Beeston is a large town in Nottingham probably most famous for its men’s hockey team.
However, if like most of the population, you don’t watch men’s hockey aside from the Olympics then it also has some excellent ale pubs and a very smart tram system running through it.
It’s also got some pretty nifty wall art and whilst the driver of the white van clearly isn’t a Porridge or Rising Damp fan, it’s fairly obvious that Richard Beckinsale adorns the wall of Beeston as you walk into the town centre.
That’s Lennie Godber to people of a certain age, the Aston Villa supporting cell mate of Norman Stanley Fletcher who was forever trying to buy a house in Smethwick with his girlfriend.
I always had Richard Beckinsale down as a Brummie but he was obviously a good actor as he did in fact hail from Carlton in Nottingham, which is as good a reason as any to have him plastered over a wall in Beeston.
Beckinsale was very much an actor associated with the seventies and, a bit like 356 – The Cricketers NG9 2NR is of its time.
Of course, The Cricketers, which only shut in October so must have just reopened when I walked in on a Sunday afternoon doesn’t want to be associated with the past but see itself as a new style boozer despite its sixties estate style image.
It’s a big open plan boozer that will obviously need to win over some of the locals if the quotes in this article in the Nottingham Post are anything to go by.
Robin Holmes, a resident for 28 years, said it’s the only pub in the town that he’s never been in because of “the look of it from the outside. It never looked welcoming or nice to me.” Rumours that he is the man responsible for completing the information on the CAMRA Whatpub website are, as yet unconfirmed….
Andrew Hall said: “We’ve lived in Beeston 24 years. I’ve been in the Cricketers once and as the Tottle Brook once. Both times it reminded me of the pub in Royston Vasey.”
Dane Raworth added: “It’s needed some TLC and a proper coat of paint/refit for about 10 years. Everywhere else has moved forward and that place has been left in the 80s
Nonetheless, a spokesperson for Ei Publican Partnerships told Nottinghamshire Live: “We can confirm that The Cricketers, Beeston is currently shut. We would like to reassure the local community that we plan to reopen the site as soon as possible.”
The tenant should be “highly motivated,” it says. The pub is being advertised with an annual rent of £10,000 a year and a typical turnover of £290,000.
“Already boasting a loyal following from the surrounding area from students to pensioners and everyone in-between, this pub has the capacity for growth through the creation of a value food offer, utilising the well-equipped trade kitchen,” says the advert.
I’ll let Mudgie decipher the pub speak as he is far more eloquent than me at wading through the management bull**** suffice to say it was good to see the place open.
It was by no means packed for a Sunday afternoon but there were a group setting up for a party in the far corner of the boozer so maybe it was the calm before the storm. It looked as though a lot of effort had been made and the barman was keen as mustard.
There was a music channel on the TV and a young couple were playing pool with a couple of older boys flitting between fags outside and having a pint and they looked as though they were settled in for the day.
I looked at the beer selection and was taking my time and was looking for anything in the bottle dept. and the helpful barman said “spoiled for choice eh?”
That wasn’t my immediate thought but I can always handle a John Smith’s Smooth and it was actually very refreshing and hit the spot after a morning of sport.
A proper estate pub I really hope it survives and that the party ensured it was packed out later and buzzing with lots of punters.
It isn’t the place to be taking huge amounts of photos and I hope there’s still a market for a boozer like this in 2019. I reckon Lennie and Norman would have had a pint in here!