Yes, yes it’s all good fun promoting this #NationalBassDay but I know Martin really wants me to post about edgy estate style boozers that are rarely visited by CAMRA.
In fact Martin often suggests there are some pubs where CAMRA send in their quickest member – usually Stafford Paul – to check what’s on the bar and then make a swift exit.
I’m not suggesting 524 – The Crown DE24 9AD which is in the Derby suburb of Allenton in the shopping precinct is one of those places, but it’s definitely old school enough for CAMRA to mark it with a No Ale Available red cross….
(is that cask ale I can see…?)
It’s the only pub left in Allenton and it’s on the classic pub-laden A514, which might even bring Russ out of retirement to comment.
Allenton is of course renowned for its animals despite being firmly entrenched as suburb on the outskirts of Derby.
Firstly, it has a landmark Spider Bridge, which was built in 1971 and is a footbridge over a roundabout containing ‘eight legs’ in four directions over steep steps and is iconic…in a spaghetti junction kind of way.
However, it’s far more renowned for its Hippopotamus (that’s not a misprint folks) that was discovered in 1895 when digging was taking place at the main boozer in the village and a horrendous stench and large bones were discovered.
Stick with me on this one as 127 bones from a hippo, rhino and elephant were found and then in 1973 further bones including Hippo teeth were uncovered. Although I have to say, a grey Thursday afternoon in Allenton didn’t remind me of exotic climes with animals on display.
It’s got a large suburban shopping centre with all the classics and also has The Crown. It’s owned by M&B but definitely not one of their pubs that they are splashing out on.
This map will give you a clue that it’s probably the last remaining boozer on the A514 until you reach Derby City centre with the Shelton Lock trio also noted.
Of course, Dave and Dick have this boozer already pencilled in for their Midlands tour in 2025 and so, here it is in a bigger context.
It’s a big two roomer with a small lounge as you walk in but everyone who was there was in the much larger bar at the back.
There was a bloke glued to the snooker, which was on the big screen and a few barflies who were having a laugh and settling in for a while.
I was about to order a Worthington Creamflow but the barmaid said it was off and suggested I could have a Doom from the lounge.
I wasn’t expecting this but and asked for half a Doom Bar (Sharp’s) which drew a loud laugh from the women perched on the stool and she reemphasised the Doom!
However, it was more than decent cask ale and it was raucous with some bloke reckoning global warming means Britain will never see snow again!
(Ketley, Fish and Charlton discuss weather trends at the bar)
I suspect this isn’t a pub for the faint-hearted but was friendly enough and I reckon is a totally different animal (not a hippo) on a Friday/Saturday night.
The A514 never fails to deliver and I’d love to see M&B spend a few quid and really make this place stand out from the crowd.