“Bloody hell! You went there?!”
So said one of my work colleagues, who hails from Kimberley in Nottingham and proceeded to give me a potted history lesson on the various hostelries of Eastwood and beyond.
I blame Mrs BB…if she is going to send me shopping to Giltbrook Retail Park (home of Ikea) then she can’t reasonably expect me not to visit the odd boozer or two before heading home.
It’s only fair and with the Ikea Arms not yet open for business then that ‘golden mile’ on the Nottingham Road has to be visited.
It’s no surprise that this stretch of the Midlands has got so many Micro boozers as they like their local brewers and beers around these parts.
(Kimberley/Eastwood rivalry – separated by Ikea)
It is be fair to say Greene King is detested not popular after shutting down Kimberley and Hardy & Hanson’s as well as a few pubs.
But they like to stick two fingers up at corporate brewing behemoths and I’ve already been to the Caught & Bowled in Giltbrook along with the The Gamekeeper’s and Mellor’s Mews, which are all newish small pubs along this road.
It’s probably the Micro capital of the Midlands and there is definitely scope for a monumental Saturday here if you catch the bus from Nottingham or Ilkeston.
However, there must be some old school traditional pubs left in this old mining town. A population of over 18,000 means plenty of potential for pubs and I managed to spot one in the Hill Top stretch of Eastwood.
My work colleague nearly fell off his chair when I told him I’d been to 526 – Greasley Castle NG16 3GW.
It’s next to Sainsbury’s, which used to be the fairly notorious Man In Space and apparently some of the punters gravitated towards The Castle. It was unofficially known as ‘Brown Town’ years ago, which doesn’t sell it to the uninitiated…unless of course there is a bit of Kimberley local rivalry colouring his version!
However, I told him he’d become gentrified with all these micropubs as you still need a Sky Sports local pub and, of course, this one sold Bass!
Ahead of #NBD2020 it is always good to uncover a ‘new’ Bass boozer and in a former Hardy & Hansons pub as well. Apparently it was named after the remains of a fortified manor house of the same name and lets you know there is more to Eastwood than meets the eye.
There was a good crowd of punters in on a Thursday afternoon, all of whom appeared to know each other and it was all quiet apart from the fruit machine taking a hammering. It is smart enough and well kept as well although the Gaffer was definitely one of those who operate on the head nodding, as opposed to the overly chatty.
Plenty of tattoos on show and fags ready to be smoked outside and a family in there too. It looked to me like a solid local pub with all of the punters, apart from me, necking Carling.
The Bass was decent though and at £3 a throw no complaints at all so all appeared to be quiet in the Greasley Castle.
I reckon it could be a different kettle of fish of an evening but I reckon my work colleague has just got soft in his old age!
I can’t put it in Martin’s favourite ‘not one for the faint hearted category’ but it is different to the many ‘chat only’ pubs that are sprouting up on a regular basis in this neck of the woods.