“Is That A Forest Jacket?”

“Is that a Forest jacket?” Said the gaffer of 538 – Ye Olde Spa Inne DE22 3SU in Abbey Street on the edge of Derby city centre.

His pal came over and inspected my jacket and thought it looked like a Forest jacket, then convinced himself it was a Norwich one before agreeing it was just a school badge motif.

Ye Olde Spa 22.02.20 (21)

The gaffer was also convinced and clearly relieved that deep in Derby territory there were no blokes walking into the pub sporting any Nottingham Forest style gear.

I had to confess I was a Birmingham fan but no one minded and I thought I’d take the coat off to avoid any more Spanish inquisitions.

(Sky Sports/Bench seating/Beermats = old skool pub)

Ye Olde Spa 22.02.20 (5)

Sky was on in the background on a big screen and I was there just in time to see Scott Hogan had bagged a last gasp equaliser and therefore my pint would be more enjoyable!

Ye Olde Spa 22.02.20 (10)

This boozer is one of those places that is a local on the edge of the city centre – a bit like the Big Bulls Head in Digbeth – although there appear to be far more chimney pots in this section of Derby.

(Derby ring road – the place to be)

digimap_for_schools (5)

It actually looks very well-manicured from the front with its distinctive topiary and it’s a Grade II listed building.

Ye Olde Spa 22.02.20 (22)

There’s a decent history too as it was built in the 18th Century to capitalise on the iron water spring and this gives the pub its moniker.

There were plenty of smokers and drinkers and it looked like it was set up for a 30th party later with balloons in one of the back rooms.

Ye Olde Spa 22.02.20 (17)

There was no malice when I walked and the handful of punters were friendly as were the staff. A decent atmosphere with music in the background and it was the lull before the storm and I’m sure this place is lively on many an occasion.

Ye Olde Spa 22.02.20 (16)

All the cask pumps were turned round so I got stuck into a John Smith’s Smooth which, as always, is a steady pint.

This is just off the Uttoxeter New Road in an area of town that won’t attract too many tourists…

Ye Olde Spa 22.02.20 (23)

but the welcome was warm – once my footballing credentials were established (it was all bantz) and as I left the barmaid made a point of saying see you soon as she was dragging on a fag.

(red marker notes the pub)

digimap_for_schools (1)

As the map shows, there are more than enough chimney pots around and with the pub showing Rams TV along with all the main sport channels there is no doubt it’s audience is most definitely dyed in the wool Derby

18 thoughts on ““Is That A Forest Jacket?”

  1. Some years ago, the Olde Spa won a CAMRA refurbishment award, which is why I recognised it. The 2005 guide to “Real Ale in Derby” shows it as stocking Bass, Pedigree, Landlord and guest beers.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You don’t have to go back quite as far! 2005/6 won the Championship with a record 106 points, scoring 99 goals and losing twice (one being the first game of the season). 106 might be beaten by a Prem team this season though even with 38 games.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. “Characterful, two-gabled, building set back from the road. Sited near a mineral well in anticipation of spa trade, its basement kitchen became the only cellar in England with built-in fireplace and bread-ovens (still in situ). Won a top award for Pub Refurbishment in 1985.”

        Beer range Marston’s Pedigree and Ind Coope Burton Ale.

        Liked by 1 person

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