The Alan Winfield Trail: Swadlincote

I’m due to go to Pembrokeshire for a week tomorrow and then I’m moving house…so I’m just clearing the decks of any outstanding boozers before a fortnight of enforced blogging hiatus.

Shepshed Pete, Dave and Dick, Paul WME and Martin will be pleased to know that I’m signing off before my international break with an absolutely bona fide,classic of the estate pub genre.

Let’s look at the evidence:

It used to be called the Coalminers Arms….

…This map shows just how many houses there are in close proximity…

(a lot of chimney pots)

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There is a Lambretta Li150 outside the boozer (thanks to John Riley for that info)…

I had to dodge kids on pushbikes to actually get into the pub…

…The Lambretta careered onto the pavement outside the boozer and was greeted with you f****** t*** by three blokes smoking…

…The pool table was constantly in use and a source of amusement…

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…The barmaid knew most people by first name terms and the bar was rammed at 2:30 on a Sunday.

(A bit more context)

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Of course, all of this is inconclusive but I know that if Alan Winfield had walked into 483 – The Springfield DE11 0AX on North Street in Swadlincote in his Forest shirt, the place would have gone quiet.

Don’t get me wrong, the locals were a friendly bunch and the bar blockers moved over to let me in to order a pint of Gone For A Burton (Tower) which was on the turn.

However, it was only £2.80 so at least it was cheap “on the turn” prices.

(where are those plant pots?)

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Mind you, I’d waited a while to get it and with everyone else in the boozer drinking Carling or Red wine I didn’t think it was a wise move to return it so I sat down and watched Kazakhstan v Belgium on the plethora of big screens.

The pool table was in use although the two younger lads were claiming “it’s absolutely sh***” as they thought a leg was wobbly and affecting before one of their dads stepped in to absolutely rinse them and put that argument to bed.

The place was heaving in the bar and a real mix of teens, twentysomethings and all the ages all the way through to the (not so) gentlefolk and that’s what made this pub edgy.

Food was on the agenda and the barmaid, who is leaving this morning to go on her hols, knew the exact name of the punter who had ordered chips and was able to hunt him down with the help of other regulars.

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It is a real throwback in that I felt very much like everyone else in this place knew each other and they were all very friendly towards me but it was a boozer that was bubbling.

Lots of blokes and lots of girls too but it had that feel of a pub where there is plenty going on and the banter is fierce and the expectation is that you get wasted.

(you should have seen the bar)

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As I visited the toilet one of the blokes walked in and said “Alright mate, are you on the piss?” to his pal.  He nodded and then said “Always mate, always” and I got the impression this was a place where anything could happen at any time.

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I said to his mate that “I’d just popped in for a pint” and he said “It’s always f****** lively in here mate, it’s not the place for a quiet pint”

However, he said it with a smile and, apart from the quality of the cask, Alan would have loved this place as much as the chattering classes would have hated it.

Pedigree was also on so maybe I should have plumped for the obvious but I didn’t see anyone else discussing beer as it really isn’t that kind of place.

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A boisterous end terrace local boozer that has been smartened up and is a clean and tidy place to have drink with the local clientele supporting it in their droves…is how CAMRA might describe The Springfield.

I love the fact that after almost 500 boozers I can still walk into a place and be kept on my toes by the ultimate locals boozer.

22 thoughts on “The Alan Winfield Trail: Swadlincote

  1. Great stuff. My first experience of Swad was going into a pub toilet to find a large man lying on the floor in front of the trough. Others who came after me simply acted as if he wasn’t there and urinated from a slightly deeper position. Back at the bar I ventured a comment and was told oh that’s just him (name witheld), he was landlord here until he couldn’t stop the drinking. Not a town for faint hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is fantastic and so true of some places…made me chuckle as I was reading it😄 I remember going to a pub called the Mazeppa in Sheldon area of Brum in the eighties.
      I was playing pool with my pal and an absolute wild west style scrap broke out…a bloke sitting next to us said carry on with your game and ignore it! Best advice I ever got as if you leave it then people ignore you and just carry on irrespective…that pub is now closed!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “so I’m just clearing the decks of any outstanding boozers before a fortnight of enforced blogging hiatus”

    Oh sure. I go AWOL for about two weeks and now that I’m (mostly) back, YOU go AWOL for two weeks! Sheesh! 🙂

    ” with an absolutely bona fide,classic of the estate pub genre.”

    Having ‘Alan Winfield’ in the title kinda gave that away. 😉

    “There is a Lambretta Li150 outside the boozer”

    Is that the scooter or the car? 😉

    “by three blokes smoking”

    Good band name that.

    “The pool table was constantly in use and a source of amusement…”

    That’s usually the case whenever I decide to play. 🙂

    “in Swadlincote in his Forest shirt, the place would have gone quiet.”

    I’m guessing because… his ‘Forest’ shirt would be akin to camouflage and thus the folks wouldn’t see him and think it was a ghost entering? 🙂

    “to order a pint of Gone For A Burton (Tower) which was on the turn.”

    Not surprising since that phrase was used in WWII to indicate an aviator killed in operation.

    “(where are those plant pots?)”

    I’m guessing due to the locale you’re supposed to use ‘chimney’ pots. 🙂

    “before one of their dads stepped in to absolutely rinse them and put that argument to bed.”

    Guffaw!

    “knew the exact name of the punter who had ordered chips and was able to hunt him down with the help of other regulars.”

    Now THAT’S a local!

    “and I got the impression this was a place where anything could happen at any time.”

    Quite agree!

    “Alan would have loved this place as much as the chattering classes would have hated it.”

    I’m with Alan.

    “Pedigree was also on so maybe I should have plumped for the obv”

    (nods) – or were you trying to be a cask aficionado? 😉

    “I love the fact that after almost 500 boozers I can still walk into a place and be kept on my toes by the ultimate locals boozer.”

    I’m very jealous of you lot over there.

    Cheers!

    PS – One word of advice from someone who has moved a fair number of times; the kitchen is usually the worst!

    Liked by 1 person

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