Whilst Alan is sadly no longer with us his name lives on forever as a pub blogging legend. I can’t imagine Alan would ever go on any Ale Trail or follow the crowd for that matter, but I was always amazed at just how many ‘estate’ pubs he could find a pint of cask ale.
(proper estate pub cask)
Being a native of East Brum/Solihull then estate pubs in my early years were pretty much keg only so I’m always amazed when East Midland estate boozers have a cracking pint of ale on.
Mind you, Stapleford’s finest pub man didn’t limit himself to pubs in Nottingham he was a nationwide blogger and a flavour of his pub blogging style can be found here, as he navigates his way through various backstreet pubs in Stoke on Trent.
I was thinking that there really should be an Alan Winfield Trail where you could hop on a bus and take in lots of pubs in Derby and Nottingham suburbs that rarely get any PR from CAMRA or local authorities.
368 – The Needles DE24 0UQ on an estate in Alvaston, a suburb of Derby, is a prime example of a pub that would fit the bill.
Accessible by bus, lots of chimney pots in close proximity, based on a housing estate, next to a co-op and a newsagents, this is proper pub.
A Marston’s pub, formerly owned by Banks’s it still has lots of Black Country livery and I reckon this was built in the eighties.
Pool table, dart board, multi-level, one-room and most definitely a pub for locals
it also delivered a killer pint of (Butcombe) Original Bitter.
The beer really was unexpectedly good as I was the only punter in there at around 2pm on a Thursday.
The barmaid was chatty and the gaffer soon arrived to discuss operating a till with her (I suspect she was relatively new in post) and I was left with a screen showing Cheltenham in all its glory in the background.
Bench seating was de rigeur as you’d expect
and a bit of quirk on the walls showed a gaffer who is prepared to add his own personal touches.
A couple arrived to spend the grey pound along with a couple of likely lads at the bar who looked as though they might be fun if they were staying for the duration.
I could imagine Alan walking through the estates of Alvaston to find this boozer and he would be pleased to know it was still selling cool, chewy beer at £3.10 a pint, as opposed to the “John Smith’s cold crap” he so detested.
Banks’s built a fair few pubs in the eighties and I reckon this was one. It might have been swallowed up into the Marston’s empire now but the locals on this estate are still enjoying a night of music (up to NYE) and beer at The Needles as it is alive and kicking in 2019.