barnsley and had the retirement free coal allowance to the end of his life. Remember his coal fire on regular Sunday visits as a kid, which also had an oven and range. The Yorkshire puddings my grandmother produced in that coal fire oven have never been beaten!


    Liked by 3 people

  2. Lovely piece and pics. The complete lack of intervention and investment that followed pit closures killed so many places. So it’s good to see post-pit development and in a village where the team issues a match programme at a ground I haven’t done. There – I have admitted it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “As former mining villages go, I reckon Moira has probably reinvented itself as well as any.”

    And here was me going to say that Moira reminds me of the dwarf mines in Lord of the Rings. 🙂

    “mean this boozer fits the bill perfectly.”

    Ticks all the boxes. 🙂

    “(not sure that’s word – can you check please Russ)”

    Collins English dictionary confirms it’s a word; but it hasn’t been used a lot in over 50 years. 🙂

    “who I reckon must have been Sheena…”

    Only if one assumes she’s had a Brazilian. 😉

    “and there have been plenty of houses mushrooming up on the outskirts”

    A fitting metaphor for a former coal mining village. 😉


    Liked by 2 people

  4. Must be a colliers thing, the commemorative plates. I’ve got loads of them. Looks a decent boozer but have to ask whether that’s a huge fireplace or the natives are so small they can’t reach up to get the darts out of a standard height board? And where’s all the trees? This National Forest seems to be some sort of Midlands mirage to me.

    Liked by 1 person

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