Dawning Of A New Era In Eastwood

With The Specials at Number 1 in the Album chart again 40 years after releasing their eponymous titled debut, it is a time for celebration.

Their new album is pretty damn good for a bunch of sixtysomethings and with Encore at number 1, it speaks volumes for their popularity… at least amongst people of a certain age who still buy music!

Their first album only reached the giddy heights of number 4 in the charts, but it was a different landscape back then and it did contain the classic tune penned by J Dammers esq “The dawning of a new era”

Basically it’s the rude boys being acerbic about a new era not quite being what it’s cracked up to be with a thumping ska beat in the background.

The Specials would definitely be in my top three all-time bands and whilst they might not have been singing about Eastwood High Street when they were talking about new eras, I do love Britain for its entrepreneurial spirit.

Eastwood has a long and sprawling High Street and it’s a real throwback with no huge chainstores – a little bit of history and culture with the birthplace of DH Lawrence –

(not the name of a new Micro…yet)

Eastwood Game 22.02.19  (1).jpg

along with lots of niche shops carving out a business in an era of internet shopping, which is no mean feat.

I reckon this could be the new Micropub capital of Britain with no less than 16 in a three mile radius taking in towns and suburbs such as Giltbrook, Langley Mill, Marlpool, Kimberley, Heanor, Underwood, Loscoe and Jacksdale.

Exotically named former shops such as Angry Bee, Crooked Cask, Ginger Giraffe Micro Pub & Gin Bar,

Poachers Ale House, Miners Return, Roots Emporium, The Tip Inn and Redemption Alehouse have all set up in the past two or three years.

Eastwood Game 22.02.19  (10).jpg

There are five in Eastwood alone, along with some well-established boozers of course but there is a real feel of a town that enjoys itself and is sticking two fingers up to anyone who doesn’t think they’ll be a success.

Take 359 – The Gamekeeper’s NG16 3GD on the long Nottingham Road, which was formerly a shop selling mobility scooters. Therefore, as credentials for a boozer go, it’s got plenty.

Eastwood Game 22.02.19  (8).jpg

It was Friday afternoon when I strolled in and the place wasn’t full but it was friendly and the beer Crazy Like A Fox (Totally Brewed) was excellent.  Two old boys on the table near me had Nottingham accents that were so strong, it was almost impossible to tell what they were saying.

(proper East Mids dialect)

Eastwood Game 22.02.19 (3)

A bit like an East Midlands version of walking into somewhere like Dudley and listening to a couple of old boys going at it hammer and tongs in Black Country accents.

There were another couple of younger lads by the bar and the barmaid was chatty whilst there was a throng of people going by as half term was still upon us and the streets were busy.

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I’m not sure that all of these new pubs are going to survive but they are definitely moving away from the strict early models and I reckon there’s scope for more in Eastwood on this road.

Eastwood Game 22.02.19  (6).jpg

Anyway, some biting lyrics from Terry and Lynval to finish off with as there new single “Vote For Me” proves there is life post Dammers.  As places like Eastwood are also proving, there is plenty of life post shop closures too if you just think outside the box.

“If we vote for you, do you promise
“To be upright, decent and honest
“To have our best interest at heart
“You understand why we don’t believe you
“You’re way too easy to see through
“Not the best place to start.”

 

17 thoughts on “Dawning Of A New Era In Eastwood

  1. Saw The Specials in 1982. It is remarkable how some places attract a blizzard of micro pubs (think that is the collective noun or maybe an outpouring) whilst other areas have none. Looking forward to all 16 posts….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Strangely enough, I’m finding the density of micropubs in that area quite offputting for a trip. Wherever we go, we almost always pop into ‘the’ local micropub, may even do two in a day, but Eastwood sounds ‘all’ micropub and I’m afraid they’re not ‘that’ appealing to me. And yes I know there are still some very good traditional pubs around there, but for how long…

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    1. The demise of traditional pubs inevitably means pub games will be hit hard so I can see your point…I love pubs with history but pubco are running many into the ground so I think micropubs at least provide boozers in areas that are losing pubs….it would be good if there is room for both. – there should be 👍

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  3. “at least amongst people of a certain age who still buy music!”

    Good lord. Wait for it to hit YouTube and download it. 🙂

    “(not the name of a new Micro…yet)”

    They could call it ‘The Fox’ after one of his short stories.

    “which is no mean feat.”

    Agreed.

    “have all set up in the past two or three years.

    Blimey.

    “which was formerly a shop selling mobility scooters. ”

    The irony is palpable! 🙂

    “and the beer Crazy Like A Fox”

    See! It’s got D. H. Lawrence written all over it.

    “Two old boys on the table near me had Nottingham accents that were so strong, it was almost impossible to tell what they were saying.”

    I met some cousins from Nottingham basically for the first time back in the mid 70’s. Didn’t have a clue what they were saying!
    (mind you, a week later I met some Cockney relatives and they weren’t much better!) 🙂

    “I’m not sure that all of these new pubs are going to survive”

    Yup; but eventually the cream will rise to the top. 🙂

    “there is plenty of life post shop closures too if you just think outside the box.”

    True capitalism in all its shining glory. (thumbs up)

    Cheers

    PS – “as there new single ”

    Their, their, dear boy. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting phenomena that. Why so many? Would these people who are setting up these ‘small pubs’ take on a proper pub if the t&c’s from the Pubcos were more equitable? Or is it just a trend towards micros? Or are there decent folk looking for a decent place to drink where there are no ‘traditional back street pub types’ effing and jeffing, no underhand dealings, slack bar staff and semi-aggressive cliques.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lots of questions but I think regional variations which are good will play a big factor….price and the fact you are free of tie will be the biggest attraction I reckon and I can see a lot more setting up. Pub landscape will be massively different in a decade

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      1. Essentially many traditional pubs are dismal uninviting places. Pubco terms are expensive and generally not viable, unless one is naive. Premises licences are easy to obtain. So, start up a pub in a cheap ex-retail unit for minimal capital outlay – simples.

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