I was looking through my notes from my Big Day Out in Chesterfield and realised I’d missed one from our stop off in Matlock.
Which, in turn, gave me a chance to loosely work a Jam song into the blog title; after Smithers-Jones, this is arguably Bruce Foxton’s greatest work…
Of course, in keeping with most new boozers these days it was of the small variety – micro size I believe is the current parlance – and to keep all you Micropub statisticians happy out there it was formerly a newsagents shop.
Matlock hasn’t got the greatest pub reputation in Derbyshire although it has got a lot of hills! The height of the town ranges from 91 metres to 203 metres so it’s not for the faint hearted.
Nearby Matlock Bath, which is a bit like Derbyshire Dales’ version of Skegness minus the sand and sea… it does have, however a sort of promenade style high street with amusement arcades, a disproportionate amount of bikers, Gulliver’s Kingdom Theme Park, Heights of Abraham Theme Park, the Peak District Mining Museum and the highly impressive River Derwent rampaging adjacent (and slightly beneath) the main road.
Matlock doesn’t really have those attractions but for its 10,000 residents it has some terrific views of High Tor and, of course Matlock Town Football Club, bubbling under the Conference.
There is a train station at nearby Matlock Bath but those Beeching cuts mean Matlock is a little more cut off and only accessible by bus, which was our choice of transport after a couple of quality pubs in the town of the crooked spire.
Like all boozers, there are raucous pubs and earnest pubs and I reckon that 347 – The Newsroom DE4 3FQ arguably fell into the latter category.
Having spent the early afternoon in The Real Ale Corner, which was an absolute riot and The Chesterfield Alehouse, which was quieter but I suspect it’s not always then this newly opened boozer (July 2018) was definitely more in the connoisseur/ quiet kind of local that I would imagine Rich would feel right at home in.
However, there were a decent amount of punters in here and a couple intensely into a board game on a table nearby (see picture above) meant it was more gentle chatter than singing. But this place is a welcome addition to a town that isn’t traditionally overburdened with go to boozers.
(Dennis The Menace jumper)
There were more dark beers than you might expect, which drew me towards a half of Stay Puft (Tiny Rebel) and I’m not a Porter man but I always quite like this and it was in good nick.
The conversation was good, there plenty of people in and I would imagine it has built up a good local base in the six months it has been open, as there was plenty of footfall/turnover in the half hour we were there.
It reminded me a bit of a bigger version of The Chip and Pin in Melbourne and is clearly a local as, like any good newsagents, it was advertising the football and the pantomime – a great mix!
A new pub, building up a good base of punters and filling a gap in Matlock’s market.