Sometimes there is an element of fate that guides you towards certain pubs in this blogging lark.
Having just read a terrifically entertaining post from Duncan….which included the fantastic song title from The Members “Sound of the Suburbs” in the headline a strange coincidence occured.
Duncan generally beats most people to pubs and pub titles so it is no shame to be a close second in the ‘Sound of the Suburbs blog post titles awards.’
Nicky Tesco and the boys delivered some classic tunes in that post punk era and I’ve got to say I’m particularly partial to a bit of “Solitary Confinement” and album track “Sally” which are both belting tunes.
So, I was amazed to find a song from 1979 on in the background of another classic LE67 boozer, 369 – Man Within Compass LE67 5AS.
It’s tucked away on the edge of Whitwick, which is the near neighbour of Coalville, and has some incredibly good pub stock.
Whitwick is also the place I managed to bump into other GBG blogging guru Martin, which he records with real aplomb here.
The chances of turning up at a boozer in Whitwick, on a Tuesday at around 6pm and hearing Sound of the Suburbs from 1979 on in the background are pretty slim I would imagine but if any place is likely to be playing this song is it Whitwick or Coalville.
This boozer is a classic local stone built pub and a two roomer with a busy bar and a slightly more chilled out lounge but with a good throng of punters.
I reckon around 25 across the two rooms, with people coming and going all the time, which is good business at that time on a Tuesday.
(pint of Guinness on its way)
As Martin notes in his post, Whitwick has a bit of form when it comes to calling pubs one name on the whatpub website but then local punters having their own moniker for it.
So as The Three Horseshoes is known as Polly’s; Man Within Compass is also known as the Rag and Mop.
I was talking to a bloke walking his dog outside and said the sign above the boozer was wrong as “it should say the rag and mop. All the pubs in Whitwick are known by different names.”
(unoffical title apparently…to throw people off the trail!)
Which kind of sums up Whitwick perfectly I think. Happy to plough its own furrow, not really bothered what anyone else thinks, but warm and welcoming as long as you don’t mind most conversations containing a healthy smattering of f***s.
The bar was so full that I sat in the lounge and beer sommeliers will be pleased to know that Fuller’s recent sale to Asahi didn’t affect the quality of the London Pride here as the landlady pulled a very decent half pint for me.
The bloke at the bar was happy to move to let me get served and the old boys in the lounge were good value too as the conversation ranged about a local psycho and chip shops in Long Eaton! There were cobs only in terms of food but people hadn’t come here to eat a meal, they’d come to chew the fat/watch sport/have a drink/not go home in no particular order.
A massive beer garden out the back,
(proper beer garden!)
and a well-used smoker’s patio that was arguably as full as the pub inside on occasions ensured there was a good buzz to this place that you often tend to find with estate/backstreet boozers.
(bench seating, beermats and smokers on the patio)
Dave asked in the comments section of my last post what qualities make up a ‘backstreet pub; and this one, despite being on the edge of countryside on the Loughborough Road, fits the bill perfectly, albeit with a slightly smarter look externally.
Earthy, amusing and plenty of life.