Road To Nowhere: The Final Lap – Loafing In Burton

I have to say my enthusiasm for this bicycle ride to Alrewas from Willington was waning by the minute but I was prepared to give it one last go…

Anyone just joining me will have missed the edge of seat excitement as a cycling trip on a towpath from Derbyshire to Staffordshire has gone very Pete Tong.

(we reached Horninglow!)

Alrewas route

With pedals falling off and punctures galore, allied to stopping in a couple of boozers, then my initial gusto was fading faster than Martin’s enthusiasm for Brunning & Price pubs.

But, my cycling/drinking buddy was waxing lyrical about Cycling 2000 and as the shop honed into view, tucked away in Burton backstreets, then a glimmer of hope flashed up as I thought we could crack this Trent & Mersey towpath malarkey after all.

(Half a welcome to Burton…other half was in the bike repair shop)

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However, this trip was doomed to failure (only from a bike perspective of course, not from a beer angle) and once Rod had tried every option known to man he finally gave up and left the rogue bike in for a full service.

(goodbye to the towpath)

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A quick phone call to his better half, as she was in the area, meant option two was suddenly very feasible.

Ostensibly, this meant meeting her at Burton station, dropping the bike off and then ‘perusing’ a few more Burton boozers on foot.

Not the initial plan but, as backups go, it certainly met with my approval!

En route to the station there was a backstreet boozer that we thought we should probably console ourselves in called  366 – Loaf & Cheese DE14 2NF.

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Not only has this got a unique moniker but it also has a lot of Bass memorabilia that I thought I’d take a piccy of as we were parking up the workable bike.

This was a major error, as this photo

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meant I was met by a hostile landlady who made me feel about as welcome as Diego Maradona in Peter Shilton’s house.

“Yes what do you want?” was the initial greeting and before I’d had a chance to say “A pint of your finest BBB landlady” we were hit with “Can I ask why you were taking pictures?”

Now it might be that she was a member of the Bass Marketing department, a movement so secretive that they confront anyone daring to take visual proof of its existence.

Canal Loaf 20.02.19  (15).jpg

Or she could of course think I was part of the Marston’s/Punch/Heineken/Greene King finance dept. who are looking to complete a full set of shut down pubs in the Waterloo Street region of Burton.

(backstreet boozer)

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Anyway, once I explained my name was Rich Coldwell and I gave her his home address and blog details she seemed satisfied and made her way back upstairs and left us with a non too chatty barman.

He mentioned that she’d been ‘watching me park the bike and take a picture of the outside of the pub on CCTV before tearing down the stairs to ‘greet’ us.

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He looked like he had been told to watch us like hawks and we sat there drinking a very good pint of Hobgoblin Gold (Wychwood) whilst trying to make stilted conversation with a barman who was friendly enough, but not in line for the 2019 raconteur of the year award.

As we were the only two punters in this boozer it made for an awkward atmosphere and whilst we ambled around the boozer, we weren’t going to stay for too long.

I understand that a photograph might catch you off guard but I didn’t expect the Spanish inquisition as the Python boys once said and it certainly made for an ‘interesting’ stop off in what was clearly once a Bass boozer.

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Rod did reveal that one of his relatives was once a high flyer in the Bass empire and he lamented how the empire has now ended up.

(don’t park your bike here or take this picture)

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The beer was good and once that had gone we made our excuses and left, heading toward Burton train station safe in the knowledge that the Road to Nowhere has been completed in style!

17 thoughts on “Road To Nowhere: The Final Lap – Loafing In Burton

  1. Now you’ve been told off taking photos you’re a fully-fledged member of the pub blogging glitterati !

    I think the Landlord/lady assumes you’re from the Pub Co trying to sell the building; certainly that was the implication when I took photos (from across a busy main road) in Gravesend and Orpington recently.

    Shame it wasn’t Bass on though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always ask whoever’s behind the bar if it’s ok to take pics, and usually take one of the outside on the way out rather than beforehand. Bad times for licensees, suspicion is perhaps understandable. Over several years and a few hundred pubs, I’ve only ever been refused twice. Once for no particular reason I can think of, and the other was in a Sam Smiths house where the gaffer claimed (probably true, I think there was a memo from Humph) that it was company policy, no photos of the inside their pubs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ‘rules’ of photography are – from public land you can take a picture of anything without permission. If there are people in the shot it is more problematic. If they are purely incidental passers-by then you’re usually OK, but if a person forms a large part of the photo you need their permission to sell or otherwise display that image. (If there are children involved…that’s another level of potential peril!)

      If you’re on Private Property, then you need to have permission from the owner/tenant/representative.

      From the outside of pubs I get accosted occasionally but, when I explain that I’m on a canal holiday and I take a picture of every pub we visit they’re always OK about it (Once they’re happy I’m not from the police/social services!).

      I very rarely take photos inside pubs and, because I’ve got a big camera, I usually ask permission if I do. Mobile phones are a bit different so you can take a few sneaky shots without question, but if you start taking loads it is possible that you’ll get into a bit of bother, like on this occasion. One of the ‘occupational hazards’ of this blogging lark!

      The Loaf & Cheese is another pub we’ve walked by on the way into Burton – I’ve got a picture from 2009, which was the last time!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s because AB InBev are planning a multi million pound relaunch of Draught Bass on 1st April and a hit squad are going across the country identifying target pubs according to the level of memorabilia. Or perhaps you’re part of the hit squad. Or perhaps I need more tablets nurse.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “but I was prepared to give it one last go…”

    Third time’s the charm. 🙂

    “has gone very Pete Tong.”

    I take it Pete was a Cockney lad. 😉

    “and punctures galore”

    Good thing it wasn’t the A514!

    “and punctures galore”

    (slow golf clap)

    “(Half a welcome to Burton…other half was in the bike repair shop)”

    You’re getting good at this!

    “meant I was met by a hostile landlady”

    Judging by the sign, wait till she meets Si sneaking a cob!

    “that they confront anyone daring to take visual proof of its existence.”

    To be fair, it’s about as rare as hen’s teeth at times.

    “once I explained my name was Rich Coldwell and I gave her his home address and blog details she seemed satisfied ”

    (guffaw!)

    “He mentioned that she’d been ‘watching me park the bike and take a picture of the outside of the pub on CCTV before tearing down the stairs to ‘greet’ us.”

    Crikey.

    “As we were the only two punters in this boozer it made for an awkward atmosphere”

    Blimey.

    “but I didn’t expect the Spanish inquisition as the Python boys once said ”

    Indeed! And, in the spirit of the Python boys, you could say she was acting like a right Gumby. 🙂

    “safe in the knowledge that the Road to Nowhere has been completed in style!”

    Any ‘trip’ that includes a pub (or two!) is most definitely the definition of doing it in style. 😉

    Cheers

    PS – “dropping he bike off ”

    Can’t decide if that should be ‘his’ of ‘the’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Monty python always good value😀 I should hope I’m getting at least average at blogging as I’ve had enough practice by now 😉 Pete tong was a dance DJ who went mainstream and his name became even more mainstream!!!

    Like

  6. Top drama – I was so pre-occupied with the bicycle drama – I didn’t see that coming…

    In all honesty LAF – I can see top material for a TV series here. Recommend you contact the BBC straight away. Suggest the title should be ‘Gone Cycling’ – and it should be in the same formula as ‘Gone Fishing’ with Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse which is brilliant (except you’ll visit a lot of pubs and hopefully heart surgery isn’t a reason for making the series..!).

    Looking forward to watching it.

    Obviously the ‘Look of Love’ was not forthcoming from the landlady in this ex-Bass pub 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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