I love the fact the A514 refuses to lie down as a ‘go to pub road destination.’ I’m not sure that was its sole purpose but it still possesses a plethora of good boozers on, or just off, the 18 and half miles from Derby to Swadlincote.
However, even a great pub road like this isn’t immune to change and despite a great effort from local residents in acquiring an ACV in July 2015 and forming a save the Rose and Crown group through the Chellaston Residents Association, Marston’s eventually got their way and flogged it to Lidl.
(Back from the brink…for now)
I blogged about this in October 2017 https://lifeafterfootball839.wordpress.com/2017/10/31/pubs-galore-on-the-a514-no-thanks-to-lidl/ but despite regular trade and the pub next door being shut down as well it was sold.
There is a Tesco Express, Co=Op and a huge new Aldi all within a five minute walk but apparently Chellaston is officially the supermarket shopping capital of Derby so the councillors couldn’t possibly turn this application down again…
As this photo shows, which was I kindly purloined from https://twitter.com/RFCider Mark,
the fact there is another Marston’s boozer about two miles up the road, is not remotely helpful if you fancy more than one pint.
Even more worryingly – going off at a tangent here, easily the most iconic looking pub in Solihull and its outlying villages has also closed this week with the news that The Red Lion in Shirley has shut its doors!
I reckon the big Wetherspoons over the road has finally killed it off and I normally praise Wetherspoons to the hilt but they appear to have finished off a classic old building that will probably now be bulldozed.
It’s not all bad news though as I spotted a ray of light on the A514 just before Christmas when a pub that I thought was on the way out finally reopened its doors in Ticknall.
(more on offer than your average hamlet)
This tiny hamlet is well stocked with pubs and a cricket club but 335 – The Wheel Inn DE73 7JZ is arguably in prime position.
It is closest to Calke Abbey, which is a honey pot for tourists and walkers and had a great reputation for food and drink for years.
The owners upped sticks and revamped the village store 100 yards away into an excellent café known as Scoff and Shop and this is always full.
The doors appeared to be shut for good on The Wheel but, albeit in a rather low key fashion, this place was open for business when I popped in with my son.
(Only another 348 days till Christmas)
It is relatively compact downstairs and the upstairs isn’t open at present so with around 15 people in there was a pretty good atmosphere.
A nice mix of young twenty something lads, a family eating food, couples having a drink and people outside in the (sub zero!) beer garden.
The Wheel has always been understated but there is definitely room for it in Ticknall if it attracts the right audience as there is a huge amount of tourist trade on a weekend.
There was one cask on and the Doom Bar was decent and went down a treat of a Friday afternoon.
(Always a good sign on a pub door!)
This is the sort of boozer that needs food as an option as just round the corner The Chequers is still a wet led pub and I’m not sure there’s room for two in a village this size, even with Calke Abbey on your doorstep.
Nonetheless, it’s clearly on the agenda and I hope this place thrives to keep up the quota of pubs on the A514.